Billings Gazette: Letter to the editor: Protect hunter safety

by Walker Conyngham

Crisp morning air and the changing colors of the aspens and cottonwoods signal that hunting season is underway. Like many Montanans across the state, I’m dedicating my spare time to elk, deer, upland birds and migratory waterfowl in the hopes of securing meat for the year.

Hunting season is an important time of year for Montanans, which is why I was frustrated to see in the news that President Biden was stripping funding from school hunter safety courses. I’m a proud graduate of a Montana hunter education course, where, at the age of eleven, I learned how to handle a gun and shoot safely and ethically when out in the woods. I still draw on the lessons I learned in those courses when I’m out in the woods today and believe every Montana student should have the opportunity to take hunter safety courses just like I did.

Thankfully, Senator Jon Tester agrees. He stood up to the Biden administration by passing a bipartisan law to protect hunter safety and make sure the federal government funds these classes in our schools. Senator Tester, true to form, put the priorities of everyday Montanans first and demonstrated his willingness to reach across the aisle, stand up to the administration, and drive commonsense legislation forward to protect our outdoor heritage. This hunting season, I’m glad Montana has a straight shooter and fellow hunter like Jon Tester representing us in the U.S. Senate.

Walker Conyngham