St. Louis, Missouri - Headlined by NRA President David Keene and Executive Director of General Operations Kayne Robinson, this weekend's seminar covering “What NRA Does for Hunters” took place on Saturday at the America's Center Convention Complex. Sponsored by Cabela's, the 3 p.m. round table covered everything from the mounting influence of animal rights’ groups on hunting to the falling accessing public hunting lands.
"It's a big country, there's a lot of urbanization, and people are destroying places to hunt, places to shoot in preparation for hunting," said Robinson, "They create mountains of regulation that the average person is unwilling to put up with."
Moderated by NRAHunterHuntersRights.org Manager Editor J.R. Robbins, the panel of experts was filled out by ILA Director of Conservation, Wildlife and Natural Resources Susan Recce, Range Services Specialist John Joines, ILA Hunting Policy Manager Darren La Sorte and Hunter Services Manager Bob Davis. Each shared a tale of warning with the crowd.
"If young people don't get involved in the shooting sports early, then they're not going to be involved later," Keene explained. "If we allow the opportunities for people to hunt, to involve themselves in the shooting sports to diminish to a great enough degree, we will have reduce the Second Amendment to the scratchings on an old parchment."
And that's why we do everything possible to make it easier for hunters to hunt. One example, raised by John Joines, is the NRA Public Range Fund Grant Program. First put into action last year at South Carolina's Belfast Wildlife Area Rifle Range, this program encourages local and
state agencies to work with NRA to build or improve public ranges across the United States by providing up to $25,000 in matching funds to build or maintain a range. After all, if you can't sight in your rifle then you can't hit where you're aiming.
"Over the past few years, we've been looking at different ways to work with State Wildlife Agencies, the Federal, state and local city governments to build ranges," said Joines "If they're willing to work with the National Rifle Association, we can give them a grant ... that will help them get their range started."
And getting started is half the battle.