From the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action
-- Based on the most recent numbers detailed in the Wisconsin DNR Chief Warden’s 2009 Season Report, the NRA and other sportsmen’s groups now have clear data that proves the new Mentored Hunting Program is, indeed, safe.
Of the nearly 10,000 10 and 11 year-old children who participated in the program, there was not a single hunting related shooting incident.
Consistent with the experience in more than two dozen states that have enacted similar legislation, critics who emotionally claimed this program would pose a danger to public safety have been proven wrong.
Since the debate regarding this legislation began in 2005, the NRA has contended that parents, not the state, know best as to when their children are responsible and mature enough to hunt. Mentored hunting programs are essential to hunter recruitment efforts aimed at saving Wisconsin’s rich hunting heritage.
Without new hunters to replace those who permanently leave the fields and forests, hunting will end. Because of this, many Wisconsin legislators took a principled stand in opposition to critics. The Warden’s 2009 Report shows that their trust placed in Badger State hunters was well placed.
NRA has been instrumental in helping to get this legislation passed and has worked for many years to do so with the help of the other groups associated with the Hunters Rights Coalition. These groups include the US Sportsmen’s Alliance, the WI Bear Hunters Association, the WI Chapters of Safari Club International and the WI Chapters of the National Wild Turkey Federation. Legislators instrumental in passing this bill were State Representative Ann Hraychuck (D-28), State Representative Scott Gunderson (R-83), and State Senator Jim Holperin (D-12).