In this prequel episode, Houndsman XP welcomes Dan Gates to the show. Last week we ran an episode laying out the urgent issue of Colorado Initiative 91 that, if passed, will make it illegal to effectively and scientifically manage wildlife by hunting lions and bobcats. In this episode, we introduce you to Dan and the work he has spent 30 years doing.
The Coloradans for Responsible Wildlife Management (CRWM) is a premier organization that has built sustainable relationships with professional wildlife managers and Colorado Legislators. Through this laborious endeavor, Dan has placed himself and the CRWM in a key position to have a credible voice with policy makers and battle the onslaught of irresponsible wildlife management policies of the animal rights groups and their allies in state government.
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This is the Houndsman XP
podcast. The original podcast for the complete Houndsman.
The podcast that represents our lifestyle of extreme performance.[00:02:00]
Uniting houndsmen across the globe from east to west, north to south. If you're going to catch a cat or a lion, you have to have teamwork. We take you to the wildest places on earth. Yeah. So how many days a week can you spend? As much as I can, to be honest with you, anytime that I get them, I'm out there.
Join us for every heart pounding adventure on Houndsman XP. I'll tell you, like I tell everyone else, I'm going to hunt whether you're here or not, so you might as well be here.
Welcome to the Houndsman XP podcast. I'm your host, Chris Powell, and I'm off the road. I've spent the last three weeks in New Mexico. We're hunting a bear for a week down in the Gila. Had a great time down there. Seth came [00:03:00] up, Ed Barnes and Tanner Herr from the Dog Men podcast. Our newest show on the Houndsman XP podcast network joined us for their first ever bear hunts, and we had a great time.
You can check out the tailgate talks and things that we recorded from camp at 7, 000 feet over on our Patreon page, Seth's got that stuff all dropped over there. He's doing a great job. You can join us on Patreon by going to houndsmanxp. com. And hitting the support us tab, it'll take you right to our Patreon page.
And why should you support this show? Why should you be spending your hard earned money on Houndsman XP? We appreciate every person that already has, but let me lay a few things out for you. First and foremost is the last three weeks that I spent wasn't just hunting. I spent hours in meetings and different things about the [00:04:00] Colorado initiative, ballot initiative that's coming up for 2024.
I was in contact with the Sportsman's Alliance, CRWM that's Coloradans for Responsible Wildlife Management, Dan Gates Outfitters, professional. Outdoor enthusiasts out there and we're coming up with a real plan on this thing. So your support helps us continue to bring that message to you. That's one reason.
Also, the new Full Cry just rolled out and it's getting rave reviews. I've looked, I've read most of it myself and congrats to Jason and Danny Doobie for reviving Full cry. Man, I grew up looking at that thing and dreaming about being that houndsman that I was reading about in full cry. And it's a great publication.
And we're proud to [00:05:00] announce that when you join us on Patreon, you will get a complimentary subscription to full crime magazine. That's one reason. The other thing that you're going to get when you join us at the 12 level is a membership to Sportsman's Alliance. So those two things alone are worth about 105 bucks, 110 bucks, somewhere around in there.
So if you join us at 12 level for 144, you're already going to get 112 back of that, or 110 back of that. As soon as you sign up, so we've also got discount codes and all that stuff over there But you can check all that stuff out over on patreon I know we're wanting to get to this show and I hate long pre rolls.
There's way too much Front end advertising in these things, but we have to do that to keep the lights on and keep rolling here XP podcast is a [00:06:00] prequel and The reason I'm bringing this up and I'm running this episode now, we featured Dan Gates from CRWM last week. This podcast was recorded prior to the episode that we dropped last week.
And this is Dan Gates. We're going to talk about what the CRWM is. We're going to show you what a good job looks like for your hound organization and how we need to get involved and be supportive of that. So we're going to give you some background. I'm telling you right now, I'm going to I'm going to drop a, I haven't decided where I'm going to drop it yet.
Maybe probably YouTube, probably going to put it on our YouTube channel, but it's going to be a full length video. And we're going to talk about what's going on in Colorado. What's happening in New Mexico, what's happening all across the country in this constant fight that we have against the animal rights movement.
And. The lunacy behind [00:07:00] their philosophy on wildlife management. One of the things that I think we need to keep in mind, if you're a houndsman, this directly affects you. Okay. It doesn't matter if you're turning a hound loose in Indiana or Colorado, this affects you because this is a typical example of how man, these crazy people are hijacking responsible wildlife management.
And a group that has, is basically. Had no investment in wildlife management for the last 150 years is gaining political traction and putting things on the ballot and they're controlling our destiny. So let's put aside the mountain lion hunting deal. This is a direct attack on. What wildlife management really is.
That's what the problem is here, folks. They just chose mountain lions because we're an easy mark. We're unorganized, [00:08:00] disjointed. And we really don't swing that big of a stick in the hunting community. So they were looking at us as chumps and somebody they could pick off.
I'm telling you that there's a lot of stuff going on and we're standing up and we're saying, no, we're not. We're not chumps. We're not an easy mark. If you're going to get it, it is going to come at a high price. All right, so I'll climb down off my soapbox. You guys really need to listen to what Dan Gates has to say.
They built a great organization out there. Dan has been doing this for 30 years. I wanted to give you some background on who CRWM is, who Dan Gates is and why. Conservation organizations all across the country are backing CRWM and consider Dan Gates the tip of the spear in Colorado. If you're still listening to this pre roll, then good for you.
You're the people that we're talking to. We know that 90 [00:09:00] percent of the people aren't going to do anything, but the 10 percent of you that will, that's awesome. Man, we need you because people that I don't know, you have influence with people that will never listen to this podcast. So I want to get right into this interview with Dan Gates and the CRWM Coloradans for responsible wildlife management.
And if. When you decide that you're going to get in this fight and you're going to donate money, time, resources, you're going to know who you're backing and the philosophies of why conservation organizations like CRWM are standing up to this radical leftist. Animal rights movement and how they are hijacking the things that we paid for as hunters.
We paid for this wildlife. We've asked to be taxed on this wildlife. And while we are more than happy to share it with everyone, [00:10:00] we have paid the heftiest price for it. So here it is, folks. This is Dan Gates with CRWM. This is a box shaker. Let's get the tailgate down. It's time to dump the box.
Morning. What a beautiful face. Oh yeah. That's what everybody said. You look happy. Look at you. You're Monday morning. You're ready to get rolling and make a difference in the world. Yeah. I've been making a difference. I don't know whose difference it's been, Chris, but it's been different. Man, I hear you. I hear you.
Dan, I appreciate you taking time to be on the podcast this morning. And for this episode, I think it's going to be, you guys are doing some great work out there and I think it's going to be really informative. And this is going to be for an episode for, I think the leadership in all organizations out [00:11:00] there that are fighting for hunting and hunters rights and trying to make it make that difference that you're doing every day, Dan, so I appreciate you coming on.
Appreciate you having me, Chris. It's it's a tumultuous landscape that we're having to deal in for sure. And, just trying to put the pieces together in a unknown shaped jigsaw puzzle is probably the easiest way that I could explain it because. You have to adapt and you have to be able to change.
And I'm not sure what the picture on that jigsaw puzzle is. I think sometimes it's just the cardboard covering on the back around if you flip that puzzle over, it changes like a like a chameleon. Yeah. Yeah. Colorado where you're operating it's a. It's a scary place. It's a different place.
It's one of the strangest places that I've sat back and watched go from a state that appears to, by all intents [00:12:00] and purposes, it's a strong outdoor state. It's a strong hunting state. There's a strong heritage there. And yet. It's a weird state because of the influence that the non hunting public and the anti hunting public can have on rules and policies there.
