No state general fund money is budgeted to manage wildlife in Idaho. Hunters and anglers fund the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) through their purchases of licenses and by paying federal excise taxes on hunting and fishing equipment.
To recognize the contributions hunters and anglers have made for the management and conservation of all wildlife species, the fourth Saturday in September is celebrated across the country as “National Hunting and Fishing Day”. The designation was first made back in 1972 by a unanimous vote of Congress. That makes this Saturday, September 27, National Hunting and Fishing Day 2014.
Honorary chairs of National Hunting and Fishing Day have included George H.W. Bush, Tom Seaver, Hank Wiliams Jr., Arnold Palmer, George Brett, Jeff Foxworthy, and other sports and entertainment figures who support hunting and fishing. This year the Honorary Chairman is country music star and television host Craig Morgan.
More than 3,000 hunting and fishing events are planned across the nation to celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day 2014. In the Idaho Panhandle, IDFG and numerous local hunters have planned a youth mentored waterfowl hunt at four locations, to introduce young hunters to the sport of duck hunting. If you would like to get in on the fun, call us at 769-1414.
Licenses and tags sold to hunters, and an excise tax on hunting and fishing equipment are the funding foundation for state wildlife agencies. Additional money comes from the federal government to IDFG for the management of endangered species. IDFG also receives funds that mitigate for wildlife habitat lost to power generation projects. A small amount is received from a voluntary checkoff on the state income tax and the voluntary purchase of wildlife themed license plates. But the vast majority of funding comes directly from hunters and anglers.
While no state tax money comes to IDFG, the sales taxes from the purchase of hunting and fishing activity generate tens of millions of dollars every year that go into the state general fund.
In a given year, IDFG will sell about 365,000 resident hunting or fishing licenses. More than twice that number of Idahoans identify themselves as hunters or angle, but they do not participate every year. Just as there are people who view themselves as “skiers” but do not hit the slopes every year, there are hunters and anglers who do not hunt or fish every year.
34 million people hunt and fish in the United States. By buying hunting and fishing licenses and paying special taxes on firearms and ammunition, bows and arrows, and rods and reels, hunters and anglers generate $100,000 every 30 minutes. This pays for the bulk of wildlife conservation work done by fish and wildlife agencies in every state. And that figure does not include the spin-off economic activity that in Idaho alone is in the hundreds of millions of dollars every year.
So when it comes to paying for fish and wildlife management, hunters and anglers have long carried the load. To celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day, thank a hunter or angler for their decades of contributions to fish and wildlife management and the North American model of conservation.
Fall Chinook – Sept. Treat
Fall Chinook salmon are beginning to show-up in the fishery around Lewiston, Idaho. With record numbers crossing dams on the Lower Snake and Columbia Rivers; fishing can only get better.
Most anglers are using bait (herring, shrimp or eggs).