In a nod to sportsmen and women, Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus (GCS) Vice-Chair Wyoming Governor Matt Mead recently announced a set of initiatives aimed at advancing the shooting sports in the Cowboy State.
The first of these efforts, the Open Ranges Initiative, addresses ongoing concerns about the availability of places to shoot in Wyoming. Through Governor Mead’s leadership, the state will play an instrumental role in leveraging resources to facilitate locally led partnerships that increase access to public shooting ranges. While similar partnerships have been successfully implemented to confront challenges associated with range access, public land user conflicts, and other recreational shooting issues on a case-by-case basis throughout the West, Wyoming’s recently announced effort would address the management of recreational shooting statewide by working alongside local interests to find solutions that best fit unique local needs.
In addition to the Open Ranges Initiative, Governor Mead announced two new shooting competitions that will take place in Wyoming. The first, the Wyoming 100, will recognize the top 100 shooters in Wyoming and the second, the Governor’s Match, will feature a two-gun (semi-automatic rifle and pistol) competition bringing competitors from around the country to the state to showcase their skills.
“Wyoming is a firearms state and we are proud of that,” said Governor Mead. “These initiatives promote safe shooting and participation in shooting sports – whether that’s hunting, target shooting or sanctioned competitions. Working with the Game and Fish Department, the National Rifle Association, the firearms industry and local governments we hope to open more opportunities for people to shoot safely.”
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?