Don’t look for a hand-wringing, “what-should-we-do?” kind of state like Maryland to begin supplying the state’s public schools and libraries with a publication that frequently salutes hunters and the contributions they make to conservation and wildlife management programs. But things are a little different with their neighbor to the north – Pennsylvania.
Budget cuts in 2005 forced the Pennsylvania Game Commission to stop providing schools with free subscriptions of its popular Game News publication, but now they’re back in schools and libraries statewide, thanks to a federal Pittman-Robertson grant.
(In 1937, the U.S. Congress extended the life of an existing 10 percent tax on ammunition and firearms used by recreational hunters, and earmarked the proceeds to be distributed to the states for wildlife restoration. The result was called the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, better known as the Pittman-Robertson Act after its principal sponsors, U.S. Senator Key Pittman of Nevada, and U.S. Representative A. Willis Robertson of Virginia.)
The Keystoners are using some of the federal funds to bring Game News back to the general public, free of charge in the case of school children and visitors to state and county libraries. “Cutting the free subscriptions was a difficult decision, yet getting Game News back into our schools is especially important now, as we’re working to get more youngsters interested in hunting and trapping. Game News also is just one more tool to make more Pennsylvanians aware of the Game Commission and what we do for our state’s wildlife and all the people who enjoy it,” said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director.
Mr. Roe also thanked the many sportsmen’s clubs, businesses and individuals who purchased Game News subscriptions for their area schools starting in 2005 to take up the slack when state funds were not available.
Meanwhile, there have been instances of teachers in public schools who’ve railed against hunting, as well as fishing, with animal rights organizations attempting to push their mind-bending literature in schools, especially among impressionable grade schoolers.
How do I know this? When my daughter was 9 or 10 years old, she returned home from school one day carrying an anti-fishing pamphlet that was provided by a national animal rights group. Her teacher, she said, told them that fishing was cruel and that a fish actually cried tears when you hooked it because it had feelings just like humans.
I don’t have to tell you what the poor worm must have felt like when it was pierced onto a hook, or how the very biased teacher felt about sport hunting.
It behooves all of us to check our tax-supported libraries and schools to see if anti-hunt, anti-fish programs are being pushed. Take steps to stop it. And a tip of the hat to the Pennsylvanians. You’ve got the kind of courage that so sadly is missing in many other states.
Meanwhile, even if you are not a subscriber to the Pennsylvania Game News, you can see the magazine by going to www.penngamenews.com.