On October 9, the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF) partnered with NASCAR Hall of Famer and CSF Honorary Board Member Richard Childress to host the 15th Annual Wine, Wheels & Wildlife regional event at Childress Vineyards in Lexington, North Carolina.
This year's event signified the tremendous achievements set forth by this continued partnership for the past fifteen years and recognized two additional milestones, the 50th anniversary of Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and the 30th anniversary of CSF. Attended by leaders of the sportsmen's community, NASCAR representatives, federal and state elected officials representing both sides of the aisle, and other CSF supporters, this year's event demonstrated the camaraderie that has been built among these various groups for the betterment of North Carolina's sportsmen and women.
"I am honored to be a partner of the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation as they are dedicated in helping to allow me, and other fellow sportsmen, the opportunity to keep pursuing our personal passion for the great outdoors," said Richard Childress, Chairman and CEO of RCR. "As hunters and anglers themselves, they bring together their personal experience with their strong background in policy and work to ensure we can pass these great traditions down to future generations."
During the main portion of the event, attendees were addressed by Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, who spoke on the importance of conservation and public access for outdoor recreation. "I love outdoor sports myself, so I know the importance of events like tonight. Our nation owes a debt of gratitude to our lawmakers and policy makers like those engaged with CSF. They understand that those who love the outdoors are the strongest conservationists and that we must all be good stewards of the lands so our children and grandchildren will be able to use them for generations to come," said Secretary Perdue.
Other notable special guests included General Walt Boomer (Ret.) who led Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm during the Gulf War and racecar drivers Austin Dillon, Kevin Harvick and Rusty Wallace, among others.
"CSF is grateful for the continued support of Richard Childress in hosting this annual event for the past 15 years," said Jeff Crane, CSF President. "This event is critical in supporting the ongoing efforts of the Foundation, not just in North Carolina, but across the nation. Each year, this event brings together some of the top leaders in the sportsmen's conservation community who are dedicated in ensuring pro-hunting and fishing policies are advanced in the halls of government."
Title Sponsors of the event included: Bass Pro Shops, Cabela's, Childress Vineyards, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and Richard Childress Racing. Host sponsors included: Polyone, Safari Club International and Vista Outdoor.
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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. (3.90%)
- Increase access to public lands. (26.46%)
- Provide more information for new participants. (3.76%)
- Provide hands on opportunities to improve skills and knowledge. (14.48%)
- Engage youth through hunter and conservation programs in schools. (43.31%)
- I feel we have enough sportsmen and women and do not believe R3 programs are necessary. (8.08%)