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Boone and Crockett Club Sends Letter to Governors, Local Officials Urging Them to Maintain Access to Outdoors


On April 8, the Boone and Crockett Club joined the 50 organizations in the American Wildlife Conservation Partners (AWCP) to send a letter to federal, state and local officials urging them to keep spring hunting, recreational shooting and fishing opportunities open amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The partners emphasized the importance of responsible outdoor recreation for Americans who are having to stay at home in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus. The Club forwarded the letter to members of the Western Governors’ Association, Montana Governor Steve Bullock, and the Mayor of Missoula, John Engen, where the Club’s headquarters are based.

The groups stated, “Nature is an ideal place to keep safe distances among people while simultaneously allowing citizens educational and recreational experiences that provide health, and hope.” Spring hunting and fishing also allows Americans the opportunity to provide food for their families. The letter goes on to say: “The spring hunting season is upon us, and if your state’s wildlife management areas and other public lands remain open, this will provide an opportunity for the solitary and safe pursuit of hunting. Fishing also keeps people at a safe distance apart and can help sustain the economy if tackle shops remain open as essential businesses. Several states have temporarily waived fishing license requirements (but not limits), or withheld trout stocking announcements (which attract crowds) or opened seasons early (to reduce risk of crowding). Recreational shooters are practicing social distancing at ranges that remain open and also play a strong economic role by generating the federal excise tax revenue that drives the American System of Conservation Funding (ASCF).”

The sporting-conservation organizations also used the letter to launch their #ResponsibleRecreation social media campaign that urges those heading into the outdoors to follow CDC social distancing recommendations. The groups recognize that hunters, shooters and anglers have a responsibility to help keep communities safe as they head to and from their solitary activities. The ability to continue having these outdoor opportunities depends on all citizens practicing #ResponsibleRecreation. The Club and their AWCP partners are providing specific guidelines that outdoorsmen and women should use if they head afield.