New Congress Brings New Opportunities and New Challenges

It’s common this time of year for political pundits to speculate how the new 113th Congress will impact the lives of everyday Americans.  Sportsmen are no different.  We also wonder how a newly constituted government made up of a confidently re-elected, lame duck President Obama, a Senate where Democrats increased their majority, and a House where Republicans held fast to their strong majority will make a difference to the future of hunting, fishing, trapping, recreational shooting and more.

The most important thing that the government can do for American sportsmen and women is nothing.  Much like the Hippocratic Oath physicians takes upon becoming licensed to practice medicine – “Do No Harm” should be our first wish from the new Congress.  However, an increasingly urban country – and urban-based politicians – demands that hunters and anglers emerge from our defensive bunkers, and try to put in place laws that will protect our precious heritage for generations to come.

Continue reading

Advertisements

California Vote Shows System Worked… For Now

Yesterday, the democratic system worked in California. For months sportsmen have been waiting for this moment. For months they’ve been calling their legislators. They’ve driven thousands of miles to the state capital to overwhelmingly pack hearing rooms with opponents of SB 1221.  They’ve answered every false charge with the facts about hunting with hounds. They’ve exposed the real agenda of the proponents of the bill.

They watched as anti-hunting Senators added the hunting ban language to a bill that was originally about air quality standards. They watched anti-hunting groups lie to members of a Senate Committee without being challenged to back up their false claims. They watched formerly pro-sportsmen legislators with the opportunity to kill SB 1221 switch sides “so that debate could continue.” They watched as a Republican Senator, recently endorsed by the Humane Society of the United States for his Congressional race, supplied the deciding vote on the Senate floor.

They watched and wondered. Were their efforts making any difference at all? Many of them contacted the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance to search for new methods of attack. A new strategy. Something.

Their Efforts Paid Off

Continue reading

Why the Lies Being Told in California Should Worry Sportsmen Nationwide

It’s easy to understand why California Houndsmen are up in arms as the animal rights lobby continues its push to ban hunting with hounds for bobcat and bears.  But what you might not know is why it should matter to sportsmen in the other 49 states.

Continue reading

Exposed: Meet the Senators Responsible for California’s Hunting Ban Vote

The behind the scenes story about how the California Senate came to vote to prohibit bear and bobcat hunting with hounds is a real eye-opener to hunters about how state government actually functions in the Golden State.  And it should be a lesson to sportsmen nationwide as it would be naïve to believe this couldn’t happen elsewhere.

On May 21, the Senate passed Senate Bill 1221 by a vote of 22 – 15.  It takes 21 votes to pass a bill. When a vote is this close, it’s really important to know who sportsmen should hold accountable.

Here are the four Senators most responsible for the hunting ban:

Continue reading

Latest polls show sportsmen can be the deciding factor

Sportsmen and women are gearing up for a big presidential election this fall as the Republican primary battles wind down and Mitt Romney shifts his focus to taking on President Obama.  Sportsmen will play a significant role in deciding who the next president is, as well as who will control Congress.   In addition to being politically important, many of these states are also some of the biggest sportsmen’s states in the nation, meaning hunters, anglers and trappers will have a direct influence on the outcomes of these elections.

Continue reading

Reasons We Don’t Ask Someone to Go Hunting

Recently, we announced new Families Afield numbers that show more than three-quarters of a million apprentice hunting licenses have been sold across the country over the past six years.

I was feeling mighty proud.  As USSA’s point person on Families Afield I spend a significant amount time thinking about getting new hunters involved in our sport and working with state legislators to make that happen.  After going home that day feeling good about the success we’ve had and the new hunters we’ve created… I was met by the cold reality that I had missed the trees for the forest.  In this case, the tree is my longtime girlfriend.

Continue reading