by Karen Mehall Phillips - Thursday, March 4, 2021
For more news on how the National Rifle Association is helping hunters, on Monday the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission (OWCC) approved a resolution recognizing the NRA for developing its Free NRA Online Hunter Education Course, which resulted in the state collecting more than $191,000 in Federal Aid match dollars. These match funds can be used by the OWCC when applying for Pittman-Robertson (P-R) grants, which will result in $764,000 in funding coming back to the department.
“Thanks to our partnership with the NRA, over 20,000 Oklahoma sportsmen and sportswomen have taken the free hunter education course provided by the NRA,” said Lance Meek, Communication and Education Senior Specialist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, who attended the ceremony recognizing the NRA on Mar. 1. “I'd encourage other states to look at offering the NRA course.”
As the NRA Hunters’ Leadership Forum website reported in June 2019, this opportunity for OWCC and other state wildlife agencies to is thanks to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) decision to allow state agencies to claim a dollar value of the NRA’s free online course as in-kind match dollars to access federal Pittman-Robertson (P-R) grant funds. This aids state agencies, which rely on the P-R dollars administered by the USFWS’ Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Division for their fish and wildlife conservation programs, as well as the NRA-backed national R3 movement to “recruit, retain and reactivate” hunters.
“We are so pleased to partner with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and that it capitalized on this opportunity to provide our free course to their residents, and then used the match option to receive Pittman-Robertson funds,” said Peter Churchbourne, director of the Hunters’ Leadership Forum, in an NRA news release after receiving the award on behalf of the NRA. “It’s good to see all the hard work come full circle to benefit its agency and Oklahoma residents.”
Designed and provided by the organization that built the first-ever hunter education program in the United States in 1949, the Free NRA Online Hunter Education Course offers a comprehensive approach to hunter education. The 15-chapter, online sequence features attention-grabbing videos, eye-catching graphics and diagrams, interactive modules, audio recordings and dozens of action photos presented in easy-to-access components that provide the best method for teaching future hunters lessons they will remember for the rest of their lives.
To take the free NRA course or learn more about getting it approved in your state to tap into a new funding opportunity, visit NRAHE.org.
About the NRA
Established in 1871, the 5.5-million-member NRA is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen’s group. It remains the leader in protecting the Second Amendment and in providing firearm safety, education and training programs for all law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military. In working for hunters, it continues to offer programs and services that ensure the next generation of hunters has the tools it needs to carry the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation into the future.
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