Feature Article: Sporting Caucus

Legislature Outdoor Sporting Caucus brings both parties together

Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Jul 25, 2019

DAVIS — On Tuesday, June 25, 150 people – including bipartisan representation from the State Legislature, Capitol staff and state resource agency personnel – joined representatives from several wildlife conservation organization representatives and the California Youth Shooting Sports Association (CYSSA) at the Yolo Sportsmens Club in Davis for the 16th Annual California State Legislature Outdoor Sporting Caucus Trap Shoot.

First established by wildlife conservation organizations active at our State Capitol nearly two decades ago, the California Legislature Outdoor Sporting Caucus is a bipartisan, bicameral assemblage of State Legislators who support policy decisions which embrace and promote California’s outdoor traditions including hunting and fishing.

caucus_membersofMEMBERS OF THE Caucus Trap Shoot who attended the 2019 event were, left to right, Assembly Member Steven S. Choi (R/68-Irvine), Senator Andreas Borgeas (R/08-Fresno), Assembly Member Devon J. Mathis (R/26-Visalia), Assembly Member James Gallagher (R/03-Yuba City), Assembly Member Cecilia M. Aguiar-Curry (D/04-Davis), Assembly Member Kevin McCarty (D/07-Sacramento), Senator Bill Dodd (D/03-Napa), Senator Brian W. Jones (R/38-El Cajon) and Assembly Member Vince Fong (R/34-Bakersfield)."

Each year, Caucus leadership works closely with conservation organization representatives to hold the highly popular Caucus Trap Shoot to safely introduce California lawmakers to the shooting and archery traditions, while also helping to build the size and breadth of the California Legislature Outdoor Sporting Caucus. With safety and enjoyment ensured on the range by Chief David Bess and his dedicated team of experienced shooting instructors from the Enforcement Branch of the DFW the Caucus Trap Shoot puts firearms safely in the hands of those who are tasked with defining firearm policy for the state – often for the first time. This critical annual event has proven to make a positive difference on the outcome of gun control legislation brought forward for consideration at our State Capitol.

Experienced shooters and novice attendees were not only given the opportunity to shoulder a shotgun, but also a chance to experience archery under the close tutelage of experienced instructors at an archery range hosted by the California Bowmen Hunters/State Archery Association.

By all accounts, this year’s event was a huge success, filling the Yolo Sportsmens Club with well over 150 attendees – the largest Capitol crowd ever to attend this popular annual event. "Our outdoor sporting traditions support both our economy and our environment,” stated Senator Dodd, Senate Democratic Co-Chair of the Outdoor Sporting Caucus. “It’s important for policymakers to understand the issues surrounding hunters and anglers."

caucus_archerywasARCHERY WAS ONE of the hands-on shooting events at the 16th Annual California State Legislature Outdoor Sporting Caucus Trap Shoot at the archery range of the Yolo Sportsmen Club in Davis, hosted by the California Bowmen Hunters/State Archery Association.

“Unfortunately, as our state becomes more urbanized, fewer of our public – and those who represent them at our State Capitol – are familiar with and partake in California’s time-honored hunting, fishing and shooting traditions”, said Bill Gaines of Gaines & Associates Government Relations. “Our annual Caucus Trap Shoot is an important opportunity to introduce lawmakers of these outdoor pastimes and seek their support of policy decisions which embrace California’s hunting and shooting traditions for future generations to enjoy.”

This year’s Caucus Trap Shoot could not have taken place without the strong support of our host, the Yolo Sportsmens Club; the dedicated team of shooting instructors from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife; the CYSSA and their local youth shooting teams – including the Clay Crusaders Gun Club, Colusa Gun Club, the Clay Dogs Trap Team and shooting teams from Granite Bay High School, Oakmont High School, Sutter High School – which volunteered to host the barbeque and support the shoot; and the very generous support of Ducks Unlimited, Monterey County Fish & Game Commission, Butte County Fish & Game Commission, California Waterfowl Association, Gaines & Associates, California Bowmen Hunters/State Archery Association, California Houndsmen for Conservation, California Rifle and Pistol Association, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of Safari Club International .

caucas_senatorbillSENATOR BILL DODD (D-Napa) readies for a target at the Legislature Outdoor Sporting Caucus Trap Shoot, intended to introduce or familiarize lawmakers to guns and safe gun handling. While Senator Dodd is not one of them, too many legislators are unfamiliar with guns or the legitimate uses of guns.

OVER 150 PEOPLE attended the annual Caucus Trap Shoot at Yolo Sportsmens Club, where Caucus co-chairs Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa) and Brian Jones (R-El Cajon) addressed the crowd.

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