Cancellations roll in after Pennsylvania sports show bans display of rifles

The National Wild Turkey Federation and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation are among the organizations, companies and celebrities who have withdrawn from a Pennsylvania sports show after Reed Exhibitions, the show’s organizer, banned the display of modern sporting rifles.

The Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show is scheduled for Feb. 2-10 in Harrisburg, Pa.

In a news release, the NWTF said it has canceled its booth space and will be rescheduling a NWTF-sanctioned turkey calling contest that was scheduled to take place during the sports show once it finds a suitable venue.

“We feel strongly about the importance of the Second Amendment in pursuit of our mission of preserving our hunting heritage,” Skip Motts, president of the NWTF’s Pennsylvania State Chapter, said in a statement. “We reached out to our chapters from across the state and received overwhelming support for taking this stand.”

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation issued the following statement after its decision to withdraw from the Pennsylvania show:

“Due to recent decisions instituted by Reed Exhibitions regarding the disallowing of legal modern sporting rifles, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will withdraw as an exhibitor and conductor of the elk calling contest from the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show in Pennsylvania. RMEF believes the actions taken by Reed, a British company, are detrimental to the Second Amendment and our right as Americans to bear arms.

“RMEF reached this decision after careful deliberations and taking into account the stance of our members, volunteers, industry partners and fellow hunters. We urge Reed Exhibitions to reconsider its policies to avoid a divisive and political atmosphere so RMEF can take part in an event that generates needed revenue for important on-the-ground conservation and hunting heritage projects in the region.”

The Outdoor Wire Digital Network this morning included a list of the organizations, companies and individuals that are boycotting the show in its daily online newsletter. Here’s the list as of this morning:

Abner Druckenmiller

Ambush Firearms

American Whitetails of PA

Antler Insanity

Appalachian Big Game TV

Arrowhead Outdoors

Athens Archery

Atlantic Tactical

Avian-X Decoys

Bangin Redhedz

Bear Archery

Blitz TV

The Bear Whisperer

Bob Mercier

Bohning Archery

Bone Collectors

Boondock Outdoors

Bowfreakz.com

BowHunter Planet

Bowhunting.com

Bow Life, LLC

Cabela’s

Campbell Cameras

Camo Addiction

CanCooker

Chris Brackett

Cold Steel Knives

Continental Divide Outfitters

Cross Canyon Arms

Cutting Edge Bullets

Dead Ringer

Deer and Deer Hunting.com

Direct Action Tactical Firearms

Domari Nolo Defense Consulting

Dominator 365

Down N Dirty Outdoors

DuckWater Boats

Eastern Chapter Wild Sheep Foundation

Eastern Outdoors

Eddie Salter

Family Traditions TV

Farmland Trophies Outfitting

Firearms Industry Consulting Group

Foiles Migrators

Forbes Turkey Calls

FoxPro Game Calls

Fred Eichler

Full Circle Outdoors

Ghost River Outfitters

Gone Wild Outdoors

Gut-N-Tag

Haley Heath

Heartland Whitetails

Hevi-Shot

High Lonesome Outfitters

HookHunt

Hoyt

Hunters and Guides Connection

Hunter Safety Systems

H.S. Specialties

Hunter’s Specialties

International Bowhunting Organization

IceHole Coolers

IScope

Jay Gregory

Jim Shockey

Keystone Country Store

Keystone Elk Country Alliance

King of the Mountain Inc.

Kinsey’s Outdoors

KodaBow

Lancaster Archery Supply

Larry Weishuhn

Lee & Tiffany Lakosky

Major League Bowhunter

Men in Treestands Productions

Midwest Whitetail Adventures

Muddy Outdoors

Dominance is Everything Hunting System

Matt Morett

Mountain Dog Chews

NasHunt Outdoors

National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF)

Nature Blinds

Northern Hideaway Outfitters

Open Season TV

Outdoor Channel Outfitters

Outdoor Edge Knives

Ozonics Hunting

PA Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs

PA Taxidermy Association

PA Trappers Association

Pat & Nicole Reever

Pat Strawser Custom Calls

Pipeline Ridge Hunting Preserve

Primal Urge Outdoors

Primos Hunting Calls

PSE Archery

Radical Hunter

Ralph & Vicki Cianciarulo

Ranew’s Outdoor Equipment

Revolution Hunting

Rhino Outdoors

Rick White

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF)

Rougeaux Taxidermy

Savage Outdoors

SecureIt Tactical

Skull Shine

Smith & Wesson

Southern Game Calls

Spook Spann

Sportsmen of North America TV

Stan Potts

Stay Ready Inc.

Stokerized Stabilizers

Susquehanna River Waterfowlers Association

Table Mountain Outfitters

The Warmbag

The Sportsman’s Shop

TNT Archery

Tom Dokken

Tough Country Products

Trent Cole

Trijicon Inc.

Trop Gun Shop

Turnbull Manufacturing

Whitetail Bosses

Whitetail Freaks

Whitetail Heaven Outdoors

Wild Outdoors

Wired Outdoors

Woodcock Limited of PA

Wyvern Creations

X-Stand Treestands

Zink Calls

Zook Cabins

2 Million Bullets

24-7 Hunting TV

Pittman-Robertson Act marks 75 years of conservation success

This week marks the 75th anniversary of the Pittman-Robertson Act and hunters and recreational shooters across the country can give themselves a pat on the back for their contributions to wildlife and conservation.

It would be safe to say that few programs have played a greater role in improving wildlife habitat. From national wildlife refuges to state wildlife management areas, Pittman-Robertson is an essential source of funding for on-the-ground habitat work.

The act is named after Nevada Sen. Key Pittman and Virginia Rep. Absalom Willis Robertson, who sponsored the legislation that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed into law on Sept. 2, 1937. Pittman-Robertson imposed an 11 percent tax on guns and ammunition to fund wildlife habitat and related conservation projects.

According to a news release that crossed my desk this week from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the act raises more than $280 million annually for conservation and has generated more than $2 billion since its passage. States receive a portion of the tax based on a formula that includes their size and number of licensed hunters.

“Hunting is conservation. There is no greater proof of that than hunters who successfully lobbied government so many years ago to tax themselves — all for the benefit of wildlife,” David Allen, president and CEO of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, said in a statement. “That continuing and ever-increasing funding remains the lion’s share for today’s conservation efforts, too.”

Sportsmen’s groups respond to federal wolf delisting plan

Here’s what a couple of sportsmen’s groups had to say today about the Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to remove wolves in the Great Lakes region from federal protection under the Endangered Species Act:

 “This announcement is a major victory for sportsmen, conservation, and wildlife management. We applaud the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for their decision to recognize the scientific facts regarding wolves in the Great Lakes region. This is how the Endangered Species Act is supposed to be implemented. When animal populations recover, those species should be removed from the list and returned to state management. This has been a long, hard fought battle and is not likely over as we expect the animal rights lobby to turn to the courts to stop the delisting. We will be ready.”
— Rob Sexton, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation senior vice president.   

 “Barring any legal holdups from animal rights activists, we should see science-based wolf management and control measures go into effect by February, and that’s great news for conservation overall in the Great Lakes region.”
— David Allen, president and CEO of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.