Yeah. And everybody thinks that they that they have some valued stake. And the piece of property, whether it's public or private, and if it's public, they want to make sure that you don't do what you should be able to do. And if it's private, they want to make sure that you don't do what you should be able to do, and it's changed significantly over the course of the last 20 years or so, just because of the population growth.
If you look at some of the stuff that we had to deal with back in the mid 90s on initiative 10, which was the bear hunting band with hounds and bait and spring hunting, and then [00:13:00] subsequently in 1996 with the trapping constitutional amendment 14. We had 2. 9 million people in the state, roughly at that time, and we're approaching 6 million now and that anti hunting non consumptive use mentality has taken over substantially.
We've got twice as many people now as what we had then, and a lot of those people move in to the front range geographical areas within 25 miles east or west of I 25. And for anybody that's familiar with Colorado, it's just right along the front range, that's where 75 percent of the state's population is.
And those people come here for outdoor Advocational recreation, a lot of them. And if they don't come for that, they come for the technology industry. That is increased, similar to the Silicon Valley out in California. And they come here for the beauty and the outside. Opportunities, but it's their idea [00:14:00] of beauty and outside opportunities.
And they don't come here for the values and traditions and the heritage typically of what Colorado was formulated on and what our natural resources and wildlife depend on. Yeah. Some of the most hardcore hunters I know live in Colorado, and it's one of those things that really breaks my heart to see.
What you guys are, what you guys are having to go through out there, but I think there's a valuable lesson for the rest, anybody that's listening to this podcast, there's a valuable lesson here, everybody sits back and thinks it can happen in your home state, it can happen to you. And just like you said, in the last 20 years, we've seen doubling of the population, and I want to talk a little bit about.
The presentation that was recently put on at the outdoorsman convention, outdoorsman days there in Florence, that was just absolutely intriguing to me, but before we get there, Dan, why don't you tell everybody [00:15:00] who you are, who you represent? And give us a low down on the kind of work that you are doing in Colorado.
Chris, I, first of all, I appreciate the opportunity to talk with you. And while I'm not a celebrity, I've been hitting a fair amount of podcasts and radio shows and television shows and news broadcasts over the course of the last several years. And so first and foremost, I'm a lifetime sportsman.
I run and operate a wildlife control business and have for 37 years. Everything that we've done in our lives, my wife, my son and myself has been revolved around wildlife management and some of that has to do with, translocation and habitat restoration and mitigation efforts without lethal control.
But there's a fair amount of lethal control that goes under our business side of things. But when you translate that into the hunting side of it, there's a fair amount of lethal side on the hunting side. Our objective is to pursue and harvest, even though a lot of us aren't successful at different levels.
But I've been. Affiliated with the [00:16:00] Colorado Trappers and Predator Hunters Association and have been the president of that for the last 10 years. And back in 2017, myself and a buddy of mine by the name of Chris Journey we organized and started an organization called the Coloradoans for Responsible Wildlife Management.
We did that in 2017 with the goal of trying to provide some sort of connectivity at the Colorado State Legislature, which in 2018, we hired our 1st lobbyist. And now we've got three full time lobbyists at the Capitol in 2018 as well, governor Jared Polis and animal activist individual with his. With his spouse Marlon Reese.
They took office and I say they, because Marlon is pretty much running the animal rights side of things. They took office in 2018. So it, it was the imperative times that we had to engage in. And so we've increased our awareness on the landscape, our relevancy on the landscape. We're the [00:17:00] only organization in the state of colorado that provides lobbying representation at the colorado state capitol for sportsmen, women and conservation efforts.
Now that might sound like that we're putting ourselves on a pedestal or something, but the all the acronym organizations that are out there, the R. M. E. F. S. And the N. W. T. F. S. And the M. D. F. S. They're all part of a coalition that we built Which is called the Colorado Wildlife Conservation Project. They do their, the yeoman's work of habitat conservation and wildlife conservation.
We don't do any of that from the CRWM acronym. The Coloradoans for Responsible Wildlife Management. We do the fight. And trying to do that, trying to do that fight. Is a hurdle in itself because you're trying to get to a point where individuals need to see value and what you're trying to produce and what you're trying to conduct and what task is at hand.
And if they don't see that there's a fight necessary, it's hard to get them to understand why you're doing what you do, because we don't have a membership organization. We don't give away [00:18:00] free knives and backpacks and we don't have magazines and stuff that we do. And we do it off fundraising. We do it off contributions.
And that gives us the opportunity to be able to provide that lobbying representation on, on, on multiple other notes I've been appointed by the last three governors in the state of Colorado, to different boards and committees, along with different directors of our Colorado Parks and Wildlife and I'm vice chair of this or, chair of that, or committee chair of something on different components.
And I tell you what, Chris, we're fighting our ass off, literally, to get to the point where we can survive to fight another day. And the assault that Colorado sportsmen and women are under, that our habitat and our wildlife resources are under, is not always undeniable, it might be insurmountable. And we're just trying to figure out a way to stay relevant on the landscape.
Partner with like minded organizations, which we have a great big coalition of [00:19:00] reach outside of our state boundaries and go to another level on making sure that other states don't fall like what Colorado has in the past and while it's continued trickle downward. So that's a rundown on me specifically and what we're trying to accomplish.
But there's a lot of work to do and we damn sure haven't accomplished what we would like to accomplish, man. There's a lot of ground to cover just in what you stated right there, Dan. It's when I look at Colorado I look at it as. Absolutely the number one battleground state for the future of hunting with hounds in the West.
When California fell, everybody was like, Oh, that's California. And we expected that in California. And then when Oregon and Washington had serious damage to their hound pursuits, everybody was like yeah, we hate it and it's too bad. But it was expected because all of those Californians have moved up north to, to Portland and Seattle.
So yeah, that was, but [00:20:00] Colorado in my mind is we can't give any more ground, give up any more ground there because it has been a trend setting state. And it's never, it's always been a very traditional state for me, because, from being back East, everybody, if they're hunting out West. 90 percent of the people that I know that go to elk hunt or go, go to mule deer hunt or whatever, if they want to hunt a Western state, they're headed to Colorado.
It's just absolutely the most popular state where people have gone to hunt. And so it's a boundary. It's a it's a battleground state in my mind. And that's why I wanted to have you on. And there's a couple of things here that I want to talk about before we get too far. To set this up is, you talk about the organization and [00:21:00] everything that you're doing and being a tough fight and a struggle.
And it might seem to the listener, it's what do you want to talk about what they're doing in Colorado? Cause they keep losing, but. It's one, it's not that you're losing. It's that you're hanging on and you are surviving. And I think there's a bright future ahead. And I think what you guys are doing sets a perfect model for other States that haven't have may, I know Wyoming just came up with a new hound organization.
Nate, the leadership from that organization needs to listen to what you're doing. In Colorado so that they can be prepared for the future, Montana, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, even States back East here need to pay attention to see how you're operating. And I want to show people what a good job looks like and what a real organization does.
So let's break down. You talked about the alphabet soup of Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, National Wild [00:22:00] Turkey Federation. There's others there, the Sheep Foundation, Mule Deer Foundation. So why are they not, I think we have to go back to square one. I think when people pay their membership to like the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, they want the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to rise up and fight for their rights.
And why can't an organization like that do that? First and foremost, Chris, most of those organizations are classified under the IRS tax structure as 501 C threes as a charitable organization. And so it doesn't allow them to do very much if any lobbying and campaigning for specific things.
