Hunting for Conservation

On September 2nd the President signed an act that put a 10% tax on Handguns and an 11% tax on Ammunition.  This tax is one I support above all other taxes in the history of this country because this is very important.  The President I speak of obviously was not our current one.  It was Franklin Roosevelt and the tax celebrated its 76th Anniversary recently.  This tax created and funded many conservation programs that are responsible for saving animals such as The Bald Eagle, The Florida Panther, the North American Buffalo and the Florida Alligator. Some of these animals would have died off if it were not for this tax.  The tax has changed names since its inception and backing was highly controversial during the early years.  The tax is currently called the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act and don’t look for it on your receipt at your local gun store, Its a tax that is paid when a gun, bow, arrows or ammo is sold at the distributor level.   The tax is responsible for 75% of all conservation funding in this country. 

The next time one of your PETA friends starts talking conservation or the next time they have a rally, ask if PETA will match the funds that hunters and gun owners donate to conservation.  They will have a lot of catching up to do because as of last year we raised $4.2 Billion for conservation…not $4.2 that is watered down by Fat Cat Peta Execs taking their cut…$4.2 BILLION for the programs.  This figure doesn’t include the Federal Duck Hunting stamps which have raised another $700 million and have bought 5 Million Acres of Conservation land. This also doesn’t count the endless privately backed funds we donate every year or the Charities like The National Wild Turkey Federation, Forever Quail  or The Dallas Safari clubs DNA Cataloging program.  The original conservationists were and continue to be hunters.  This point gets overlooked by just about everyone, including myself up until I read an article on the FWS’s site about the tax and the conservation effort.

I have had some limited exposure to the efforts of local chapters of the NWTF and Forever Quail.  The members of Forever Quail spend their own time and money to purchase Quail eggs and raise the Quail for release into the wild.  Some of the events they have involve taking the pen raised Quail and releasing them so they can be hunted.  Before everyone claims foul, (No Pun intended)  These birds are raised for this purpose because it takes the burden off of the wild Quail and it allows  some birds to escape.  The escaped birds will try to integrate into wild Coveys and they have been hunted so they have a fear of humans that is natural.  The gene pool of the Quail are also given healthy variety.  Stay tuned for more about this because I plan to interview several privately funded groups this season and possibly a state or federal  wildlife agent.

People cannot imagine a world without Eagles, Turkeys, Quail, Deer, Panther or Alligators only because of the efforts of “Everyday men doing Extraordinary things”.

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