On September 17, the West Virginia Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus hosted a pig roast at the Coonskin Park Club House in Charleston. Twenty members of the West Virginia Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and numerous representatives from in-state sportsmen’s groups and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources attended the event to enjoy an evening of discussion about recent sportsmen’s policy successes and goals to further support West Virginia’s outdoor sporting traditions and economy.
Co-Chairs of the West Virginia Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Senator Mark Maynard, Senator Ron Stollings, and Delegate Rupie Phillips attended the pig roast and spoke to attendees about the importance of working as a Caucus to support policies that increase access and opportunity for West Virginia’s sportsmen and women. In the 2017 session, the Caucus worked together to successfully pass SB 345, which expanded private lands Sunday hunting to every county in the state.
“The Caucus pig roast was a great showing for the collective sportsmen’s community in West Virginia. Sincere thanks to the event sponsors, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, and my fellow Caucus members for their support and commitment to supporting West Virginia’s outdoor heritage, and I look forward to building on our recent policy successes to further support West Virginia’s sportsmen and women,” said Sen. Maynard.
Del. Phillips reflected, “It’s an honor to Co-Chair the West Virginia Sportsmen’s Caucus, and I am thankful for the strong turnout from legislators, in-state sportsmen’s groups, and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. Hunting, fishing and recreational shooting are important West Virginia traditions, and this type of event is an important component of supporting our state’s outdoor heritage.”
Director of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Stephen McDaniel also spoke at the event and discussed agency goals to advance policies that increase access and reduce barriers to participation in hunting and angling. Additionally, representatives from in-state sportsmen’s groups proposed ideas and solicited feedback from Caucus members and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources regarding various hunting, angling, recreational shooting, and trapping policy issues.
The event was sponsored by the West Virginia Bearhunters Association, the West Virginia Bowhunters Association, the West Virginia Wildlife Federation, and the West Virginia Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?