Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Legislative Caucus Supports Outdoors ; Bill Would Protect Traditions, Rights of States Hunters, Anglers, Trappers

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Legislative Caucus Supports Outdoors ; Bill Would Protect Traditions, Rights of States Hunters, Anglers, Trappers

Article excerpt

Like many of you, I am looking forward to the upcoming whitetail rifle season. Ive been preparing my gear, checking the mast reports and planning my days in the woods that Ill spend with my dad, brother and close friends. This year, Ill be viewing my time hunting in the wilderness of Greenbrier County through a slightly different lens. As a member of the House of Delegates, it became even more apparent to me that our right to hunt and fish may be in real jeopardy if the radical animal rights groups like PETA and the Humane Society of the U.S. have their way. These organizations have been aggressively lobbying statehouses across the country to limit or eliminate certain types of hunting and fishing, and thats only the start of their agenda.

Beyond those who wish to curtail hunting and fishing rights, outdoorsmen feel the threat of anti-Second Amendment organizations who seek to impose aggressive regulations on our constitutionally protected rights.

Its clear how important hunting, fishing and exercising our Second Amendment rights are to West Virginias culture and our economy. As a vocal proponent for the Elk Restoration Bill in the 2015 general session, I believe this legislation will create a wonderful hunting experience in our state and bolster the economy by encouraging folks from all over the country to travel to and spend money in Southern West Virginia. This bill is a great example of honoring a West Virginia pastime, while dually providing economic growth for an area of our state that so desperately needs it.

Beyond supporting the Elk Restoration Bill, it was obvious we needed to do more to support hunting, fishing and outdoor activities in the Mountain State. Along with three colleagues and co-chairs, I helped to found the West Virginia Legislative Sportsmens Caucus. We founded the Sportsmens Caucus for three main reasons: First, to better educate the members of the legislature on the issues that are important to hunters, fishermen and outdoors enthusiasts. …

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