Hunting is a major driver for conservation, in part because it specifically generates tremendous amounts of revenue for it.
In February 2021, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service distributed more than $1 billion dollars to state wildlife agencies that use the funds to manage wildlife and improve habitat, which benefits everyone who loves the outdoors.
Nearly 70 percent of that amount, or 678.9 million dollars, is a result of the Pittman-Robertson Act, supported by hunters and originally established in 1937 that places excise taxes on guns, ammunition and archery equipment, all to support conservation.
To date, that act generated more than $13.6 billion for conservation.
And that number is exponentially greater when you include funds generated by hunting licenses and fees, and donations to conservation groups like the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
Perhaps a good way to better understand a breakdown of these hard-to-comprehend, massive financial figures that benefit conservation is to provide an example of one hunter’s contribution from one year. In doing so, note that the cost of a rifle and bullets fluctuates depending on personal preference and the cost of big game tags also differ from state to state.
Purchasing a new rifle and five boxes of ammunition generate 125 dollars in excise taxes.
Additional purchases include a general elk license ($20), elk B license ($25), elk preference point ($15), general deer license ($16), deer B license ($10), base hunting license ($10), conservation license ($8), a nonrefundable application fee ($5) and a nonresident elk license, Colorado in this case, of $670 dollars.
Also, an RMEF membership ($50), two RMEF specialty license plates ($60) and throw in a season fishing license to boot ($23).
So, this hunter’s total purchases for one year generates $1,037 for conservation.
And even that number may be much higher for hunters who also purchase licenses for a wide range of other big game species as well as migratory and upland birds.
Generating vital funding for conservation, managing wildlife populations and valuing wildlife species…all highlight how Hunting Is Conservation.