By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Wednesday, July 8, 2017 the Alabama Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus held its annual luncheon on the state Capital grounds.
State Representative Randy Davis (R from Daphne) and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R from Anniston) chair the caucus. Chairman Davis said that that the Alabama Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus was started in April of 2009. It is one of 48 Legislative Sports Caucuses across the country.
Chairman Davis said that the Caucus has helped us to pass a right to hunt and fish in our state and is involved in a number of hunting and fishing issues that come up each year. Rep. Davis thanked all of the sponsors that support their work.
Davis said that Alabama did $14.5 billion in tourism last year $1.9 billion of that was from hunting and fishing.
Chairman Davis said that Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) had been taken to the hospital last night with an illness. Davis asked all of the attendees to remember Gov. Bentley in their prayers.
Davis said that he goes to the national events and that we are going to have some shoots, hunts, and fishing tournaments.
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner Gunter Guy said that we should show our appreciation to all of our partners. “Randy Davis I want to thank you as well as Del Marsh for leading the Alabama Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus.”
Commissioner Gunter Guy thanked the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and said that they are essential to making outdoor hunting and fishing successful. Guy said that Alabama ranks in the top 15 nationally on spending money on hunting and fishing, on jobs created from hunting and fishing, and tax revenues generated by hunting and fishing. Guy said that hunters and fisherman spend $5.3 million a day in Alabama. 50,000 to 80,000 jobs are created in this state due to hunting and fishing. Everyone benefits.
Guy said that at DCNR we do what we do with permits and fees. “I want to thank our legislature for helping us and being behind us. Hunters and fishers vote. And it is important that you know
If you are running for political office in Alabama camo is a good look.”
Chairman Davis said that hunting and fishing works together with the farming industry in Alabama.
Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries John McMillan (R) said that Alabama has a feral hog problem. Commissioner McMillan said that we formed a council of all the federal and state agencies and stakeholder groups. That council has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study shooting hogs from helicopters in Alabama
Dana Johnson with USDA is in charge of that effort. Johnson said that we were challenged by the national feral swine with testing shooting hogs from helicopters. It has been very effective in Texas; but that is different habitat. Johnson said that he recently removed 770 hogs off of one 3000 acre tract in one test and have tested this in other places. “We can remove large quantities of hogs in our habitat.”