The Basic and Enhanced Hunter Education and Safety Subprogram and Program (respectively) provide Federal funding to for hunter education programs.
This information applies to:
Basic Hunter Education and Safety Subprogram and the Enhanced Hunter Education and Safety Program
The Hunter Education and Safety (HE) Program was created in 1970, when Congress amended PR to allow a portion of the funding to be used for hunter education and safety programs. Projects must have objectives related to one or more of the following: hunter and sporting firearm safety programs; hunter development programs; the enhancement of interstate coordination and development of hunter education and shooting range programs; archery ranges, and the updating of safety features of firearm shooting ranges and archery ranges. In 2000, Congress approved the Enhanced Hunter Education program that directs additional resources to this effort.
Broadly, the Hunter Education Program (Basic Hunter Education Subprogram and Enhanced Education Program) provides grant funds to the states and insular area fish and wildlife agencies for projects to provide instruction in firearm operations and safety, wildlife management, nature conservation, ethics, game laws, outdoor survival and wilderness first aid. Funds may also be used for the development and operations of archery and shooting range facilities. The goal is to teach students to be safe, responsible, conservation-minded hunters. Most States require completion of a hunter education course prior to purchasing a hunting license.
More specifically, the Basic Hunter Education Subprogram focuses on the education of hunters to develop the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to be responsible hunters, while the Enhanced Hunter Education Subprogram focuses on the enhancement of basic hunter education programs through hunter and sporting firearm safety programs and hunter development programs and to introduce individuals to the shooting sports and increase opportunities for recreational firearms and archery shooting activities.
50 CFR 80 Administrative Requirements, Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Acts
§ 80.50 What activities are eligible for funding under the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act?
The following activities are eligible for funding under the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act: ...
(b) Wildlife Restoration—Basic Hunter Education and Safety subprogram.
(1) Teach the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to be a responsible hunter.
(2) Construct, operate, or maintain firearm and archery ranges for public use.
(c) Enhanced Hunter Education and Safety program.
(1) Enhance programs for hunter education, hunter development, and firearm and archery safety. Hunter-development programs introduce individuals to and recruit them to take part in hunting, bow hunting, target shooting, or archery.
(2) Enhance interstate coordination of hunter-education and firearm- and archery-range programs.
(3) Enhance programs for education, safety, or development of bow hunters, archers, and shooters.
(4) Enhance construction and development of firearm and archery ranges.
(5) Update safety features of firearm and archery ranges.
[76 FR 46156, Aug. 1, 2011]
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the recruitment and retention of hunters eligible for funding for the three subprograms of the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act: Wildlife Restoration, Basic Hunter Education and Enhanced Hunter Education?
Yes. Examples of eligible activities that support recruitment and retention efforts include, but are not limited to, the following:
Wildlife Restoration - carry out research and surveys that assess trends in hunter participation, including recruitment and retention, socio-economic studies and barriers to hunting; acquire, lease or manage lands to increase hunting opportunity; develop facilities to support hunters, hunting and wildlife-related recreation; and
conduct tests to evaluate the results of recruitment and retention techniques.
Basic Hunter Education -assess the effectiveness of basic and advanced hunter education programs on recruiting and retaining participants; develop and implement model recruitment and retention programs provided the activities involve teaching skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to be a responsible hunter; improve public access to hunter education materials and courses; acquire land, construct and operate firearm and archery ranges; acquire, develop and maintain hunter education facilities; and provide technical assistance to target range operators.
Enhanced Hunter Education - develop and implement model recruitment and retention programs; offer shooting skills development programs, such as Archery in the Schools and Scholastic Clays that introduce individuals to the shooting sports; develop and sponsor exhibits at outreach events; increase opportunities for
recreational shooting, such as mobile shooting clays and live fire exercises; acquire and maintain facilities that encourage hunting, firearms and archery activities; and communicate positive hunting messages through media.
What if Basic HE funds are not fully obligated during the period of availability?
The Service may use unobligated funds to carry out the Migratory Bird Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 715 et seq.).
What if Enhanced HE funds are not fully obligated during the period of availability?
The Service reapportions unobligated funds to eligible States as Wildlife Restoration funds for the following fiscal year. States are eligible to receive unobligated Enhanced HE funds only if their Basic HE funds were fully obligated in the preceding fiscal year for eligible Basic HE activities as listed above and according to 50 CFR § 80.50(b).
What if Basic HE funds are fully obligated during the period of availability?
If Basic Hunter Education funds are fully obligated for eligible Basic HE activities as listed above and according to 50 CFR § 80.50(b), the agency may use that fiscal year’s Enhanced Hunter Education funds for eligible activities related to Basic Hunter Education, Enhanced Hunter Education, or the Wildlife Restoration program. (50 CFR 80.60)
What if Enhanced HE funds are fully obligated during the period of availability?
No special provisions apply. (50 CFR 80.60)
May an activity be eligible for funding if it is not explicitly eligible in this part?
An activity may be eligible for funding even if this part does not explicitly designate it as an eligible activity if the State fish and wildlife agency justifies in the project statement how the activity will help carry out the purposes of the Wildlife Restoration Act and the USFWS Regional Director concurs with the justification. (50 CFR 80.52)
Are costs of State central services eligible for funding?
Administrative costs in the form of overhead or indirect costs for State central services outside of the State fish and wildlife agency are eligible for funding under the Acts and
must follow an approved cost allocation plan. These expenses must not exceed 3 percent of the funds apportioned annually to the State under the Acts. (50 CFR 80.53)
What activities are ineligible for funding?
The following activities are ineligible for funding under the Acts, except when necessary to carry out project purposes approved by the Regional Director:
- Law enforcement activities.
- Public relations activities to promote the State fish and wildlife agency, other State administrative units, or the State.
- Activities conducted for the primary purpose of producing income.
- Activities, projects, or programs that promote or encourage opposition to the regulated taking of fish, hunting, or the trapping of wildlife. (50 CFR 80.54)
May Basic Hunter Education funds be used to support shooting sports programs that do not have components that teach the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to be a responsible hunter?
No. In order to meet the eligibility requirement for Section 4 Basic Hunter Education funding, programs must teach the “skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to be a responsible hunter." See the link in the resource section below for guidance on adding hunter development components to shooting sports programs to make them eligible for Section 4 Basic Hunter Education funding.
- US Fish and Wildlife Service. Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, WSFR, 2014, wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/AboutUs/WSFRProgramBrochure2014.pdf.
- “USFWS-WSFR Hunter Education Program.” Official Web page of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, wsfrprograms.fws.gov/subpages/grantprograms/huntered/he.htm.