Elk NetworkHunting Is Conservation – What It Really Means

Conservation | June 22, 2021

When we say, “Hunting Is Conservation,” what does that really mean?

There are in fact several ways hunting is conservation, but perhaps none more important than the fact that hunting generates significant and necessary funding that pays for the conservation of our lands and wildlife.

The Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937, an excise tax on guns, ammunition and archery equipment, since generated $14 billion specifically for conservation.

Each year, P-R funding is distributed to state wildlife agencies in all 50 states and U.S. territories and makes up at least 60 percent of the agencies’ budgetary needs.

Among a myriad of projects, that funding helped restore the populations of big game and non-game species alike while also enhancing hunter education programs and constructing everything from public shooting ranges to community parks and outdoor recreation areas nationwide.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, supported by its hunter-based membership, also generates funding for on-the-ground conservation work that benefits elk and other wildlife.

Here are few of scores of projects utilizing both P-R and RMEF funding:

-The restoration of elk to their historic West Virginia range in 2016.

-Rehabilitation work across more than 17,000 acres of wildlife habitat scorched by a Nevada wildfire.

-Research to help wildlife managers learn more about tule elk in California, the only place in the world to find the species.

-An agreement in North Dakota that opens public access for hunters across 20,000 acres of private land.

-Funding to assist biologists in Montana to learn more about and better manage its wolf population.

-And a series of prescribed burns in Oklahoma dating back a decade that improved habitat across more than 14,000 acres.

Generating crucial funding for conservation, managing wildlife populations and valuing wildlife species…all highlight how Hunting Is Conservation.