Idaho Sportsman Working to Protect Your Access and Opportunity.
Hunters, anglers, and trappers around the great state of Idaho have a new organization they can trust to protect their access and opportunity as sportsmen, women, or children.
Idaho Sportsmen was founded in 2020. The organization thus far has worked diligently on policy, outreach, and education. Their goal is to make the world of outdoor sports in Idaho easier for individuals while protecting the public and private land that is being used.
Lewiston local Brad Melton is one of the six board members of the organization and is thrilled to be making a difference for sportsmen throughout Idaho. Melton has lived in Lewiston for about 16 years and has hunted, fished, trapped, hiked, and everything in between around the area. Melton was approached to be a board member because of the connections he had from being an Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner. Ultimately, he accepted because the direction of the organization was something he firmly believed in.
“What we are doing right now is not just for while we’re here and for people like me who want to go out and recreate,” Melton said. “It is for my children, grandchildren, and the families that go generations throughout the state. We want to preserve those opportunities in Idaho because we have special resourses here”.
Melton went on to explain his favorite memory of being outdoors was hunting with his two boys. Even in the times that nothing was harvested, just being outside and seeing the true beauty of Idaho was something that he believed everyone should experience. This is what Idaho Sportsman works towards.
As a board member, Melton provides feedback and direction regarding issues that go through the Idaho Fish and Game Commission, as well as, legislation at the capital. As this has been one of the longest legislative sessions to date, Idaho Sportsmen has stayed busy fighting for access and opportunity for the everyday sportsmen.
Founder and Executive Director of Idaho Sportsmen, Benn Brocksome, mentioned that there were many areas of success in just the first year.
“We want to make it so you don’t need a law degree to read hunting regulations,” Brocksome said. “Simplicity is better, so we focus a little on everything involved in enjoying the outdoors. We try to be less about mandates and more about doing what is right for communities around the state”.
The first win for the organization was supporting legislation that lets private property owners allow individuals to hunt, trap, and recreate on their property and not be held liable if an injury occurs.
“If someone rolls an ankle the landowner would not have to worry about being held responsible,” Melton said. “Many individuals want to open their resources, however, financially cannot be responsible for the injury. Overall, this allows hunters more access to our great state”.
The organization has also worked to protect trappers by modernizing and unifying bait laws, protecting private shooting ranges, and much more.
For more information about Idaho Sportsmen and to see how you can get involved, visit https://idahosportsmen.org