28 February 2012

General information about the Club and membership

Who we are:The Moodus Sportsmen's Club is a voluntary association of hunters, fishermen and trappers based in Moodus, Connecticut. The organization was founded in 1942 by local residents and veterans.
• The club has maintained a presence on its present site since the 1940s when members were first permitted to meet and build a club house there by the Moodus Reservoir Water Company.
• Over the years the MSC has been an active participant in civil events and is one of the principal founders (and sponsors) of the annual East Haddam "Earth Day" Roadside Clean-up; held during April every year.

Statement of Purpose: The Purposes of the Moodus Sportsmen’s Club shall be to
• Promote and bind together sportsmen in the sports of hunting, fishing and associated activities;
• Ensure that these sports will continue through education and conservation measures;
• Teach and pass on the pleasures, benefits, responsibilities and ethics associated with hunting and fishing practices.

What Do We Do? The Club hosts several public functions each year including:
Winter ~ Annual Tri-Lakes Ice Fishing Tournament
April ~ Earth Day Roadside Clean-up
May ~ Youth Fishing Derby
June ~ Annual Shad Bake - the Sunday after Father's Day
September ~ Annual Summer Harvest Fest
November ~ Prime Rib + Shrimp Dinner*
Game Dinners* Held during winter months.
(*The Game Dinners and the Prime Rib + Shrimp Dinner are by advance reservation only)
Local Scout Troop # 22 meets at the club on Thursday evenings.
CT DEEP Approved Archery & Firearms Safety Classes Held every Spring + Autumn. Attendees must reserve their spot in the class with the CT-DEEP Conservation Education and Firearms Safety Program web page.
NRA Certified Pistol / Firearms Classes are scheduled and held at various times of the year.

Membership details:
• Membership meetings are held on the first Monday of each month.
• Anyone interested in joining the Moodus Sportsman's Club must be sponsored into the club by a member in good standing. Prospective members names are brought to the floor at a monthly meeting; after announcement, a decision on a new member's application is tabled until the next month. At the next meeting, the prospective member is expected to attend, but will leave the meeting with a decision is made on the applicant's membership request.
• All new members first go through a six-month probationary period; their sponsoring member is expected to help them get better acquainted with the club and its routines.
• Work Requirements: ALL members are required to work a set number of hours per year, as well as regularly participate in club activities, including monthly meetings [attendance is credited to "work time" requirements] as well as other nominal requirements.
• The club membership also includes Junior Members (under the age of 18) who must have a sponsor who knows the junior member well; as well as senior "emeritus" memberships.

Dues and Initiation Fees:
• Annual membership dues are $150 and are due the 1st of July of each year.
• New Member initiation fees are $475 (paid in increments over the first three years of membership).
• New members, upon acceptance, pay $325 the first year; $225 the second + third year. After that, annual dues of $150 are incurred.
• All members are required to be a member of the National Rifle Association.
•  Members who have not paid dues by October 31st of the year may be subject to termination of membership. Any membership lapsed because of unpaid dues can be re-applied for without prejudice.

Where we are: Moodus Sportsmen's Club facilities are located at 299-A Old East Haddam-Colchester Turnpike,, just up the hill from the Moodus Reservoir and the East Haddam town beach.
The club has maintained a presence on the site since the 1940s when members were first permitted to meet and build there by the Moodus Reservoir Water Company.

For Further Information: Write us at moodussportsman@gmail.com

17 February 2012

State pheasant hunting in jeopardy

Copied directly from Connecticut Sportsman's Coalition email newsletter:
This issue impacts Every Sportsman! A question I've been asked is "What's Next - Hatcheries?" COMMUNICATE! Most won't know what you want unless you tell them! Many won't know the basics of the program unless you inform them. There will be no Public Hearing on this issue. DO IT NOW- Communicate as you did on the License Fee Reduction issue. Be polite.

In the Governor's Midterm Budget Adjustments under DEEP p.67, the following statement is found: "Reduce Funding for Sportsmen's Programs - Funding is eliminated for the pheasant stocking program $ - 160,000."

