Biden Takes Aim At Hunters And Sportsmen But Republicans Aren’t Letting It Slide

New regulatory proposals by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service could serve as a backdoor leading to more aggressive anti-hunting initiatives proposed by the Biden administration.

The concerns come as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expects to roll out new draft hunting guidelines that would significantly limit the types of equipment sportsmen can use on federal refuge properties. In addition, these new guidelines are expected to expand the refuge areas where cheaper ammunition and fishing tackle would be banned.

In an interview with Fox News Digital, Todd Adkins, the vice president of government affairs for the pro-hunting group The Sportsmen’s Alliance, highlighted some of the critical concerns, “Raising the cost of hunting, raising the cost of fishing and raising the cost of our crowd doing their thing is objective number one, without a doubt, because they know if you make it more expensive, less people will do it.”

“When it comes to the FWS issuing a ban on various refuges as they expand hunting opportunities — that’s all we’re really asking. Number one, are you finding specific problems related to lead exposure at specific national wildlife refuges? And number two, have you evaluated the consequences that this ban will have on the users, both hunters and anglers?” Adkins explained.

The move by the Fish and Wildlife Services comes as a result of a 2022 settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity, an influential environmental group that advocates for stringent federal wildlife protections. In 2021, the Center sued the federal government over a Trump-era ruling that expanded hunting and fishing onto 2.3 million acres across 147 wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries.


In February of 2021, the Biden administration asked the court to delay proceedings, and in November of the same year, the Biden administration agreed to a settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity. The settlement stated that the federal government would take wide-ranging steps to protect wildlife “harmed by expanded hunting and fishing” on national wildlife refuges.

According to the settlement, the Fish and Wildlife Service agreed to expand lead-ammunition prohibitions beginning in 2026 across various wildlife refuges. The FWS also agreed to the Center for Biological Diversity’s petition calling for a phase-out of lead ammunition across all national wildlife refuges.

In response to these proposals, Senator Steve Daines (R-MT), along with 26 additional Republican senators, wrote to FWS Director Martha Williams asking her not to restrict lead ammunitions on wildlife refuges last year.

Earlier this month, Daines and 22 other senators also introduced legislation that would prevent the FWS, the Forest Service, or the Bureau of Land Management from banning lead ammunition or tackle unless the action was supported by the best available science.

Follow Josh Beauchamp on Twitter here

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