Conservation hunting ranches provide wide areas of private land that are kept in natural conditions with little development. But even hunters who don’t hunt on conservation ranches provide resources for keeping land in good condition.
States charge hunters fees for licenses, tags, and stamps. The money goes into funds that help maintain public lands and parks. The National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates that sportsmen contribute almost $5 million every day through fees and taxes to support wildlife conservation. License fees add up to over $1 billion a year.
Hunter support for conservation dates back decades, and took major strides with federal legislation in 1937 and 1970 that placed excise taxes on sporting arms and ammunition and handguns, respectively. Duties on archery and fishing equipment that also provide over $100 million a year for conservation efforts. Similarly, duck stamps provide resources for wetland preservation. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service calculates that duck stamp proceeds have bought 5 million acres of habitat for the refuge system.
Outside of the government realm, hunters have formed groups such as Ducks Unlimited and the National Wild Turkey Federation to help conserve wildlife and habitats.