What the Midterms Mean For Sportsmen and Why Your Vote Matters

I do not know what the Founding Father’s were thinking when the scheduled election day right in the middle of the  Whitetail rut. Did they not realize that that this is the most important time to be in the woods? How are we supposed to think about candidates and ballot initiatives, when the bucks are chasing? I do not understand their thinking, but what I do know is that it is important for every all of us to take a small break from the treestand and let our collective voices be heard.

A lot is riding on this election and it is important that we know how the election affects hunters and anglers. Information is key. It is my goal that sportsmen have all the necessary resources to make a wise informed decision at the ballot box.

One of the best resources for I have found for Hunting related legislative issues is the Sportsmen’s Alliance.

According to their latest article about the election,

The Sportsmen’s Alliance works to defend our heritage nationwide partly by monitoring legislation in all 50 states, as well as election results. Elections have consequences, and we must remain vigilant in protecting our passions. We also believe that our members should be kept up to date on these issues so they can stay informed about any issues in their states, while also seeing the threats posed in other states – it’s a coordinated attack that’s taking place; something that’s often missed if you only pay attention to what’s going on in your state.

In this article they lay out what the consequences are if the both Legislative house flip to the other side of the aisle.

The biggest risk is in the House of Representatives where statisticians see around an 80% percent chance that the Democrats gain control. Here is their assessment.

At stake, when control of Congress switches hands, is more than just the speaker’s gavel, it also means that the leadership of important policy committees also change hands. Of interest to sportsmen are the House Committee on Natural Resources and the Senate Committee on Environment and Energy and Natural Resources, the two committees that control virtually all legislation of importance to hunters, anglers and trappers.

It would likely put Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Arizona 3), currently the committee’s top Democrat, in charge of the House Resources Committee. Grijalva has long been a thorn in the side of sportsmen. In fact, the Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) has given Congressman Grijalva a perfect score of 100-percent each year for more than a decade.

In addition to earning a perfect score from the world’s largest animal-rights organization, he is also one of their officially endorsed candidates and has authored several of their priority issues, including fighting to prevent wolves from being delisted, despite their healthy and abundant populations in several locations across the country. Over the years, Grijalva has also worked to ban bear hunting and trapping on federal land.

The senate is likely to remain Republican. Statistitions only give the Democrats a less the 20% chance of taking it, but If they do here is what is at stake.

If Senate Democrats win enough seats, it would likely mean that Washington state Sen. Maria Cantwell, the ranking Democrat, could be the new chair of the Senate Environment and Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Like Grijalva, Cantwell is endorsed by the HSLF and earned a perfect score of 100-percent by the Humane Society Legislative Fund on their 2018 scorecard. Cantwell has a long track record of HSLF support, receiving a perfect score 8 of the last 10 years.

It is important that sportsmen understand what is at stake this election. Things could get dicey if the control of these powerful committees fall into the wrong hands. It is up to everyone to vote and make your voice heard.

I also want to make it clear that even if the Republicans remain in control, that does not mean we can ignore what they do. Some of the Republican policies have not been the best for outdoors men. Most of these issues center around public land and natural resource extraction.We need to keep them honest as well and call them out when they make bad decisions that affect hunters.

Please get off the stand and vote.

If you would like more information about the Sportsmen’s Alliance Click Here