Now they might be able to send out call to action letters and get their memberships to do and RMEF has some representation in Washington, D. C., but originally those organizations weren't structured 50 years ago to get [00:23:00] engaged in the fight because the fight wasn't part of the cause. It was part of the stewardship and part of the habitat conservation component because Of what happened through, history on Dingell Johnson and Pitman Robertson excise taxes and what we've done for, charters and bylaws and so forth.
That being said, all of those groups, like I say, do the yeomans work when it comes to what they signed up for, the onslaught 30, 40, 50 years ago on what we have to deal with in today's environment. And so while some of them are trying to figure out how to adapt and how to create a detour and modify their approach on the landscape, they still have to answer to the members.
They still have to answer to board of directors. And through their bylaws and through their charters and through their mission statements and so forth, that's the main reason. And when we are a 501 C four, so we are not a charitable contribution to the organization. So if somebody gives us a hundred dollars or 10, 000, it's not tax deductible.
It is on [00:24:00] those other organizations and that's the driving component. We can do most of our lobbying and campaigning can be conducted under that 501c4 and we do education as well. So it has to be divvied up. It's between 51 and 49 percent one way or the other education and campaign. When you get into a C3 status, most of those and they might expand it a little bit, but most of those are less than 10 percent of their money generated could go to campaigning or into lobbying efforts, right?
So what they do is they join other organizations or collaborate, collaborative efforts, like what we did here. And it gives them a voice on the landscape, but they can't go and talk about something specific unless it has to do with their specific charter, their task and their bylaws within that organization.
So if something was going to affect Habitat, RMEF and NWTF could engage in that. But if it's outside of that habitat side of things, they're starting to, they're starting to cross the [00:25:00] lines and intersect some things that they maybe shouldn't engage in. Yeah. That's the main reason. The 501c3 deals a slippery slope and the IRS is always moving the goalposts on that.
Do you know, mainly because of who the sitting at the top of the heap, calling the shots at the time, with every election cycle. And when the 501c3. Language actually says that an unreasonable amount of your efforts can't be spent on campaign or lobbying type efforts, political type stuff. Who that is totally wide open for any person to define, look at your books and say we think you're being unreasonable.
What is unreasonable? It depends on who's sitting in the.
And that's why it's so important for all of us to be members of multiple associations. But I gotta give, I gotta give a throw out to Safari club [00:26:00] international. They have a C4 arm of their C3 institution and they probably do more on the landscape as a whole. than most other of those organizations.
And I'm not here just to tote SCI, but they have offices in Washington, and then they actually have attorneys throughout the country that they work with or that are established under SCI to be able to do exactly what we're talking about. Most of those other organizations that we're referencing don't have that capability at this point in time because they haven't diversified enough to be able to do so under the tax code.
And that's a big swamp land to dive into but you start talking about taxes and different things like that. And, I think people donate. When they see the ability to get a tax break, but even when you get into the tax code, you've got to have a certain amount of charitable donation compared to your income for it to count.
And you can't exceed this and you can't exceed [00:27:00] that. So I'd like to maybe maybe you're not the, this isn't the right show to do that, to do this on, but sometimes we need, sometime we need to have an education class on how do we support a C4 that's getting in the fight. And still be able to take that off for taxes and simply set your kennel up as an LLC or a sole proprietor and track that membership to like the your organizations and other organizations that you're paying into, and then you can write it all off as a business expense.
But that's a whole other podcast with an accountant. Let's talk about, and I'm not throwing anybody under the bus because. There's no need to like, if I pay my dues and for my audience, let's just dial it down to where my audience might be able to understand it or I didn't mean to sound like they couldn't understand complex issues.
That's not what I'm saying at all. It's just [00:28:00] oftentimes I see in the hound world, them aggravated and I've been here myself. So I'm going to put myself on this. I used to feel like some of the registries like United Kennel Club and professional kennel club ought to stand up and fight.
They ought to stand up and. But that's not their business model. There are other organizations out there that, that are set up for that. And so when we talk about an organization like RME, RMEF, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the work that they've done has been astounding. It really has been, they've been a habitat.
They've been a resource management advocate and. And we would not have near what we have without them, but how do you let's really lay it out. How did the Colorado trappers and predator hunters and how did you build those bridges and what kind of [00:29:00] benefits have you seen from being on board with them or even whatever it is, SCI or whatever.
Yeah, like that, that Colorado Wildlife Conservation Project that I referenced, Chris there's 23 organizations in that coalition now, some with national representation, some with state representation, some with local representation. But the conglomerative effort of getting those like minded individuals.
Together in one room. And we meet every other week during the regular part of the year and every week during the legislative session. And how we did that was some of which was shaming some of which was, call calling people out and say, when the hell are you going to get on board and when you're going to activate.
Some of which was out of necessity that either we saw or they saw some of it was collective mindset to where you realized that we are not each other's enemies and more often than not,[00:30:00] through the historical times that I've been alive anyway. Bow hunters have been in opposition or odds with muzzleloading hunters and houndsmen have been in odds with trappers and everybody, up the, yeah everybody's fighting for their territory.
And I think one thing that I've done personally is, admonishing or belittling our rank and file is not the best tactic. However, if you get somebody aside, after they speak in public or they do a presentation for a wildlife commission or they testify for the state legislature.
They're there collectively with you guys. But the first thing that they do is they get up and they say, I'm a bow hunter and or I'm a houndsman or I'm an elk hunter. And I don't want you to take this away. And this is the reason why if they would get up first and foremost and say, My name is such and such John Doe, and I'm a sportsman, and I really like to bow hunt [00:31:00] because what we've done is segregate ourselves unintentionally.
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I flip open on X and just start studying the map. When I'm riding trails, I put the tracking app on. It helps me get around in strange country. I could mark water sources, food sources, bear sign, just all kinds of options within onX. You need to check out onX maps by going to houndsmanxp. com.
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Hey folks, there's a few companies that I want to recognize before we get to the podcast, because they have already made a commitment to be. Directly involved and get behind this effort that's going on in Colorado to defeat the animal extremists out there and keep responsible science based wildlife management at the forefront for managing our wildlife that we as hunters have paid for those three companies.
Let me run through them. I might even mention four here. All right. So the first one is Freedom Hunters. I'm very proud to partner with Freedom Hunters and be the coordinator for outdoor adventures and hound adventures for Freedom Hunters. And it's easy to get involved. You send me an email and say, Hey, [00:33:00] I'd love to take America's veterans on a hound hunting adventure.
And we'll get you hooked up. It can be as simple as a day in the field, rabbit hunting lion hunting whatever you're into, we can get a veteran to you and you can show them why we love to do the things that we do and make a big difference in their life. The next company that I want to mention is Cajun lights.
I called LW on the way back from New Mexico, told him what was going on in Colorado, and he said, sign me up. I am in for whatever you need. And we're going to be doing a lot of cool stuff with Cajun lights coming up to generate the much needed funding for this multi million dollar fight that we're going to face in Colorado.
If you're shopping, check out Cajun lights. If you need a light, obviously they have those, but they've got all kinds of other dog supplies that you need as a houndsman, everything [00:34:00] from Garmin. To kennel supplies, it's all on their website. They've got hunting attire, they've got coats, they've got vests. Just check them out, folks.
You got to see how much stuff they offer and they are supporting you. So shop with people that support you. The next organization is the horses, hounds and mule sale. If you heard us talk about that, we dropped some podcasts. I didn't get to go, but Seth made it there, did a lot of coverage on the horses, hounds and mules, Trey Naramore, talked to him on the way back.
