Oklahoma Hunters Support Conservation

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Tens of thousands of hunters have headed into the woods this fall and winter carrying their hunting licenses in their back pocket. When hunters purchase a license the Wildlife Department works hard to make sure sportsmen get their money's worth - and much more.

"When hunters and anglers buy a license we can leverage those dollars with federal funding through the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration programs," said John Stafford, federal aid coordinator for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. "For instance when a deer hunter buys a $20 hunting license, the Wildlife Department can leverage those dollars with up to $60 in matching federal funds. They may not realize it, but when a hunter purchases a license they are investing up to $80 or more into wildlife conservation in Oklahoma."

The Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration programs are a tremendous example of true partnerships between private industries, state governments, the federal government and hunters, anglers and boaters. Firearms, bows and arrows, fishing tackle, boat fuel and other outdoor related equipment are subject to special federal excise taxes which help fund conservation efforts around the country.

The federal government collects these taxes from manufacturers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service administers and disburses the funds to the state fish and wildlife agencies like the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

Hunters, anglers, shooters and boaters ultimately pay these taxes through the purchase of products. These same groups benefit from the funds, as states must spend the money on sport fish and wildlife habitat restoration/development, population management, user access and facilities and education.

The funds are used by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation for a wide range of important activities, including the purchase and maintenance of wildlife management areas, restoration and maintenance of fish hatcheries, user facilities, surveying fish and wildlife populations, and educating young hunters.

For more information about the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, log on to www.wildlifedepartment.com.