Where Does the Money for Conservation Come From?
Whether you realize it or not, as a hunter you contribute money to wildlife conservation every time you buy a hunting license, duck stamp, rifle, or box of ammunition.
The money from your hunting license helps Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks pay for conservation projects as well as law enforcement, Hunter Education, and other programs.
When you buy a federal duck stamp, the money goes directly to federal conservation programs to help waterfowl. Hunters provide about $185 million per year through license fees nationwide.
The Pittman-Robertson Act (also known as the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act) of 1937 charges an 11% tax on the purchase of firearms, ammunition, or archery equipment. Hunters played an important role in getting this law passed, and the money raised goes directly to wildlife conservation and Hunter Education. Hunters provide almost $86 million a year for conservation through this tax—over $2 BILLION since 1937! It is the single biggest source of money collected nationally for wildlife.
Hunters also pay through fees for memberships in organizations such as Pheasants Forever, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, Mule Deer Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, and other conservation groups. The main purpose of these organizations is to conserve wildlife and its habitat, and through these organizations, hunters raise millions of dollars and volunteer thousands of hours to benefit wildlife.
Conservation minded hunters have done more to help wildlife populations than any other segment of society. Contrary to popular belief, regulated hunting does not cause wildlife to become endangered or extinct. In fact, many species exist today only because of the efforts and commitment of responsible, respectful hunters.