By Larry Keane

White Tail Buck Deer iStock-1068555876
State wildlife agencies are facing something many haven’t seen for years, even decades. They’re seeing flush budgets. IMG iStock-1068555876

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- State wildlife agencies are facing something many haven’t seen for years, even decades. They’re seeing flush budgets. Excise taxes paid by firearm and ammunition makers to the Wildlife Restoration Fund, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS), is nearly a half-billion dollars at just halfway through the fiscal year.

That’s a 64 percent increase over the same time last year, all due to more guns and ammunition being manufactured and the law-abiding citizens that purchase them. Last year, manufacturers paid in nearly $300 million in Pittman-Robertson excise taxes. That figure this year towers at $493 million.

That’s going to be a big increase in wildlife and habitat conservation, increased hunter access and construction on new public gun ranges, and improvements to existing ones. These figures are giving state wildlife agencies something different than what they’ve been fighting in years past. Budgets are healthier than they’ve been in years.

So far, firearm and ammunition manufacturers contributed over $13.8 billion to the Wildlife Sport Fishing Restoration Fund, also known as the Pittman-Robertson excise tax.

Outdoor Life’s Alex Robinson did the math earlier this year and found an astonishing figure. Most of that money has been paid into the trust fund in just the last decade.

“American shooters and hunters have generated as many P-R dollars in the last 10 years of gun and ammo buying as they have in the previous 72 years (when not adjusting for inflation),” Robinson reported.

Boosting Budgets

USFWS announced in February that $1 billion in wildlife conservation funds was being distributed to state wildlife agencies, an increase of

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