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Official Montana Hunting Safety Course Link to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Hello, hunter! Montana's online hunting course has moved. Click here to go to the latest version of the Today's Hunter in Montana course—the official hunting safety course of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

The following course material is for reference only. Please go to the new course to complete your Montana certification.

Wildlife Management and Conservation Principles

The wildlife manager’s job is to maintain the number of animals in a habitat at or below the habitat’s carrying capacity so that no damage is done to the animals or to their habitat.

In a sense, a wildlife manager’s task is similar to a rancher’s. Just as a rancher limits the number of animals in a cattle herd to a level that the habitat can tolerate, wildlife managers try to keep the number of animals in balance with their habitat. In addition to looking at the total number of each species in a habitat, wildlife managers also monitor the breeding stock—the correct mix of adult and young animals needed to sustain a population.

To manage a habitat, wildlife managers must consider historical trends, current habitat conditions, breeding population levels, long-term projections, and breeding success. With that knowledge, wildlife managers have a variety of practices at their disposal to keep habitats in balance.

Pittman-Robertson Act

  • The Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, popularly known as the Pittman-Robertson Act, was approved by Congress in 1937. The Act Wildlife Restoration Act logoprovides funding for the selection, restoration, and improvement of wildlife habitat, and for wildlife management research. The Act was amended in 1970 to include funding for hunter education programs and for the development and operation of public target ranges.
  • Funds for the Act come from an 11% federal excise tax on sporting arms, ammunition, and archery equipment, and a 10% tax on handguns. One-half of the excise tax on handguns and archery equipment is used for hunter education and target ranges. These funds are collected from the manufacturers and are distributed each year to the states and territorial areas by the Department of the Interior.
  • Each state’s proportion of the federal funds is based on the area of the state and the number of licensed hunters in the state. The state covers the full amount of an approved project and then applies for reimbursement through federal aid for up to 75% of the project’s expenses; the state is responsible for the other 25% of the project’s cost.
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Montana Fish, Wildlife,
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Official hunting safety course for Montana hunters last modified: November 16, 2011
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