People who live outside of New Jersey don't often associate the Garden State with hunting and fishing.

Many people who have landed at Newark or driven through the state on the Turnpike refer to congested roads, container ships, and massive industrial complexes spewing out the smells of plastic and chemical factories.

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For those of us who grew up in New Jersey, or have relocated here to make it a home, we know that New Jersey has some of the best places to enjoy a relaxing weekend surrounded by woods, lakes, and rivers.

With all of our natural resources, it's not a surprise to me that there are more than 150,000 anglers, hunters, and trappers in the Garden State. They are represented by the New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs.

This past weekend, we were invited to their 65th Annual Convention and Awards Banquet. Hundreds of members from across the state gathered in Plainsboro at the Crown Plaza for the event.

I was honored to be invited to address the gathering and talk about the importance of empowering the best group of conservationists in the nation. The reality is that from a practical perspective, New Jersey needs fewer academic bureaucrats and more hunters, anglers, and trappers to help shape environmental policy.

Special thanks to the group's leaders, Tom Klowacka and President Wade Stein for the hospitality and warm welcome.

LOOK: Here's how much grocery shopping now costs in the U.S.

The average cost of groceries for one person per month in 2023 was around $337. But how does your state compare? Do you pay more, or less? Data compiled by Zippia takes a look at the average monthly grocery bill per person in all 50 states. States are listed from least expensive to most expensive and are rounded up to the nearest dollar.

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own.

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