After convincing the Legislature in 2010 that a 100% license fee increase would severely impact license/tag/permit sales/recruitment reducing revenue to both the state and DEP, we are now faced with presenting similar arguments. Someone, OPM (Office of Policy and Management), the Governor's Office, or budgetary officials clearly don't understand the funding, economic impact, and detrimental effect on licensing/recruitment of this proposal. In the opinion of many, the Elimination of the Pheasant Program action is a uninformed budgetary rip-off that benefits neither the state or its citizens.

The Pheasant Stocking Program is Sportsmen funded and is self sustaining - NOTHING comes from the General Fund. Elimination of the program saves the state nothing and in the future reduces revenue to DEEP through reduced license sales, and to the state in terms of economic impact. The methodology is to count revenue generated from Pheasant Stamps ($28) and Small Game licenses ($19/$11 Junior) from those who purchased the stamps to get a total revenue. This number then determines the number of Pheasants that will be stocked in the following year. The $160,000 to be cut is the revenue generated last year and constitutes the stocking program for 2012.

Pheasant Hunting is a Gateway Activity for new hunters. Youngsters and some adults (particularly women) who have completed the mandatory Hunter Safety Course and purchased their Small Game License (mandatory for All hunting) look for a hunting activity. Hunting on state Pheasant Program stocked lands is the least expensive and a traditional family activity for new hunters. Other species available in the past have been Rabbits, Grouse, and Woodcock, but are no longer due to state lack of funding for habitat management. The Pheasant Program is THE new hunter entry vehicle and is used as such in DEEP Junior Hunting Training Day to increase hunting participation.

The economic impact of eliminating Pheasant Hunting is substantial. ALL Resident hunters averaged 12.2 trips and nonresidents 3.0 trips in Connecticut. Pheasant hunters number 4000-5000. Based on 2010 hunting licensees, resident hunters undertook 770.0 thousand trips and nonresident hunters 9.8 thousand. Total Hunting expenditures in Connecticut are impressive at $109.3 million in 2010 dollars. http://www.ct.gov/dep/lib/dep/outdoor_recreation/2011economicimpactstudy.pdf Table 3.2.3. Using a few of the most common costs (in 1,000s $): Food and Lodging 2,801.5; Hunting Equipment 29,266.3; Transportation 5,365.5, with approximately 60,000 hunters in the state and dividing the totals by 4-5000, economic loss to retail sales is substantial.

It is imperative you write, call, e-mail your state Senator and Representative and all the members of the Appropriations Committee expressing your position. E-mail addresses for the complete Appropriations Committee can be found at http://www.ctsportsmen.com Under "Legislation". To find your legislators with their addresses, tel numbers, etc. go to "How to Find Your Legislators" on the Legislative page. Contact Gov. Malloy "Share Your Opinion" http://www.governor.ct.gov/malloy/cwp/view.asp?a=3998&q=479088 . Contact the Commissioner DEEP Dan Esty (860) 424-3001 and Deputy Commissioner Susan Frechette (860) 424-3005.

UPDATE: Since Feb. 16 when we sent this original message little has been accomplished to solve the Pheasant Stocking problem either by the administration or the Appropriations Comm.. We have heard that Summer temps at State Parks, etc may be cut to insure the Pheasant program is implemented in the Fall - this we feel is unlikely. As it stands now, there will be no Pheasant program. We cannot conclude this budget item concerning our interests is nothing but a rip-off - after all it is Sportsmen's money! It is inconceivable to us that The Gov. and members of the Legislature don't recognize that the $160,000 cut will be negatively offset by the loss of state revenue through sales, recreation, and political impact. According to Sen.. Williams (Pres. Pro Tem of the Senate) in a Press Conference a few years ago said "DEP hasn't been adequately funded in over 30 years." We agree - more appropriations, not cuts are needed. Currently, sportsmen pay for 80-90% of the activities of DEP bureau of Natural Resources (Hunting, Fishing, Trapping, etc.) through License fees, tags, stamps, and in effect we pay to "field manage" wildlife - a DEEP statutory management responsibility. This is an extremely important issue and will seriously impact our outdoor activities in the future. What's the next cut for the DEEP (BNR)-Fish Stocking? What percentage of the 20 Billion $ budget is $160,000? Is this cut necessary? We need ALL Sportsmen to communicate to the Governor and the Appropriations Committee that this cut is both economically and politically inappropriate.