We're working on some projects there too, and they're going to help raise funds to fight this. Initiative 91 in the state of Colorado. All right. Who else am I missing? Oh, I know somebody. How about dogs are treed Kevin and Nancy Hall. You guys have seen them at your Western field trials. You've seen the tie outs.
We've done YouTube videos. We've done stuff on their [00:35:00] hydration systems. Paws are protected top of the line products for you as a houndsman. And they are more than happy to, to support us and. You houndsmen in this fight in Colorado. So make sure you check them out and you can find all of these organizations, companies, whatever you want to call them on our website at houndsmanxp.
com. Go to the sponsors page or partner's page. And that link will take you right to their website, support people that are supporting you. Let's get back to the podcast. No different in my mind. And this is maybe a bad analogy to some, but a good analogy to others. I just came from a Rockies game yesterday, Colorado Rockies game that we had a suite in for the Colorado wildlife council.
And we had a few senators and commissioners and 60 different people in there from different organizations that we support and that we work with. And we are sportsmen. And we are Americans. And when people get up [00:36:00] and turn around and say, I'm an African American or an Asian American or Latino American or whatever, I think it automatically creates a divide, just like what we've done on the sportsman side of things.
If you talk to an animal activist, they say I'm an animal activist. They don't give a crap what they're activating against. Yeah. They're not saying I'm a PETA supporter. I'm a HSUS supporter that they have learned that the enemy on my enemy is still my friend. They've embraced that a lot better than hunters have.
We are so tribalistic and we break that down even within the hound hunting community. I'm a bear hunter. I'm a lion hunter. I don't listen to the podcasts that talk about, Western lion hunting, because I want to hear Coon hunting stories, blah, blah, blah. I hunt walkers, you hunt blue ticks, it's, it goes on and on.
We've been conditioned in America to be. In our own silos and be tribalistic. And that is not a plan for survival in the future. Not in this landscape because. There was some information put out [00:37:00] not too long ago that indicated something to the effect, and this isn't verbatim, but the average sportsman is a member of seven different sporting related or habitat conservation organizations, but we are outnumbered on the landscape about 20 to one, when it comes to organizational representation from those anti type hunting groups.
And, but the kicker is those anti hunting groups. pretty much members of two or three individual groups. So they dedicate more time and effort to two or three specific organizations. Now, some might be members of five and some that might be members of one, I can't tell you how many damn magazines I get a month and how many life memberships that I have.
But I get counted about 12 times or 13 times for every one of those, when it's only really one of me and our opposition gets counted about 10 times, but it's really only maybe five or six of them, but they [00:38:00] outnumber us so substantially, we have to figure out a way to make sure that when I'm talking about a whitetail deer hunter in Illinois, or a coon trapper in Indiana, or an alligator harvester in Florida, we're doing the same stuff.
And we just, we've divided and conquered to where we don't put as much value into everybody else's problems because it doesn't affect us. But when that other guy is gone and that other advocation is gone, now it starts to come back in our wheelhouse and it affects us. We are not united as a whole.
We could be the most powerful bunch of individuals when it comes to a sector of the community because of the passion and the drive and the money and what we do for the landscape and the influence that we have. We divide and conquer ourselves more readily, unintentionally. We don't intentionally do it, it's just, it's part of human nature, the way we act.
So how much value is there in that Dan, or are we hurting ourselves by diversifying and putting our membership in so many different things? Talk [00:39:00] to me a little bit about that because you threw me for a loop there. We are being counted multiple times, but are we dividing our attention too much?
Are we, what are we what's your advice on that? I think representing yourself. As a hunter or an angler or a sportsman or a woman is the first and foremost thing, not only to unite ourselves, but to make sure that we don't get subdivided by our enemies. Or ourselves, for that matter we're in a position to where, we have a team, we just don't know what sport we're playing sometimes and what positions we're supposed to play, I think and you would be surprised how many people didn't show up to our state Capitol on February 3rd, 2022.
On a mountain lion and bobcat related issue because they didn't heart. They didn't pursue bobcats or mountain lions. And they're like, it's not going to affect me. I'm like who the hell do you think they're going to come to when they [00:40:00] get rid of this? And we won that four to one when we were supposed to lose four to one and we sent them back into their hole for a little bit, the antis back into their hole.
And and people that started to see the relevance of landscape participation started to, get engaged. That's actually when that Colorado Wildlife Conservation Project was formulated on the eve of that Senate Bill 31. And within two months, we had 20 organizations, and that's how we built that coalition up.
And, the representation of those organizations is probably somewhere in the neighborhood of two and a half to three million people. If you take collectively their entire membership level. Break that down for me again and give me the name. Cause I am struggling with that. I've got the Colorado predator and, or trapper and predator hunters association, but that's just simply one organization that belongs to a bigger organization.
I want you to break. Yeah. So the Colorado wildlife conservation project [00:41:00] was formulated. In late January of 2022 to immediately build a coalition on top of what we created with the Coloradoans for Responsible Wildlife Management, which is the lobbying organization that we formulated. So some of those other groups didn't want to jump in on the lobbying side because.
They're again, their bylaws, their charters, their tax status theoretically doesn't allow them to do but they could be part of another coalition to stand hand in hand, locked arms to be able to utilize not only their logo, but their gravitas and their expansion on the landscape to get other individual organizations.
On board to say, look, if you're going to screw with us, you're screwing with us, you're not screwing with them and we're going to sit on the sidelines and walk it's us. And I think that's the team effort that needs to be built on a broad scale. And I'm not [00:42:00] saying we're bulletproof by any means, cause we're under more significant attacks and assaults, the bigger, better, meaner, faster, stronger that you give the impression of, or that you become the more that the opposition is going to bring to your doorstep.
Which is what they're in the process of doing now. But we're more prepared now than what we were two years ago and we've been undefeated and we're, and we were more prepared two years ago than what we were five years ago. But the assault and the attack continually gets bigger. But that at the same time, Chris, Empowers us and creates relevancy on the landscape because now we got other organizations jumping in and going, Hey, I think we need to be part of this.
Hey, we want to listen into this and see if we can join. Hey, what's it take to participate on some of these things? None of those groups were doing that previously because they didn't think it was their fight wheelhouse. All right. How did you do it? We got to get down to how this organization was formed, how it was pulled together, what it took to get there.
And I think you said something [00:43:00] that I want to address real quickly because Naomi first talked about it a few weeks ago on this podcast. Was the lion Bobcat links, hunting Senate bill. And was that 30 Senate bill 32 and 2022? Is That was 31 in Senate Senate bill 31 and 31, 22. Yeah. So that was defeated.
So that's a reason why you need. And that was a a shocker to me. I was listening to it online. I was watching the comments. I was watching all of this. And I thought, wow, that this is going to be a bad deal and it came together. And I've got some other thoughts on it, but it was a victory.
And so let's talk about what a good job looks like, but how did you get every, and I don't want to keep saying you, but how did your, CRWM or come together and bring this project to the forefront? [00:44:00] Cause quite honestly, trappers aren't known for their big influence, their swing of influence and things like that.
You would think that some of the other organizations would have been leading the charge on this. Just tell us how it all came together. So I'll go back several years in 2019 HSUS and wild earth guardians. Submitted a citizen's petition to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to ban the harvesting of bobcats period, and that was with a new governor appointed commission 11 different commission appointments.
That we were told that we would likely lose seven to four or six to five, and we won unanimously 11 to zero. That was in March of, excuse me, May of 2019. They came back at our doorstep in 2020 but COVID hit, so we were forced to go virtually like [00:45:00] you and I are today. And I didn't know how the hell we were going to turn around and replicate, duplicate something that we did the year before when we put 400 people in a room and convince those commissioners that was the right thing to do.
