Contact: Mark Lance, Southeastern States Coordinator
- On September 13, the Tennessee Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus (Caucus), in coordination with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation, hosted their hosted their annual dove hunt at the Lock Five Farms outside Lebanon, TN.
- More than 40 people, including roughly 15 Caucus members, attended the dove hunt. Notable attendees included Caucus Co-Chair Representative Bob Freeman and incoming Caucus Co-Chair Senator Paul Rose, among others.
- The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) and the Caucus also recognized Mike Bell for his leadership as a former Caucus Co-Chair and member of the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC) Executive Council (EC.)
Why It Matters: The dove hunt provided an opportunity for Caucus members, sportsmen’s groups, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) staff to enjoy a day afield together, celebrating Tennessee’s outdoor sporting heritage.
Prior to barrels heating up in the dove field, attendees were welcomed by Caucus Co-Chairs Representative Bob Freeman and Senator Paul Rose and given a hunting safety talk by the TWRA. CSF’s Southeastern States Coordinator, Mark Lance, presented Mike Bell with an award on behalf of CSF recognizing Bell for his unwavering leadership over many years as a Caucus Co-Chair and member of the NASC EC.
Bell recently retired from the legislature on September 1 and was subsequently hired by the TWRA as their Senior Advisor for Legislative Affairs and Policy.
Bell, who had been a member of the Caucus since 2010, spearheaded the growth of the Caucus by encouraging his colleagues in the legislature from both sides of the aisle to get involved and show their support of outdoor recreation in Tennessee. Thanks to Bell’s leadership, the Caucus successfully led the charge on legislation protecting conservation funding for the state fish and wildlife agency, repealing an antiquated knife ban, prohibiting the removal of tracking collars from dogs, and constitutionally protecting the right to hunt and fish, among other key victories for sportsmen and women in the Volunteer State.
Attendees of the dove hunt were also encouraged to register and attend the 19th Annual NASC Summit that will take place November 29 – December 2 in Bozeman, MT. For more information on the Summit, please click here.
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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. (6.09%)
- Increase access to public lands. (24.59%)
- Provide more information for new participants. (3.98%)
- Provide hands on opportunities to improve skills and knowledge. (12.94%)
- Engage youth through hunter and conservation programs in schools. (43.09%)
- I feel we have enough sportsmen and women and do not believe R3 programs are necessary. (9.31%)