Elk NetworkHunting Is Conservation – Hunting Provides Funding for Conservation

Conservation | February 14, 2020

Why are wildlife populations in North America thriving?

And why does conservation work benefitting wildlife habitat continue to roll forward?

One word…hunting.

Hunting is the major revenue generator that pays for conservation. 

Let’s take a closer look on three fronts.

First, is the Pittman-Robertson Act, which places an 11 percent excise tax on the price of guns, ammunition and archery equipment.

In essence, the act creates a link between those who hunt and the resources generated to maintain and expand hunting opportunity.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service doles out the funds annually to states and territories for permanent land protection and public access projects, research, wildlife habitat management for game and non-game species, hunting, shooting and other forms of recreation.

Supported by hunters and conservationists dating back to its passage in 1937, this law since generated more than $12.5 billion specifically for conservation, including $797 million in 2019 alone.

A second way hunting provides funding for conservation is through the purchase of hunting licenses and fees.

State wildlife agencies use hunting as the primary tool to ensure wildlife populations are properly and effectively managed for their overall benefit.

They create detailed hunting regulations based on species, type of firearm, time of year, location and other factors.

Whether in pursuit of elk, deer, waterfowl or other wildlife species, hunters willingly pay to acquire the mandatory licenses and fees.

According to the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, 2019 hunting licenses generated $872 million for conservation.

Since 1939, hunters and anglers provided state wildlife agencies with more than $62 billion to fund land and wildlife management.

And sportsmen and women provide 60 percent of the budgetary funding for state wildlife agencies.

Lastly, hunters make donations directly out of their own pockets to pay for conservation.

They do so by supporting the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and other species-specific organizations that seek to ensure the future of wildlife, hunting and conservation.

Those donations amount to more than $440 million every year.

When you size it up and look at the big picture, it clearly shows that Hunting Is Conservation.