It’s been a little discouraging of late, what with the keyboard commandos attacking hunters and outdoors sportsmen, and sportswomen. This, on top of the constant attacks from all fronts to us as firearms owners. Consider most recently, Eva Shockey. She is the daughter of noted sportsman and hunter, Jim Shockey. She has come into her own right as one who has hunted on more than one continent. Just this week she and her dad were in North Carolina to hunt their notedly huge black bear.
After posting a picture of her prize, all 510 pounds of it, on Facebook . . .
she started receiving death threats. One person suggested that she shoot her dog instead of the bear. It should be noted that she and her dad donated the meat to local charities. She will likely keep the rug. I know I would. A moose she recently bagged will feed her guests at her upcoming wedding. Mmmmm, moose burger!
Add to that the online attacks of Kendall Jones, the Texas cheerleading huntress who had Facebook remove some of her photos.
And let’s not leave the guys out of the mix. TV personality and world traveling hunter Tim Herald had his entire Facebook public figure page deleted (now restored). Supposedly due to people complaining about him posing with his game. Before you can say things like, don’t use Facebook, or stay off social media, consider that social media is also part of the way these folks advertise their services and stay within contractual obligations with their sponsors, etc.
So far I have been immune from attacks on my page, probably because I’m nobody. Besides promoting hunting and fishing, I’m part of several gun- and hunting-related groups, .416 safari rifles for one, Oregon Long Range Hunting Buy and Sell, a couple of safari outfits. And yes, I post pictures of me and my game.
What these anti-hunter or vegan/vegetarian types usually aren’t aware of is something called the Pittman-Robertson Act. Signed into law in 1937, it enacted a tax of 11% on long guns and ammunition sales. In the ’70’s it was amended to add handguns and archery equipment. The law stipulated that money be allocated to hunter education programs, shooting ranges, and most importantly, (in my opinion), wildlife management.
In some states, deer were endangered, elk were all but gone. Buffalo? Close to extinction. Now, some states have extended seasons and five deer per hunter limits. Kentucky has elk to hunt again. Buffalo tags are for sale in a few states. All due to wildlife management, paid for with Pittman-Robertson revenue.
The money generated by this act pales in comparison to the amount of money spent by hunters on license and tag fees. Especially out-of-state license fees. (and I’m not going to even add in travel expenses, hotel, food tourism dollars, or outfitter fees). My upcoming elk license and tag ran me $72.00. My buddy Dave is from Washington and is spending $657.00 for his non-resident fees. Most states charge extra for out-of-state hunters. I’ve been putting in for a Montana moose tag the past few years to no avail. And it costs just to apply. A resident gets charged ten bucks. Me? Fifty. And if I ever draw a tag, it’s gonna cost $750 for my tag instead of $50 for Montanans.
Those fees are on top of the guns, archery equipment and ammo I’ve already bought throughout the year. Working from memory, that includes a rifle, $900. Scope, $300. Shotgun, $600. Rifle ammo, about $350 in live ammo, another couple hundred on reloading supplies. Shotgun ammo, about $500. New Mathews bow, $800. Arrows, sight, quiver, release, arrow rest…another few hundred.
And those are just three of my hunting rigs. That doesn’t count several cases of pistol and rifle ammo that I just plink with. Not to mention food for my .50 that I can’t use for hunting because Oregon has a weight limit on guns for hunting. (Apparently they are looking out for my health, not letting me lug a 35 pound rifle around).
So, add up all that Pittman-Robertson money, and I’ve contributed well over $400 to wildlife conservation. Now include the left over money for the tags here and abroad that I didn’t draw. Even if you don’t hunt but enjoy the fun of shooting for groups…
you’ve contributed to wildlife conservation and management. For that, I personally thank you for your contributions. Keep up the great work while exercising our natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.
The latest dollar amounts available regarding the P-R act are from fiscal year 2012. That’s a total of…drum roll please…$555,300,000 bucks for bucks and other critters collected and distributed to the states for wildlife conservation. We can all take a WAG at the amount for the year of the gun, 2013. It will certainly eclipse 2012. That’s well over a billion dollars in two years donated by all of us. Shooters, collectors, self defenders, investment types, and finally, hunters. Hunters, paying to hunt the animals they pay for to be managed. Talk about the circle of life.
For the anti-hunter-hater crowd, I would ask. How much money have you contributed? As for the vegan and/or vegetarian crowd? This is all I have: