Funding Cut For Hunting & Archery School Programs
By Todd Helms
‘“It is ironic that the U.S. Department of Education is actively denying young Americans the chance to educate themselves on basic firearm and hunting safety so that they can go afield knowing how to keep themselves, their friends, and family safe,” said Ben Cassidy, executive vice president at Safari Club International.”
The U.S. Department of Education has cut funding for school hunting and archery programs under the mistaken interpretation of an amendment to ESEA banning taxpayer funding of “training in the use of a dangerous weapon,”.
As a former educator and certified National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) instructor I can honestly say that this cut is detrimental to kids nationwide. Not all kids who are interested and willing participants have ready access to hunter’s safety classes or the shooting sports (archery and firearms teams/clubs) and this cut will take a massive chunk out of the future numbers of hunter/shooter recruitment. But I guess that’s the end goal. . . “to slow down participation rates and stop young people from being exposed to these hunting-related activities,”.
So, it’s more important than ever to be a mentor to people interested in the shooting sports and hunting. Take kids hunting this fall, invite people shooting with you. . . point folks in the direction of shooting clubs and teams, many 4 H programs still have shooting teams. If we want hunting and shooting to continue on it’s up to us to promote it and pass it down.