I am writing in response to a recent letter questioning duck hunting in the river adjacent to Buckhorn State Park, which is a wildlife refuge. Upon being told that hunters pay (through license fees) for the right to hunt in this area, the authors ask: Don't funds from non-hunting taxpayers also go to the park? Yes, non-hunters do indeed pay for refuges and parks, but hunters pay four times. First, with sporting license fees. Second, with the Pittman-Robertson Act, which taxes guns, ammunition, etc. Third, with the federal duck stamp, which uses proceeds to improve and acquire wetlands to improve habitat. And fourth, through state and federal income taxes.
If not for the effort of one hunter in particular, President Theodore Roosevelt, there might be no refuges, sanctuaries or national parks. Roosevelt had the insight to put aside vast tracts of land never to be lost to subdivisions so that there will always be wild places to be shared by wildlife, hikers, campers, tourists and, yes, hunters.
WILLIAM G. MCALLISTER