• Brae Buckner

    Over recent years, there has been a noticeable decline in the number of license-holding hunters in the United States. This is concerning, not only because of the lack of participation in outdoor activities, but also due to the lack of monetary contributions that come from active hunters. Even those that do not participate in hunting will be affected by this decline in participation. How are non-hunters affected you may ask? Many may not know this, but state wildlife agencies are not funded by tax dollars. Wildlife agencies are funded through a tax on firearms, camouflage, ammunition, and other hunting accessories. This tax on hunting equipment is called the Pittman-Robertson Act, signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937. It is an 11% tax on firearms, ammunition, etc., and is given to the states to fund their wildlife agencies. The money from that tax is then matched on a 3:1 scale by the federal government. This money is then used to fund wildlife agencies; their employees, the research conducted, and even hunter safety programs are all possible thanks to this tax. Hunters contributed over $1 billion last year through this tax, and are the number one contributors when it comes to funding wildlife conservation.

    [object object] - pittman robertson 300x225 - Where Does the Money Come From?

    A decline in the number of hunters in the United States means that wildlife agencies are not receiving the money they used to in order to protect our wildlife and their habitats. A big reason for the decline is due in part to the age of most licensed hunters. The largest inflation of the number of licensed hunters was among 30 to 40-year old men in the early nineties. This group of avidly participating hunters are now approaching their sixties and seventies and beginning to phase out of the hunting world. In the new age of technology, we are seeing less and less children spend time learning about the outdoors, and more time learning about how their iPads work. While this may seem harmless for now, the younger generation is not discovering their passion for the outdoors at an early age, like so many of us did years ago. I can only imagine that the participation in outdoor activities among younger generations is only going to continue to decline in the years to come.

    So what can we do to keep wildlife funds from drying up? Buy a hunting license! Even if you just enjoy watching wildlife from your backyard, buying a hunting license is directly contributing to the wildlife agency in your state. Do you enjoy seeing rare keystone species such as gopher tortoises, red cockaded woodpeckers, or indigo snakes being saved from the brink of extirpation? Buy a hunting license! The research and conservation efforts on these species are all funded by our participation. We can each do our part to keep our wildlife agencies afloat.

    If you are interested in purchasing an Alabama hunting license, you can click on this link to learn more about what licenses are available and how to purchase one online.