Wildlife Conservation

What You Should Know | Wildlife | Habitat | Populations | Tools | Role of Hunting | Final Quiz

Paying for Wildlife

Many hunters don’t even realize it, but they are the ones who pay for the vast majority of the wildlife conservation work done throughout North America.

How do hunters pay for wildlife conservation?U.S. Federal Aid logo

In the United States, for example, every time you buy a new firearm, ammunition or archery equipment, 11% of the purchase price goes to the federal government and then back to state natural resources agencies for wildlife conservation. This law, which is known as the Pittman-Robertson Act, or the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, was passed in 1937 with strong hunter support. Hunters provide almost $86 million a year for conservation through this excise tax—over $2 BILLION since 1937!

Every time you buy a hunting or trapping license or tag, the money is used by natural resources agency to pay for wildlife management. In the United States, hunters provide about $185 million per year through license fees.

  • Hunters have sponsored laws that have created conservation stamps and funds to protect and enhance wildlife habitat. Hunters who buy federal duck stamps contribute about $11 million a year to buy and lease wetlands for waterfowl refuges and waterfowl production.
  • Hunters pay through memberships in organizations such as Whitetails Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, Quail Unlimited, the Mule Deer Foundation, Ducks Unlimited and other conservation groups. Through these organizations, hunters have raised millions of dollars and contributed thousands of hours to benefit wildlife.

Did you know that:

  • By the end of the 20th century, hunters had already contributed over $5.5 BILLION for wildlife conservation?
  • Hunters pay over $372 MILLION a year for conservation?
  • That you do more to help wildlife than any other group in America?

Many people would support hunting more if they knew who was picking up the bills for conservation—hunters.

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