We won that 2020 decision online unanimously with the governor's particular commission. 11 to zero, they came back to us in 2021 to the commission to try it again. And we were out of COVID, but the meetings were such to where you were going to have to wear a mask and do social distancing and all this stuff.
They backed out three weeks before because they saw the undeniable effort that we were putting together and they'd already had their asses kicked for two years. They don't like to lose. Because it's not a money making rate, not opportunity for them. So they pulled the petition in 2021 because I think that it was pretty evident that they were going to lose.[00:46:00]
And and one thing that's interesting about this whole scenario is they were losing not only with this governor's appointments. They were losing with the attorneys that were now commissioners that the governor appointed that used to be the attorneys for the Humane Society of the United States and Wild Earth Guardians.
It was their attorneys that used to represent them in state and federal court and they were still voting against them. No kidding. So they went back to the drawing board and then in January of 2022, they went to the state legislature. So the coalition that we had built in 1920 and 21. Was a more of a ragtag coalition underneath of the umbrella of the Colorado and for responsible wildlife management.
And when we did sign on letters and stuff, we would get logos from different organizations. All of those other organizations that eventually became the other organization, the Colorado Wildlife Conservation Project. So we were the umbrella. We were getting everybody's logos. We were doing sign on letters.
We had coordinated [00:47:00] testimony and input. 2022 came along and. We, we didn't know what we were going to be able to do that was to be relevant enough at the state Capitol. It's a different landscape going from a commission to the Capitol, and it's going to be a different landscape from the Capitol to about initiative.
But we put 355 people at the Capitol in February of 2022, still under COVID restrictions about social distancing and so forth. And it wasn't a guilt trip. It was. It was countless hours on the phone and driving around the state and talking to individual organization leaders and saying, now's the time.
If you think that what we did before was enough, you're mistaken. And we need not only your people, but we need your people's people. And if it's not all of them, we need some of them. And if it's not the key players, we need representatives of those organizations. I'll tell you what, Chris, you're a houndsman, like snow.
And on [00:48:00] the eve of February 3rd, it was four below zero in Denver. And it snowed about 18 inches. Most places around the state, great, big, giant blizzard hit. And I had the houndsmen all across the state calling me that we had connected with going, Hey Gates, sorry, but we're not coming. It snowed. And, we're going lion hunting and I'm thinking you dirty bastards if you're going to turn around and sacrifice.
The opportunity to fight for what you're going out to engage in. Are you really caring enough to be able to turn around and engage in the fight? And so without those other organizations, if that's point in time, there was a lot of houndsmen that showed up, but there was a hell of a lot that said they were going to and bring other people and come in numbers.
That they didn't because it snowed. I saw the resiliency of the people that care. And I saw the lack of care for the people that didn't show up. And I tell you what, that old adage that, 10 percent of the people do 90 percent of the work can not be any truer when you [00:49:00] go to the commission meeting or a legislative hearing, because that's out of most people's wheels, wheelhouse, and they don't want to engage in it.
They're not comfortable. Whether they go to testify or not, they need to go to support, but each and every one of those organizations for the Colorado Wildlife Conservation Project, bellied up to the bar, sent their people, sent their representatives, and the ones that couldn't make it still zoomed in to the legislative hearing to be able to testify.
And if you saw that yourself, and you saw the remarkable output that we accumulated. And the testimony that happened, we had people come from around the country. Still, we had people fly in during the blizzard. When we need that, whether it's in Indiana or Minnesota or Montana or Oregon, Washington or Colorado, everybody needs to drop what they're doing and pick themselves up by their bootstraps and drive or write a letter.
Or fly or get a van load of people or whatever you need to do, because the antis [00:50:00] show up in force, no matter what we have to figure out, go ahead. Yeah. What kind of numbers are we talking about? When you say that houndsmen started calling in and saying, Hey man, it snowed last night and I've got the opportunity to catch a lion.
What do you think that did for your for your presence here at the state Capitol? We ended up at 300. Probably cut it in by, knocked it off by two thirds. No kidding. It was, yeah, we had confirmation of eight to legitimate confirmation, eight to 900 individuals. From around the state that said, we will be there.
My friend and I, my uncle and I, my next door neighbor. And I, my outfitter buddy and I, my game warden and I, we will be there. And we ended up with 355 and it got to the point to where I would see somebody's number come up on my phone. I wouldn't even answer it cause I didn't want to be pissed and turn around and chew somebody's ass.
And the most debilitating part of that whole process was the day and a half before. [00:51:00] all the way up to the morning of when either the text messages, the emails or the phone calls came in and overwhelmingly over freaking well mainly it was Individuals that were more concerned about one day of hunting than trying to save hunting overall.
Now, the bad part about this is, Chris, we won 4 1. I was just getting ready to say that. Go ahead. Yeah, we won 4 1. The 60 percent of the people that said that they were going to be there... And I haven't talked to every single one of them, but a lot of them have said I'm glad I didn't need to be there.
The hell you didn't need to be there just because we won then with the showing that we did, doesn't mean that, that we're not going to have to do that again, and if we'd had two or three times as many people there to start with. Maybe it would have showed such optimal force that our opposition would think twice.
They think that they [00:52:00] lost by by the skin of their chinny chin because it was still four to one, we overwhelmed them at the Capitol with 355 people. Think what we'd have done with a thousand. I was just getting ready to say that, you have that kind of show of force to show up, especially in the weather conditions you, you had, and houndsmen aren't scared of snow.
No, I was gonna, I was flying in there. But I thought, man, I'm going to get stranded in Kansas city or someplace like that. And cause we leaned into it heavy. When you guys were in the middle of that fight, we leaned into it heavy. I contacted a lot of different people and made them aware of what was going on.
And we did podcasts about it and things like that. But I was planning to come and. It's, you had that same thing and it's what am I going to do now? But I can also, you're like 15 hours away by car. I'm talking to guys that were two or three hours away by car. I was just going to say that if I had a, [00:53:00] but I would also think that, if I had a, an epic mountain lion hunt planned, I drove through a damn blizzard.
To get to the Swan Valley one time, so I'm throwing myself under the bus here, but it's also a deal. There's no butts about it. I didn't show up, but the thing I like what you said, you put a thousand people on the steps of the Capitol and you lock up traffic downtown you've got to make it inconvenient.
And a headache for the legislators inside that hall and the committee members in that side, that hall, because they got to look for overthrow. They've got to look for overflow rooms because they can't have people standing outside when it's minus four. They don't want the liability. They've got security issues.
They've got parking issues. They've got all these other things that are going on. And now all of a sudden they're like. Man, we don't want to go through that shit show again. So the next time this comes across our desk, we're going to say not today. We can't do [00:54:00] this again. We're just, we're still reeling from 2022.
But now we're looking at, we're looking at this thing, we're in its ugly head again. We're looking at it, we're in its ugly head and on, on the coattails or the heels of our victory, we were shut down substantially just as everybody else was because of COVID. You can only do a certain amount.
So much of this became a zoom component. You and I probably wouldn't be doing the same type of thing if we hadn't had COVID, it would have been. Some other format but, we, for quite some time, we've been running and utilizing the opportunity for the congressional sportsman's foundation, sportsman's legislative caucus at the Capitol.
And I help MC the monthly meetings for that caucus with our representatives in the state legislature, both in the house and the Senate, and both on the Republican democratic side. And so every year since right before COVID, we've done sportsman's day at the Capitol and we've been fortunate enough to have decent enough weather, but we put three or 400 [00:55:00] people on the steps of the Capitol and we feed the legislators and all the sportsman community, a wild game feed.
