2023 Muster in the Marsh Recap

"Muster" is a verb. To muster anything takes action, and being the hunters and anglers we are, it’s our nature to do just that. We push ourselves to the limit and give our all for the things we value. 

So it’s no surprise that we’re still buzzing a week after BHA’s annual Muster in the Marsh event hosted by the Ohio BHA Chapter. Through multiple months of planning, meetings, new connections, and collaboration, we were able to celebrate our public lands and water amongst some of the finest - and we did it well. Hundreds of folks gathered in Northeast Ohio at the newly founded Covered Bridge Outfitters in Conneaut, Ohio. The event hosted passionate attendees from all over, including chapter leaders and members from West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Indiana, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Tennessee. With a wild mix of competitions, spicy auctions, educational and interactive workshops, live music, wonderful brews, and feasting of course, we not only raised money for conservation but lifelong connections were either forged or made anew. 

Some of the most powerful facets of Muster are the education and storytelling components covering a diverse array of outdoor pursuits and experiences, and we had some amazing presentations this year!

Ohio State Trappers Association demonstrated an introduction to trapping. Tambini Outdoors spoke about invasive plants and how to manage or eliminate them. Baldwin Wallace University’s interactive field research taught how to Match the Hatch for fly fishing. Evan Siembida showed how to clean a turtle (did you know snappers have backstraps?!) Conservation contributions on public and private lands were described by Enviroscience. The experience was also enriched by Kevin Murphy as he shared his experiences and conservation mission with attendees! Shared stories around the campfire were a highlight of the weekend. 

The educational sessions on BHA events and policy discussions were well attended. This year, we were in full policy swing with some solid representation from North American Board Member and Meateater star Ryan Callaghan, Kaden McArthur, BHA's government relations manager, Ohio chapter leaders Tony Ruffing and Dustin Lindley, and Indiana BHA Policy Chair Scott Salmon. Topics included updates on the "Chicken Bill," a piece of wolf-in-sheep's-clothing legislation which makes leasing of state lands for fracking easier, Ohio issue information and touch points, corner crossing in Wyoming (and how it affects eastern states as well), and discussion on how individual chapters select and prioritize call-to-action outreach. To close the policy session, there was a discussion of the unique opportunity Ohio BHA has with a supportive governor's administration and a cabinet position within the Department of Natural Resources to make good conservation choices for the state's future. This relationship between BHA and state wildlife is strong and is valuable to our shared lands and waters. 

Events like these are essential in creating a meeting point where constituents from a vast array of policy standpoints bring distinctive perspectives and diverse opinions to the table in order to effectively take action. It’s seamlessly connected with BHA’s mission to set aside differences in philosophy or politics… “It’s time to shake hands. It’s time to get something done. The continuation of the very things we love – hunting, fishing, wild places, wildlife – depends upon our ability to move forward.”

Annual events like Muster are essential in continuing the mission with intentional action, as you simply cannot have conservation without conversation.

Event Sponsors:

Covered Bridge Outfitters - Host Facility

Butcher and the Brewer

Cleveland Field Kitchen

Siembida Knives



Wild Rivers Coffee

Vandalia Outfitters

Western Land Reserve

FoxFire Rod Co. 

Sisu Sauna - Burton Fixture Stations


About Ohio BHA Chapter

Our chapter is dedicated to serving the interests of conservation and access to clean public lands and waters. Through planning, collaboration, and dedication, we will make a difference.

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