On March 8, the Wisconsin Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus hosted an informational briefing for legislators on priority issues for sportsmen and women in the state. In addition to welcoming legislators and providing an overview of the policy priorities, Caucus leadership introduced key leaders of Wisconsin’s conservation community to address the audience.
Representatives from Trout Unlimited, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Conservation Congress, Pheasants Forever, National Wild Turkey Federation, and Ducks Unlimited spoke on a range of issues important to sportsmen and women in Wisconsin. Topics included access to public and private land; hunter recruitment, retention, and reactivation efforts; the role that Wisconsinites play in the American System of Conservation Funding; and the future for sportsmen and women.
Assembly Member Joel Kleefisch, Co-Chair of the Wisconsin Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, closed the briefing, remarking, “I really appreciate the groups talking here today. What’s so fantastic is that although there are different viewpoints among the groups in the room, we all have the same goal in mind. That is recruitment, retention, and reactivation. That is getting kids off the couch, away from video games and out on the water and in the woods of Wisconsin. It’s not going to be an easy process, but this is a fantastic way to start it.”
Following the briefing, attendees proceeded to the Caucus’ Opening Day-themed lunch. Legislators, their staff, and members of the sportsmen’s community shared their favorite wild game dishes with attendees. Wild boar, venison, and alligator were served while attendees shared stories from last season and their hopes for spending time on the water and in the fields in the months ahead.
Hunters and anglers in the Badger State spend over $4 billion each year. In 2015, sportsmen and women contributed more than $100 billion through the American System of Conservation Funding to conservation efforts in the state.
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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. (24.70%)
- Provide more information for new participants. (4.03%)
- Provide hands on opportunities to improve skills and knowledge. (13.02%)
- 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. (9.87%)