This past year it was on April 27th and I think we fed almost 500 people, had great weather. But we're building relevancy with all of these other organizations to be able to do that at the capitol. We also do a legislative reception the first two weeks of the legislative session. We do the letters, legislative reception and we feed wild game and have this interconnectivity with legislators that are so inclined that want to pay attention and participate in the caucus.
This last year in January this year, we had 34 of the 100 Colorado legislators. at that reception. We have the largest attended caucus in the capital. All of that. All that being said is fantastic compared to what we used to be. But it puts a cross hair on our back and a red dot on our front because of this administration and because of the way Colorado has changed.
And we saw [00:56:00] no other way to be able to do it than to try to escalate our presence on the landscape and try to cast a broader net. How'd you do it, Dan? Because legislators shy away from things that are controversial. They want to be in their safe space. They want to be able to appeal to everybody and get everybody's vote there.
So I want to really. Be able to talk to the guys that are out there at the Eastern Idaho Houndsman Association and New Mexico Houndsman Association. New Mexico's next on the list. I'm just going to give everybody that, that prophecy right now. New Mexico's coming. But how did you do it? How do you get 34, have the biggest caucus do all this stuff that you're doing there, show us what that.
How do you get that done? Cause I know there's people sitting out there. They're like, we couldn't even get, 20 people to come to our last association meeting. [00:57:00] So how do they pull all this together? The biggest thing is it's countless hours. It's passion. It's a chip on your shoulder. I think it's pride and it's building relationships.
And that's not only amongst your own organizations, but that's actually extending an arm and an olive branch. to like minded individuals that come off the landscape that represent your particular state. When legislators, get elected for the most part, they are ignorant on the landscape when it comes to wildlife natural resources, unless they come from that background.
And I would like to say that Colorado is a complete blue state. Every elected office we have in this state is blue. There is no red, there's no pink, there's no purple. If you went to buy us as a crayon box, you'd get, 128 colors of different shades of blue. And we are outnumbered in the house, 49 to 16.
We are outnumbered in the Senate, 23 to 12. And we still get bipartisan support on some things, not all depending on political [00:58:00] aspirations and so forth, but we still get bipartisan support. And that happens by walking up to somebody. Or having legitimate full time representation from a lobbying perspective at the Capitol, which we do, we've got those three lobbyists.
And then making sure that there are representatives of our organizations are part of that conversation that those legislators feel that we can be an added bonus or a resource on things that they're not familiar with. Now they might reach out to us or we might have to reach out to them. But they know that we're a legitimate resource.
And we're talking about the cause, not about my once wishes and desires. The cause is the North American model of wildlife conservation. The cause is sustainable stewardship of our natural resources, no matter what landscape that we come from. The cause is making sure that we have water and clean air and habitat and wildlife resources for all generations of coloradoans [00:59:00] and visitors alike.
Those are things that we've built upon to make sure that we create a message that is consistent with people that are not from our side of the fence. They're not from our landscape. Somebody who lives in Denver that was just elected to the state legislature to represent a district that's going to vote on all of our stuff has to have some knowledge about some of the stuff who they're going to get it from the antis or they're going to get it from us.
All right. So I keep trying to boil this down and boil it down. So what you're saying is that to be effective, then you have to have your messaging down in a way that is undeniably valid and can be supported on a wide base. So when you, instead of a hound organization approaching an issue like.
We want more opportunities to run our hounds, or we want to keep the opportunity to run our hound. We, [01:00:00] you are approaching this problem as, Hey, this is the North American model for wildlife conservation. The very first precept is wildlife as a public trust. So it goes for everybody. If you want to come to Colorado to look at Buffalo or elk laying in Estes park, this satisfies that and tourism's a huge deal in Colorado.
If you want to hunt. This satisfies that if you want to be a wildlife photographer, we, we can check that box off. Everything we're doing is for the greater good of wildlife because it's science based and it is a valid proven model for sustainable wildlife for all users into the future. So instead of us looking at.
Oh, I want to trap more. I want to elk hunt more. I want to be able to deer hunt more. I want more land for me. I want to be able to hunt, run my hound more days for me. You're saying I'm doing your messaging is we're doing this for everyone for wildlife, and that's why you need to be [01:01:00] involved, Mr.
Legislator. Yeah. Mr. Legislator, which then in turn Reflects back to their interactions on the landscape with their constituents, when their constituents come in pro or con of something for or against something that legislator has to be educated enough about that. And I don't care whether you're talking about roads and bridges, healthcare, abortion, gun rights, drug schools, wildlife, that they're not experts on everything.
Just, they're just elected officials like you and I, and for them to understand the important things. That affect everybody from a management perspective, the North American model is something that we can champion. Now our adversaries are trying to take it away. They're trying to subdivide it.
They're trying to, they're trying to just knock it off the map. But when you give a fact driven list of issues that legislators can investigate for themselves, there's countless examples of the North American model, [01:02:00] because why? Every state has some sort of a game and fish agency or wildlife natural resource agency.
That's part of the success. You explain Pittman Robertson and Dingell Johnson, and you explain federal tax excises, and you explain where license fees go and what happens. They start to understand. You know how many legislators I've talked to in the last 10 years, Chris, That did not understand that license fees paid for Colorado parks and wildlife, or it used to be the division of wildlife.
Why? Because they were just in the last year or two. They didn't even know there was a sportsman's caucus. They didn't even know that we were doing that. Hunters and poachers were the same in their mind, same sentence. They didn't know they're no different than talking to the UPS guy and no disrespect to UPS guys or the florist or the favorite, my favorite guy that drives in my driveway.
Yeah, there's, but there's people that don't know. And the reason they don't know is because they don't know it's not because they're stupid. It's they're ignorant on the [01:03:00] subject matter. And to that point, a significant amount of our sportsmen are ignorant on the subject matter.
They reference the North American model, ask them to give you three of the seven tenants of the model, and I'd be damn surprised if they could do ask them to tell you who they voted for in the last election and who their senator, their state representative, or their county commissioner is. If they can't do any of that stuff, they don't know what the model is.
How do they argue on behalf of anything that we're trying to advocate for? Exactly. I, yeah, it's the sportsman's alliance has been dropping going state by state and dropping how many hunters a state as how many dollars they generate they're doing that impresses me that they're willing to.
Put that time and effort to dig deep and find that information and then get that message out there. And the reason I think it's valuable. Is it helps us build that narrative to be able to talk to [01:04:00] legislators and it's blown people away. When I've taken the information that the sportsman's alliances put out the last year and presented that to people that didn't understand hunting or the funding for wildlife or anything like that.
They're like, are you serious that much money they don't it's. So anytime that we can do that, and we know that dollar signs get the attention of politicians and bureaucrats. So it's our job, it's our job as a hunter to be able to talk about these things in a way that, that helps our cause and it's imperative.
I know there's tons of people out there that are, shaking their fists and beating the wind with their fists because they think they're not getting anywhere and in the, in our hound hunting community that are in leadership positions, how much of. An advantage would it be for them to [01:05:00] step back and look at their messaging and the real cause and maybe go through and do a tune up on, on what they're doing.
I mentioned that earlier in this conversation, and it's a big difference when you're talking about a wildlife commission, citizens petition, and then stepping up to a legislative effort. And then work it into a ballot initiative, whether it's a, whether it's a state ballot initiative.
