Recent Op-Eds

Hunting and fishing are a way of life in South Dakota. Like many across the state, I have great memories of heading out to the stock dam with my Dad, rod in hand, working hard to land a bigger fish than him. Sometimes we caught our limit, sometimes we went home empty-handed—but we always had a great time. While I don’t make it out fishing much anymore, pheasant hunting is a different story. Nothing beats the feeling of knocking down the first pheasant on opening day, walking the field with old friends, and ending the evening telling embellished stories of the “shot of day.”

South Dakotans have a great appreciation for the outdoors and for the sporting traditions that not only provide endless hours of entertainment, but also provide significant economic benefits to our state. However, potential Environment Protection Agency (EPA) regulations could dramatically change the availability of hunting ammunition and fishing tackle for sportsmen and women throughout the country. Some in the environmental community want the EPA to ban traditional lead in hunting ammunition and fishing tackle, increasing the cost and pricing some sportsmen and women out of the market. According to industry experts, metallic non-traditional ammunition makes up only one percent of the market share.

In response to these regulations, I introduced legislation along with Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) that would protect ammunition and fishing tackle from unnecessary EPA regulation by excluding it from the Toxic Substances Control Act. Our bill, the Hunting, Fishing, and Recreational Shooting Protection Act, would instead leave the regulation of these items up to the agencies that currently regulate both ammunition and tackle. Our bill is supported by the National Rifle Association, Safari Club, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Wildlife Forever, and other hunting and fishing groups.

As co-chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and as an avid outdoorsman, I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to put an end to the EPA’s far-reaching and burdensome regulations, and to help ensure that future generations of South Dakotans are not unnecessarily restricted from hunting, fishing, and enjoying the great outdoors.