When you swipe your card for a new crossbow, arrows, or other bowhunting-related gear, do you know where your money goes?
Sure, most of the money from your purchase goes to the retailer and manufacturer. But what you may not know is that a portion goes to state wildlife agencies to fund high-priority conservation projects including habitat restoration, hunter education, wildlife research, and public-access programs.
With most of the archery-related purchases you make, you are playing an important role in conservation across the country.
Each year American hunters, shooters, and anglers contribute millions to improve fishing, boating, hunting, shooting, and other wildlife-associated recreation. In fact, archers generate around $50 million every year according to the Archery Trade Association’s records.
How do bowhunters generate these funds?
It all started in 1937 when progressive hunters, conservationists, and manufacturers joined forces with fish and wildlife agencies to create long-term, science-based management programs funded by a reliable source: federal excise taxes.
What is the federal excise tax?
The federal excise tax (FET) is a 10- to 11-percent tax manufacturers pay on the sale of firearms, ammunition, and some archery equipment under the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (also known as the Pittman-Robertson Act).
The original FET was approved by Congress in 1937 and only taxed firearms and ammo. The archery FET was included 35 years later and was signed into law by President Nixon in 1972. Since then, bows, arrows, and all equipment that attaches to a bow and is used to shoot archery are subject to the FET.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service collects FET funds and then redistributes the money to state wildlife agencies to be used for hunting, shooting, and wildlife-management programs. Those efforts and conservation projects ensure hunting and outdoor recreational opportunities are preserved for generations to come.
How do you fit into this process?
Each time you buy a hunting license or visit an archery store to buy arrows, broadheads, a bow, quiver, etc., a portion of your purchase fuels conservation. Essentially, when you purchase archery equipment, you’re making donations to state wildlife agencies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. By slinging arrows and fueling your archery passion, you help conserve our planet and our wildlife!
So, whether you knew it or not, most of your archery-related purchases help drive conservation efforts across the nation. Buy a hunting license this season. Head to an archery store to upgrade your gear. Bring a friend and introduce them to the sport. More archers mean more financial contributions to improve hunting, shooting and wildlife-associated recreation.