Or a city or municipality ballot initiative, which Denver is getting ready to face this November on the on a fur ban that would ban the sellability of any fur product, including fly tying stuff, tide flies, beaver felt hats. You name it. So there's a big difference and I think Sportsman's Alliance how for wildlife that has come up in the last two years over out of California, they all have a particular [01:06:00] vested interest in the fight.
And they all have their technique and their mannerisms and the, and their task at hand of what they're trying to accomplish. The problem is that every, when you get into a legislative side of things, for the most part, every state has similarities, but there's differences as well, and so there's specific practices that you can or can't do, or that you should or shouldn't do, or.
In the example of Colorado that legislators find that is not a resonating message for them to consider. I'm finding out that, for instance, the call to action letters that you see every organization kick out now, they want to barrage everybody's email box, their inbox with opposition letters and so forth.
I'll just be frank with you, I sat in a sweet booth yesterday at the Rockies game with a couple senators and good friends with them. They'll tell you when I get four to 6, 000 emails a day and it's on 55 or 60 different subject matters. Do you think I [01:07:00] got time to sit and read all that stuff?
I look at it. I look at the subject line or my aid or my intern does it right. And they recognize it and they click it. And that's, it goes into a yes or a no box. Yes or no box. Yes or no box, but they're not reading all of that stuff, what they want. Is this the sympathetic and empathetic handwritten?
This affects me, Senator, because I am such as such. Now, what I will tell you. It's becoming more and more deaf on their ears that when they start hearing things from Belize and Argentina and New Jersey and Florida and Minnesota and California, they're talking about their constituents. They're not talking about these people in these other states and other countries.
And so while it looks like it's a force to be reckoned with, I'm seeing more and more legislators not find that to be as relevant. To their decision making process, they want to know from the people in their district and the people in the [01:08:00] state that this is going to affect not somebody's opinion or emotional component that come to the conversation.
So to change the narrative on how some of these organizations enact and engage with, potential stakeholders or constituents or whatever, I think we have to figure out a way to be more bullet pointed more concise. And be able to put those outreaches missile like outreaches to either geographical areas within the state or within the state boundaries as a whole, or we're going to lose ground because the opposition has figured out a way to do that and they're doing it more directly and concisely.
And that's where I see that are, we're not going to be able to keep up at this level if we don't adapt and modify pretty damn quick. Yeah I've certainly been one of those people that sent letters of, the sent emails and different things to Colorado, to Montana, to New Mexico, [01:09:00] Arizona.
And at some point you got to want I've sat there and I've thought, okay, do they just think I'm a bot, that's this pumping this stuff out? It's. It's a scary time ahead with artificial intelligence on the horizon and AI and being able to generate this sort of stuff, but at the same time we've got to be able to stay involved.
So what would be your advice for somebody like me in Indiana that, cares about what's happening in Colorado, I understand that your legislator that you vote for that represents you. It's going to look at your interest, not mine, because I'm from Indiana and not Colorado, but how can I stay involved or continue to be involved in this sort of things?
So I guess, first and foremost, I would recommend, we all want to engage and get our opinions out at different levels. And while I might be concerned of what happens in, in Pennsylvania [01:10:00] or Ohio, I've never hunted there, so I don't have any. I don't have any experience to be able to, represent myself in that capacity, but there's a lot of people that have in Colorado or Montana or Wyoming or Utah and vice versa.
There's a lot of people here that go back and hunt the Eastern states as well. I would ask people either from Sportsman's Alliance or Congressional Sportsman's Foundation or any one of the other groups to do some sort of a tutorial outreach to their membership and say, this is my opinion, Chris, the best way that you can engage.
In these confrontational opportunities, if that's what you want to call them would be to find out first and foremost, what county you go recreate in, in that state or what district you represent when you go there, you're, you'll say you go to Vail and that's, you hunt game management unit 481 you're concerned what's going on in Colorado as a [01:11:00] whole, but figure out, where you hunt or where you've hunted or where you want to hunt.
And you find out who that senator and that representative is that is in there. It's not a big of a task. All you do is look it up anymore. I could find anything out about you, but my damn senator and find out who that person is. And then when something comes up, you can already have something lined up that you, who the people are.
And you say, dear Senator will, and in Senate district five while I am not a resident of the state of Colorado, I recreate there, I own a cabin there. My relatives live there and I go visit them or I hunt there and I have for 25 years. And I've, and if you do that, and if we did that, I guarantee the antis aren't doing that.
Why? Because they don't engage in any of those activities and nobody's trying to take their crap away when they go to some other state because they don't kill anything, nobody's going to try to turn around and take them, take Disneyland away or, the sea world or anything. So if we did that, knowing [01:12:00] full well, and I'd like to get into it real briefly, but knowing full well, when you have ballot initiatives that come up or legislative issues that come up, you write the legislator in the area that you go recreate.
Okay. Or that you go travel to, or that you have a residence in, or you got relatives in and reference your engagement and your connectivity to the state. I visit, I spend my money. I will continue to come if the state allows me to do if it doesn't, I'll be forced to look other places. My relatives depend on this.
My relatives engage in this advocational activity and give them an idea of some sort of personal value that you have, as opposed to, I don't want you to take this away, but I've never been there to turn around. Yeah. And I don't plan to either. But it's wrong. And I don't plan to, I saw on Facebook that they needed help.
So yeah, put some connectivity because I will tell you, excuse me, [01:13:00] 10 of those letters from non residents would resonate and compute to a thousand or 1500 or 2000 or 2, 500 of those push your damn email button letters that they get hundreds of every single day. Yep. That's building an armament.
Dan, I don't want to cut anything short with you, but I know you're, you are a busy guy. So I just want to take a couple minutes here. Let's, I would like to hear give you the mic and tell, let you speak to the leadership of our, how. Hound organizations in our hound hunting community and give them maybe the top three things that they can start doing right now to be more effective as an organization leader for their membership and how to gain that influence, what are some top bullet points you can give them?
First and foremost, Chris the workings are in progress [01:14:00] as we speak to have one, if not two ballot initiatives. That the entire state will vote on in November of 2024. And the wording that would be used in some capacity would be to protect native big cats in Colorado. And that is a complete ban on the harvest of mountain lions and bobcats.
As they put in their language links, which are endangered and federally and state protected . But as they did on Senate Bill 31 back in 2022, they included links in there because it's emotional driven and it's eye catch and like we're out there, killing endangered species.
But the biggest thing that I can say of what we're going to deal with in the next 18 months and how people engage is. If you know somebody in the state of Colorado, whether they are a mountain lion [01:15:00] pursuer or harvester, or they trap and they harvest bobcats and predator call or whatever, if you know somebody reach out to them and ask them who their representative and who their legislator is, don't do it two months before the general election in November.
We need sufficient input to build up through this next legislative session, which starts the first week of January and goes through the second week of May. Now, the legislators are not going to probably be able to pull anything off as far as the ballot is concerned, but the legislators have to know about the concerns.
Of people referencing this particular initiative that, that would essentially juggernaut the antis and into a snowball effect around the country. It's not about Colorado. The first step is Colorado. Yes. They've already done California, Washington, and Oregon. Yes. What we've got, what we've got to deal with in Colorado, they're using this [01:16:00] as a sounding board and a launching pad.
And if people around the country, or in Colorado, if they're listening to this, don't start to activate, motivate, and engage on their own now. It'll be too late once the signatures are gathered and they start spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a week on anti hunting campaigns. Because the campaign will talk about mountain lions and bobcats.
