Hunting External Affairs

What does the Fish and Wildlife Service do for hunters?

The Service's Division of Migratory Bird Management works with state wildlife agencies and the governments of Canada and Mexico to set hunting seasons for migratory birds that ensure healthy game populations in years to come and fair distribution of hunting opportunities throughout the migration routes.

Through the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, the Service is working with partners in Mexico and Canada to restore continental waterfowl populations to the numbers seen in the 1970's. The National Wetlands Inventory maps the status and trends of wetlands habitattht is essential to waterfowl and other wildlife populations.You are welcome to find the wetlands in the area where you plan to hunt.

Many of the 545 National Wildlife Refuges and 37 Waterfowl Production Areas managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service are located along the migratory flyways, serving as breeding and wintering grounds and as "rest stops" for these birds. For example, in the "Prairie Pothole Region" of the upper midwest, the National Wildlife Refuge System manages just 2% of the landscape, yet 23% of the region's waterfowl breed there. In addition, most of the units in the system are open to some form of hunting, not just waterfowl, but also for big game and/or for upland game.

The Service's Federal Aid program collects a federal excise tax on hunting equipment and ammunition to state agencies to support wildlife management programs, the purchase of wildlife habitat, and hunter education and safety classes.Federal Aid also publishes the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation and comprehensive reports on participation in hunting and fishing for each state every five years.

The Service's Divisions of Law Enforcement and Refuge Law Enforcement enforce the laws that ensure fair opportunities for everybody today and healthy wildlife populations for tomorrow.

Please check out the specific examples of how the US Fish and Wildlife Service has served hunters recently.