The last 30 days have been chock full of key events that have a tremendous impact on the future of hunting, fishing and recreational shooting in America – events that are leading many sportsmen and women to draw conclusions about (or further cement their conclusions about) Democratic decision makers.
In the nation’s capitol, Congress debated sportsmen’s access to public land, whether EPA could regulate ammunition and fishing tackle, whether recreational shooting should be permissible on national monument land where compatible, and last whether the United States should allow the importation of legally hunted trophies.
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.
It’s election time again. And all over America various interest groups are discovering that our local politicians do in fact still know we exist. And more important, that they think just like us. Now is the time of year when the congressman who normally wears the $1,000 Brooks Brothers suits gets the Starter jacket featuring the logo from the area’s prominent NFL team out of moth balls, and shows up at the local sports bar to make sure we all know that he is just like us.
As hunters we ought to be familiar with this song and dance. Over the next six months we will see plenty of freshly creased flannel shirts and shotguns, that have not been used enough to open easily, broken awkwardly over shoulders. And while all of this conversation takes place with us “regular folk,” young Washington DC staffers who look 15, but are actually probably 25, will be snapping photos to be used in campaign brochures, emails and websites.