But I can tell you that we will not be any way, shape, or form. able to defend just mountain lions and bobcats. It's an assault on every single level. It's everything that we do at every single level. And for the general public to understand that it's not about one species, it's not about one method of take, it's not about anything that we're doing except for the cause of what we antis [01:17:00] are trying to take away.
The North American model of wildlife conservation is under assault. It's under attack. It doesn't matter whether you use a hound, Chris. Or you use a beagle or you use a lab for waterfowl or you turn around and want to utilize decoy dogs for coyotes. If you use a dog in any capacity, they want to take it away.
If you use a bow and arrow, they want to take it away. If you use a muzzleloader, they want to take it away. Crossbow, take it away. I'll tell you. And if you can think that they're, if they're Not part of this equation. They are in some capacity. Reach out amongst yourselves. Reach out to your communities.
Reach out to your organizations. Reach out to your legislators and legislators that you know of everywhere else. And start to activate on your level, start to activate on what you do, where you do it, when you do it, with who, whom you do it. And I'll just, I tell my buddies all the time, get off your ass, get off your ass and do what you [01:18:00] gripe about.
We spend more time griping about this stuff that if we'd have just done it, we wouldn't be griping anymore. We have to be able to motivate ourselves. Some of the posts on social media. And I think it took you more time to make this rant on social media to a bunch of people that are not influencers.
They're not policymakers than if you would have written this same thing to your legislator. We're more concerned about followers on Instagram with people who have no. Effect on our life, have no influence on our life at all. And yet we're not getting to know the person that's elected in our county, state, local, and state governments that do have influence on our lives.
It's a crazy world we're living in. And I gotta say, every state's got their issues. It's the middle of hunting season. We're all trying to figure out a way to. To engage [01:19:00] in our recreational activities and opportunities that we deal with. And, a lot of these hunting seasons started in middle of August and we'll go through middle of January.
And then you got goose season and lion season and pheasant season and everything that goes on, people are trapping. We're doing all that. The Antis are doing one thing. They're planning, scheming, and plotting because they have paid staff. They have organizational efforts. They have an agenda that they're trying to accomplish.
And they're taking full advantage of us going out and doing what we're doing and not paying attention to the stuff that they're doing. And we're trying to do it all. I'm still hunting. I'm still going to trap. I still run a wildlife control business, but I'm spending 40 hours a week on this stuff, trying to activate and motivate and engage, I feel like that the mitigator arbitrator litigator, we're just, we're juggling so many things because our opposition.
Is doing exactly what they want. And that's moving forward a slow, even pace, trying to [01:20:00] swallow up everything path along the way. For sure. Dan, I appreciate your time, man. I'd really like to have you come back on the podcast, help people how they can get involved with. Coloradans for responsible wildlife management and how they can support your cause and what they can do to help you along here.
Cause 2024 is going to be an absolute shit show on all levels. It's going to be a national local, all of it. There's an all out assault on our, on, on our American freedoms. And I want people to know how they can. Support you guys and what's going on. That ballot initiative is no joke. It's going to set the stage and empower these anti hunting groups in places where you probably think you're safe, but I'm telling you it's a Petri dish.
They're going to try it here. It's the next reasonable effort. So tell people how they can support you [01:21:00] guys directly. I appreciate that, Chris. The organizational website is SaveTheHuntColorado. com. That will take you directly to the Coloradans for Responsible Wildlife Management. We're trying to update...
Give us that again. SaveTheHuntColorado. com. Okay. And that's the organizational website that, that people can go to find out as much as what we can put on there at the immediate time. Thank you. We're not in the middle of our legislative session now, and we don't know what bills will be launched, but we try to keep people updated with information on that site.
It's got a good resource to be able to go back and look at the component of the North American model and what it does for all sorts of wildlife management in every organization. And then the Colorado Trappers Association is coloradotrapper. com. There's also Facebook and YouTube [01:22:00] channels on those. That we do some videos here and there that we're trying to broaden our horizon.
We're doing national or a regional advertising network, advertising and so forth. We, we've got 21 to 23 things that are going to be on our doorstep in the next 18 to 20 months, either legislatively citizens petition wise through the parks and wildlife commission or through ballot initiatives.
And we would take any support, but even if we didn't get it here, Chris. I would plea with anybody who's listening to this to support their local organizations to support their national organizations, and that's much more than sending the 35 check in. And and we all don't have, thousands of dollars.
We can do that regularly, but that's more than doing that. And that means talking to your buddy or your uncle, your your UPS driver or whoever, and start to build a concept because they sure talk about where they're going to go hunting. They sure talk about what they hunted. How about talk about how to save hunting and [01:23:00] save what we advocate for.
And if we do that it'll, I think you can start a movement nationwide, Chris, that other organizations would see things that what we're successful on here in Colorado, but we're up against the wall, like a redneck mother here. I tell you what we're in the, in a position of what other states aren't having to deal with.
Yeah, as broad level, even though it's common, man, look it's Calispell Bozeman and Billings up in Montana. They think, they had some wins with some hound hunting and some bear hunting with hounds. But if you look at the history.
And for the Houndsman per se, infuse yourself into these other organizations, Chris, you were part of our outdoorsman days have been out here. And we invited the United Houndsman Association to do demonstrations and seminars and have booths and actually come to our banquet and do all the [01:24:00] stuff.
Why? Because a lot of the people that are here. That hunt don't even know about houndsmen. How do you engage with houndsmen if you don't engage with houndsmen and that's one thing that we were very institutionally trying to accomplish, a comprehensive component of activation amongst ourselves.
And I've had people reach out to me in the last month since that event, Chris going, I was thinking about getting into that. I never really realized that was an opportunity or you saw the Rocky mountain, big game recovery guys there that are the blood tracker guys that are out there.
It's dog use there again, hounds. Upland Bird, Waterfowl. People need to understand that everything is the same, it's just different. And we just have to figure out a way to make it the same. You bet nobody are, we've got to take our eyes off of our individual struggle and look at what's happening all across the board.
And that's why we produce this podcast. I'm glad there's people like you, Dan, that are out there fighting the good fight. I've heard nothing but [01:25:00] praises on your efforts and you're being effective. We started out, Colorado is a lost cause, but we, it is not a lost cause.
There is no cause it's lost and what you guys are doing so far. So man, kudos to you and thanks for taking the time to share with us, Dan. Appreciate the opportunity, Chris. I would say this at the end of everything, aim small, miss small. But keep me in the loop of what we need to do to help out.
And anybody's more than welcome to contact us for their own personal stuff, the association stuff. Or if they're coming out to this neck of the woods, we can try to help them out as well. You bet. All right. I appreciate everybody tuning in to listen to this episode of the Houndsman XP podcast.
Make sure you check us out on Facebook and Instagram on all our platforms. We're easy to find our website is houndsmanxp. com and. You can go there and find out how to support this show through Patreon. You're going to get a sportsman's [01:26:00] alliance membership. When you join us at the 12 level, that's 144 a year.
We're giving you half of that investment back and benefits every year. Plus you or every month, every, yeah, I'm sorry. Every year, plus you're included in all of our monthly drawings and things like that. And it's all for the exact same thing that Dan's talking about right here. It's putting our money where our mouth is.
It's putting our efforts out there and driving our stake in the sand to say enough is enough. We got to come off the mountain folks. We got to get involved in this fight. It's not going to go away and we can't have 10 percent of the population doing the work for all of us. And I think at some point we have to ask ourselves, how long am I going to be a free loader?
And just take advantage of people who are willing to put in the work and do the heavy lifting for us so that I can get one more day of honey. What's it going to take? Thanks for tuning in to the [01:27:00] Houndsman XP podcast. This is fair chase.