State to use Pittman-Robertson funds to support training of new hunters
The DNR unveiled a proposed new Hunter Recruitment, Development, Training and Education Grant Program at the Wisconsin Sporting Heritage Council meeting on Jan. 9.
The grant program (which has nothing to do with the defunct grant program that had been in the 2013 state budget and ran afoul of politicians and conservationists) is an improved idea that will provide numerous grants to Wisconsin groups.
This program will be funded by federal Pittman-Robertson (PR) excise taxes received by the DNR from the sale of sporting arms and ammunition equipment. Thus it must be used specifically for hunting programs, and will not going to include educational programs for angling or trapping.
Out of the $17 million that the DNR will receive this coming year in PR funds, the DNR is allocating $200,000 for grants to Wisconsin counties, towns, villages, cities, universities and colleges, governmental units, tribes, school districts, and conservation groups (including local chapters of national organizations).
The grants are for systems that produce new adult hunters, and this includes pilot-testing various programs. The purpose is to ensure the education and development of safe and ethical hunters. Secondarily, the program hopes to continue the learn-to-hunt program.
The maximum grant to any one organization will be for $10,000. No more than 30 percent of the funds distributed will be for reimbursing organizations for learn-to-hunt expenses.
To allow the DNR to give the grants out this year, the DNR proposes to make application materials available online by March 3 and applications must be submitted by June 2. The DNR will issue grant agreements by Oct. 1.
These grants will be available every even-numbered year, with the DNR taking applications for its shooting range grants during odd numbered years.
This proposed grant program went onto the DNR web site on Jan. 10 and the public has 21 days to weigh-in on the proposal. Hunters and organizations need to look at it and respond by Jan. 30.
Go to the DNR web site and look for “Program Guidance” and then respond to the details. Or click on this link: http://dnr.wi.gov/news/input/Guidance.html.
For questions contact Keith Warnke at (608) 576-5243.