BHA Welcomes the 116th Congress
Photos by Larry Williams
On February 13th, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers hosted a welcome reception for the 116th Congress at the Hart Senate Office Building in the Nation’s capital. CEO Land Tawney and Conservation Director John Gale came from BHA’s Montana headquarters to join Government Relations Manager Julia Peebles and Capital Chapter members in welcoming members of Congress and their staffs. There was cause for celebration as the Natural Resources Management Act (S. 47) had passed a vote in the Senate the day before (and would go on to be passed by the House). The bill’s sponsor, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) spoke briefly, as did Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Angus King, Jr. (I-ME), Mike Braun (R-IN), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Jon Tester (D-MT). In all, over 300 people gathered in the spirit of bipartisanship to celebrate public lands and waters and, if they didn’t already know us, learn about BHA and its mission.
Fighting for Sunday Hunting in Maryland
Earlier this year in the state of Maryland, Senator Jack Bailey introduced two very pivotal bills that would expand Sunday hunting in select areas around the state: SB 390 and SB 293. These bills would allow MD-DNR the authority to expand Sunday hunting during open seasons on both public and private lands. SB 390 is specifically related to deer hunting and SB 293 is related solely to migratory game birds. Unfortunately, SB 293 died in committee, but SB390 is still alive and needs our attention.
The Capital Region team is hard at work on this issue, so be on the look out for an action alert as a means to contact your elected representatives! Help us make our voice heard and get us started in the right direction! Go! Fight! Win!
A Sportswoman's Perspective
By Samantha Flowers
Photos courtesy of www.womensoutdoornews.com
Does the topic of women in the hunting and fishing industry seem like old news to you? Are just tired of hearing about recruiting more women to save the “industry?” Honestly, those were some of my first thoughts, but lately, I have come to realize the importance of having realistic and relevant conversations surrounding women in hunting and fishing sports.
Having women in the industry isn’t a “new” thing.
We have always been here—maybe not in masses, but we have always been around the table, now we are just being offered a seat.
With more and more outdoor brands catering to women, entering the hunting and fishing sports has much more appeal. Believe me, it was never fun wearing my brother's old hand-me-downs or having equipment that simply didn’t fit my frame. Only being offered sub-par gear with hot pink embellishments didn’t quite seem fair. Not to mention that once you start delving into ultra-light backcountry hunting the gear you wear and carry is absolutely essential to success and comfort, so low quality, cumbersome equipment that doesn’t account for the female frame isn’t going to suffice. Even now, there is still room for improvement.
In addition to outdoor companies jumping on board, many organizations have started to value their female counterparts as well. In an industry dominated by men, finding a woman serving in a leadership role is very encouraging. Thanks to organizations like Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, women are being acknowledged, invited into conversations, and asked to lead regions and chapters to help protect our public lands, waters, and wildlife. Automatically women across North America will know that they aren’t alone, they won’t be laughed at, and their thoughts, experiences, and opinions matter and most importantly they can make a difference.
Probably one of the most effective tools for including women in the growth of our shared outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing is simply to show genuine support. The way that support is reflected may vary from woman to woman; we may need a patient and sincere teacher, an eager ear to listen to our latest adventure, or maybe someone to watch the kids while we get out in the woods or on the water. Whatever the case, evaluate your preconceptions; don’t immediately discount our perspective, knowledge base, or skill set due to jaundiced perceptions.
Take a woman out in the woods or on the water; we just might surprise you!
Hunt Lottery Roundtable Pint Night
Don’t let cabin fever get you down, now is the time to plan and apply for limited entry quota and lottery hunts across much of the West, Midwest, and even some hunts here in the East.
Beaver Creek Fly Shop Open House
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
9720 Country Store Lane, Hagerstown, MD 21740
March 30th for their annual Open House! Come by and say hello on your way out to the stream!
Beaver Creek Pint Night
Beaver Creek Fly Shop
9720 Country Store Lane, Hagerstown, MD 21740
Come out, shake some hands, and strike up a conversation with our members. Learn more about local angling tricks and opportunities. Beaver Creek Fly Shop owner and operator James Harris will give a brief introduction to fly tying.
Save the Date: Capital Region Campout, August 9th-11th!
Planning has begun for the chapter’s first Capital Region Campout. Like the BHA North American Rendezvous in Boise, Idaho, but a little smaller, and in our own beautiful Alleghany Mountains, this campout will take place on August 9th-11th at Douthat State Park, Virginia. The weekend-long gathering will include a Hike to Hunt event, a wild game cook-off, activities for kids, a guided foraging hike, and various hunting and angling demos. We’re excited to bring members and their families together from all over the Maryland, Virginia, and DC area!
More event details to follow, but here’s a little more about the Wild Game Cook-off:
This cook-off will be a celebration of all things that can be harvested and utilized as food in the wild of North America. For this cook-off “wild food” is defined as animals, birds, fish, fungus, nuts, fruit and vegetables which you or other hunters, anglers and gatherers have harvested in the wild. Cooks can participate as an individual or a team. Participants must provide their own cooking tools and serving implements. All dish cooking and ingredient assembly must take place at the rally, but prep work such as cutting, cleaning, slicing, measuring, etc. can be done ahead of time. We will have a large covered pavilion reserved at the state park for the Saturday cook-off.
It's not too early to reserve a campsite at Douthat State Park, they will go quickly! Virginia State Parks Reservation System