On October 14, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) and CSF Honorary Board Member, Richard Childress of Richard Childress Racing (RCR), hosted the 11th Annual “Wine, Wheels & Wildlife” regional event at Childress Vineyards in Lexington, North Carolina.
Over 400 supporters of the sportsmen’s community, including 20 state and federal legislators, participated in the event which included a Chairman’s Club reception, followed by a reception featuring Tiger World’s exotic wildlife, and booths by some of the leading outdoor sporting and lifestyle brands including Ball and Buck, Bass Pro Shops, Clint Orms Engravers and Silversmiths, Holland & Holland, Montana Watch, and Zeiss as well as a dinner and auction to benefit CSF’s mission of conservation and protecting America’s hunting and angling traditions. President Pro Tempore of the North Carolina Senate, Senator Phil Berger, led the Pledge of Allegiance.
CSF President Jeff Crane welcomed attendees. “CSF has been working with Richard Childress for 11 years on this unique event, which brings together a few of the country’s greatest traditions: racing, wine, and our sportsmen’s heritage,” said Crane. “This event has become so successful over the years, because so many of the country’s men and women support and share these interests.”
Childress noted local policy accomplishments over the past several years for North Carolina sportsmen’s community. “CSF, working with leaders of the North Carolina Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, the Governor’s Sportsmen’s Caucus, and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, has been crucial to protecting and advancing our rights as hunters and anglers,” said Childress. Childress is Chairman of the National Rifle Association Hunting, Wildlife and Conservation Committee, and leads a mentoring program to expose youth to the outdoors.
Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus Member Governor Pat McCrory addressed the audience. “North Carolina understands the importance of hunting and fishing and conservation from the mountains to the coast and we have some legislators in the audience who are very supportive of this industry and [outdoor] recreation,” said Governor McCrory. “I was proud to sign the Outdoor Heritage Act which forms an Outdoor Heritage Advisory Council and helps advise state agencies on promotion of outdoor activities, and outdoor heritage for generations to come. The second thing [the bill] does is allow [seven-day] hunting in North Carolina.”
Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Vice-Chair Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC) discussed policy work by the CSC at the federal level. “For 26 years, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) has been working with CSF to ensure all Americans today and future generations have access to hunting and fishing. These are time-honored traditions descending from a rich heritage of experiences unique to American history. As a Vice-Chair of the CSC and Member of the House Natural Resources Committee, passing policies that protect our rights as sportsmen and women is a priority of mine,” said Congressman Duncan.
The evening concluded with a musical performance by Craig Morgan, country music star and host of the Outdoor Channel show, “Craig Morgan’s All Access Outdoors.”
The 11th Annual “Wine, Wheels & Wildlife” Title Sponsors included Childress Vineyards and Richard Childress Racing. Host Sponsors included: Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Remington, Safari Club International, Shimano American Corporation, Smith & Wesson, and Vista Outdoor Inc. Co-Host Sponsors included: Albemarle Sportfishing Boats, The Buck Bomb, Dallas Safari Club, Davidson’s, Inc., Grady-White Boats, Harris, Crouch, Long, Scott & Miller, Inc., Reynolds American, Inc., Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, SilencerCo LLC, and Winchester Ammunition.
Richard Childress, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, CSF President Jeff Crane
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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?Vote Here
- Increase the number of states with discounted license tailored to specific groups. (3.92%)
- Increase access to public lands. (26.43%)
- Provide more information for new participants. (3.78%)
- Provide hands on opportunities to improve skills and knowledge. (14.41%)
- Engage youth through hunter and conservation programs in schools. (43.36%)
- I feel we have enough sportsmen and women and do not believe R3 programs are necessary. (8.11%)