Vote 2010: Hunting IS a right in 3 more states
Sportsmen and conservation-minded voters turned out in droves in three states to voice their agreement that the right to hunt, fish and trap should be added to their state constitutions.
Recognizing that hunters, anglers and trappers play a vital role in scientific wildlife management as part of the North American Model for Wildlife Conservation, and these activities are important to our outdoor heritage, voters in South Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas overwhelmingly voted to amend their state constitutions to protect these time-honored traditions.
A similar move to protect hunters and anglers in Arizona was thwarted by voters who were fed misinformation through ads paid for by the Humane Society of the United States and other animal rights/anti-hunting organizations. HSUS alone spent more than $250,000 on a campaign to prevent the constitutional amendment.
Currently, 15 states have laws protecting the right to hunt and fish. They are: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin. — Matt Lindler
Task Force Focuses on Growing Hunting and Shooting
To grow hunting and sport shooting throughout the United States, Task Force 20-20 has launched a Models of Success pilot program to raise awareness of the best state recruitment and retention initiatives.
The task force was formed at the National Shooting Sports Foundation's Shooting Sports Summit in 2008 and is comprised of the firearms, state agency and conservation communities. Its goal is to increase hunting and shooting participation 20 percent by 2014.
According to the task force, four states have excellent recruitment and retention programs that with a little help can be even more successful. NSSF will fund a dedicated marketing campaign for these Models of Success programs in an effort to increase their efficiency.
The four states with programs selected as Models of Success are:
- MINNESOTA —The state's Families Afield program allows children to try hunting with an adult mentor before taking a hunter education course has been an outstanding success with nearly 8,500 apprentice hunting licenses purchased over the last several years. The next step is to encourage youngsters, who liked their first hunt and want to pursue hunting, to take a hunter education course.
- OREGON —The state has completed an important project that places hunting-access maps online. Now the challenge is to build awareness of these resources among hunters and drive traffic to the website. In addition to promoting use of the online tools, the marketing campaign will stress that finding access to hunting lands has become much easier thanks to these new, easy-to-use resources, thereby removing what newcomers and lapsed participants often considered a barrier to going hunting.
- ARIZONA —The state has adopted a community outreach strategy using NSSF's First Shots program, which provides a safe, supervised introduction to target shooting. The program will be rolled out in five regions at state-owned and public ranges. An important component is the development of a Second Shots program, allowing newcomers to pursue their newfound passion for target shooting or hunting.
- NEBRASKA —A new state-owned range will be the focus of a marketing campaign to encourage people of all ages to use and enjoy the facility. An additional promotional effort will motivate experienced adult hunters to take youth or adult novices hunting. The new range should be used for sighting-in their firearms and improving marksmanship skills before going afield. A dedicated website will provide resources for adult mentors to help them educate novice hunters. — National Shooting Sports Foundation