Even though hunting and fishing are strong traditions in Wyoming, national trends may begin affecting the Cowboy State. Photo courtesy of Ty Stockton.
TRCP staff addressed the decline of hunting, angling and outdoor recreation at the Wyoming Hunter and Angler Recruitment and Retention Summit. The TRCP’s Neil Thagard attended the summit, which was hosted by the Wyoming Game & Fish Department.
Decreasing hunting and angling participation rates could negatively impact local economies throughout the country. Hunters currently make up a small percentage of the population. This could prove dangerous during legislative decisions when voices from the sporting community need to be heard.
A large portion of funding for conservation and wildlife management – both game and non-game species – in Wyoming comes from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, federal funds from taxes on certain sporting goods equipment and donations from sportsmen’s organizations.
Even though hunting and fishing are strong traditions in Wyoming, national trends may begin affecting the Cowboy State. Wildlife agencies in other states report that they did not notice declines in hunting and fishing until it was too late. Now they are fighting an uphill battle to rebuild fish and wildlife, hunting and angling. Summit participants discussed strategies to ensure that Wyoming stays ahead of this curve and recruits and retains hunters, anglers and conservationists to sustain our outdoor heritage.
In addition to staff at the TRCP and the WGFD, summit attendees included representatives of Pheasants Forever, the National Bighorn Sheep Interpretive Center, the National Rifle Association, the North Platte Walleyes, Pass It On, the Remington Foundation, Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife, The Wildlife Society – Wyoming Chapter, Wyoming Wildlife – The Foundation, Water for Wildlife and the Wyoming Wild Sheep Foundation.
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