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Bill would recruit hunters

July 14, 2019 at 2:28 a.m.

Bill would recruit hunters

The Pittman-Robertson Modernization Act, a bill co-sponsored by Arkansas Sens. Tom Cotton and John Boozman, would authorize state agencies to use federal aid money to recruit hunters and recreational shooters in order to reverse declines in hunting participation.

The Pittman-Robertson Act, or the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, has funded the recovery of many North American wildlife species since it was originally passed in 1937. The law distributes an excise tax on firearms and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies for conservation efforts. It includes an 11% tax on firearms, ammunition and archery equipment. The money is apportioned to state wildlife agencies each year for wildlife conservation and hunter education using a formula based on the number of hunters within a state and a state's total area.

Since distributions began in 1939, the Pittman-Robertson Act has provided $18.8 billion to state fish and wildlife agencies, all funded by hunters and recreational shooters.

However, the number of hunters has declined from 14.1 million hunters in 1991 to 11.5 million by 2016, according to the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting & Wildlife-Associated Recreation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Numbers are projected to continue falling without the efforts that the Pittman-Robertson Modernization Act will allow.

James Risch (R-Idaho) sponsored the bill. Other co-sponors are Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Angus King (I-Maine) and Boozman.

Sports on 07/14/2019

Print Headline: Bill would recruit hunters

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