While it may seem contradictory, hunters are some of the most passionate conservationists. As early as the 1800s, animal populations started to diminish as Americans settled farther west. Many species like elk, whitetail deer, black bears, bighorn sheep and bison were pushed to the brink of extinction. Hunters realized early on that they needed to set limits and assume responsibility to protect these species.
Hunters as Conservationists
Hunters donate to a variety of conservation programs, including:
North American Model of Wildlife Conservation
Considered the backbone of all American wildlife regulations, the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation has set the standard for wildlife management. Their model includes two basic principles:
- Wildlife and fish belong to everyone, and
- Their populations need to be sustainably managed
These principles are fully explained through guidelines known as the Seven Sisters for Conservation.
Formally named the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, the Duck Stamp protects and restores habitats for migratory waterfowl and other birds and wildlife. The stamp is a required license for hunting waterfowl.
Of every dollar spent on Duck Stamps, 98 cents are given back to habitat and conservation in the National Wildlife Refuge System. Six million acres of habitat have been preserved since 1934 through this program.
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF)
Similar to the Duck Stamp, the RMEF raises money to protect and conserve habitats. While the focus is elk, RMEF also advocates for the preservation of other wildlife and hunting heritage. They are currently working on four initiatives aimed at creating a better future for elk and hunters. RMEF maintains over seven million acres of habitat conservations.
Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act
Commonly known as the Pittman-Robertson Act, the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act uses revenue from taxes on firearms and related equipment to give back to state fish and wildlife agencies for conservation projects.
Through these programs and others, most hunting-related money spent is given back to conservation efforts.
- $796 million per year through state licenses and fees
- $440 million per year by donation
- $371 million per year through taxes on guns, ammo, bows and arrows
Conservation of Animals
Over the years, hunters have helped preserve many declining populations of animals. Through hard work and investment, hunters restore and conserve habitats for many animals, including:
- 1907 – population of 41,000
- Today – over one million
- 1900 – population of 500,000
- Today – over 32 million
- 1900 – population of 100,000
- Today – over seven million
- 1950 – population of 12,000
- Today – 1.1 million
Hunting helps balance wildlife populations by stabilizing the number of animals the land can support, stopping disease outbreaks and limiting crop damage. It also helps manage predator populations, including bears, wolves, cougars and coyotes.
Humans benefit too. Hunting supports 680,000 jobs and provides a healthier way to source meat, since game is organic, free-range and lean.
Hunters Love JL Bar Ranch & Resort
The JL Bar Ranch & Resort encompasses 13,000 acres of western Texas Hill Country. Whether you’re a professional or amateur, we offer a variety of exotic hunting species, including red stag, blackbuck, axis deer and fallow deer, in addition to whitetail deer, quail and pheasant. Each hunt includes professionally trained dogs and experienced guides.