Contact: Joe Mullin, Manager, Northeastern States
- On June 14, the bipartisan and bicameral Pennsylvania Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus resumed with its Annual Cigar Reception at Tavern on the Hill in Enola, PA, following a multi-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The excitement leading up to this event was evidenced by the record-setting number of registrations received, followed by the actual crowd of attendees that included: Caucus leaders and members, agency leaders and staff, sponsors, and partner conservation organizations.
- The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) teamed up with Hunters Sharing the Harvest and the Pennsylvania Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus in hosting this long-anticipated event.
Why it Matters: State events such as the Pennsylvania Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus’ Annual Cigar Reception offer forums and opportunities for candid conversations about crucial conservation-related issues within the state, while also serving to welcome new Caucus members into the fold. The Cigar Reception brings together leaders and members from the Caucus, directors and staff from the respective fish and wildlife agencies, and in-state and national conservation organizations for an exciting evening of conversation and relationship building.
On June 14, the Pennsylvania Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus’ Annual Cigar Reception returned after being placed on ice the past few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s iteration brought a new venue, as the reception was held at Tavern on the Hill in Enola, PA. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) joined alongside the Caucus and Hunters Sharing the Harvest in facilitating this premier event.
The return of this event also drew in a crowd of both new and familiar faces. While the official number of attendees is still being tabulated at this time, it was evident that the state’s capitol was eager for this event’s revival. Caucus leadership and members were joined by directors and staff from both the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, in-state and national sportsmen’s organizations, and event sponsors.
Representative Eddie Day Pashinski, Caucus Co-Chair, was enthusiastic about the excitement and turnout for the event. “Boasting over 930,000 registered anglers and nearly 700,000 hunters, sportsmen and women contribute over $1.5 billion into Pennsylvania’s economy annually. Pennsylvania has a centuries long history of hunting and fishing to feed themselves and their families. That tradition continues to this day, exemplified by our association with Hunters Sharing the Harvest, a non-profit which has contributed nearly 2 million pounds of venison since 1991 to help feed PA citizens facing food insecurity. Our Pennsylvania Legislative Sportsmen/Women Caucus proudly helps this project each year by raising money at our annual Cigar Reception, which goes towards the butchers who prepare the venison for consumption,” stated Rep. Pashinski.
John Plowman, the retired Executive Director for Hunters Sharing the Harvest recounted, “After a more than 2-year COVID-caused pause and a major change in venue, I was extremely impressed with the degree our loyal audience of legislators, sponsors, and supporters came back to support the 2022 edition of Pennsylvania Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and its mission statement. Since our start in 2008, we are still teamed up with partners Hunters Sharing the Harvest program and the CSF. This was a true test of the annual event’s viability, importance and popularity, and that was clearly documented by more than the record 100 attendees registered. The positive feedback and compliments are ongoing – clearly an indication we’ll continue and grow the event!”
CSF sincerely thanks the following groups who were instrumental in their support and sponsorships for this event: Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Chesapeake Energy, Coterra Energy, Energy Transfer, EQT Corporation, Feeding Pennsylvania, Hunters Sharing the Harvest, Kline Associates, Ltd., Marcellus Shale Coalition, Pennsylvania Game Commission, Safari Club International: Blue Mt. Chapter, Safari Club International: Lehigh Valley Chapter, Safari Club International: Pennsylvania, Seneca Resources Company, LLC, Southwestern Energy, and Viva Distribution, Inc.
Cigar Reception attendees enjoying the new venue.
Caucus Co-Chairs Senator Dan Laughlin (left) and Representative Eddie Day Pashinski (right) entertaining the crowd during the reception.
Caucus Co-Chairs Representative Eddie Day Pashinski (left) and Representative Ryan Warner (right) are joined on stage by Abby Smith (center) from Hunters Sharing the Harvest.
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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. (5.29%)
- Increase access to public lands. (24.72%)
- Provide more information for new participants. (4.03%)
- Provide hands on opportunities to improve skills and knowledge. (12.95%)
- Engage youth through hunter and conservation programs in schools. (43.13%)
- I feel we have enough sportsmen and women and do not believe R3 programs are necessary. (9.87%)