Bipartisan Rebuke: House Bill Funds School Hunting and Archery Courses, Reversing Biden Admin


Hunters and anglers and the organizations they support are the undisputed champions of wildlife and habitat conservation. For example, Ducks Unlimited has preserved or restored over 16 million acres of wetlands. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has helped protect almost nine million acres of vital elk habitat. There are other examples, but those are the big ones — all funded voluntarily by their members, who are overwhelmingly hunters.

That’s why it was puzzling when the Biden administration attempted to cut off funding for hunting, shooting, and archery programs in the nation’s schools. But the House of Representatives has dealt a broad bipartisan rebuke to this policy.

The House voted late Tuesday evening in favor of legislation striking down the Biden administration’s decision to block federal funding for school shooting sports courses.

In a 424-1 vote, the House approved the Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act with 216 Republicans and 208 Democrats voting in favor, and just one lawmaker, Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, voting against. Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., introduced the bill on Aug. 1, days after a Fox News Digital report in late July revealed the Department of Education was withholding funds for school hunting and archery courses.

“Hunters and fishers are the best conservationists,” Green told Fox News Digital after the vote Tuesday. “Hunting, whether it be with a firearm or bow, is one of the most effective ways to control wildlife populations, protect our beautiful lands, and connect with nature. My Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act is critical for our children.”

The details of the House vote can be seen here.

My colleague Jim Thompson recently chronicled the fate of a family who could have profited from some knowledge of the outdoors. With a little education, this may have been prevented. And education is a good thing, right?

The Biden administration has a history of unfriendliness towards outdoor sports, hunting in particular. Members of this administration seem to fall into the trap, where hunting (in particular) is concerned, to adopt the thought process “guns are bad, people hunt with guns, so hunting is bad.” That’s simplistic and, honestly, stupid. But the strongly bipartisan nature of this vote shows very clearly that Republicans aren’t the only ones to see the value of outdoor sports; many Democrats, especially those from states with a strong outdoor tradition, see the value of teaching safe, responsible practices for hunting, shooting, and archery in the school systems. 

America’s outdoor traditions go back to the first settling of much of the country. In many places, hunting, fishing, and camping are not just hobbies but a way of life. Some areas even close schools when deer season opens, acknowledging that many of the students will be afield with family and friends. Here in Alaska, many families depend on an annual moose or a caribou or two to provide protein through the winter.

The fact is, outdoor sports are some of the healthiest, safest, and most wholesome activities American youth can be involved in. Hunting, fishing, and hiking teach responsibility, respect, fortitude, and discipline. We should be encouraging, not discouraging, school programs that instill these values. While I’m on record as insisting that our nation’s troubled schools focus on the basics — reading, writing, math, the hard sciences — there is still great value in elective classes for hunting, archery, and so on.

For once, it’s nice to see Congress set aside their many partisan differences and face down a presidential administration to bring some sense into funding for our schools.

Las Vegas News Magazine

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