Advocacy Archive

What Our Members Have to Say

“Being a bowhunter, I knew it was time to get more involved and support true conservation-focused organizations. Influencing change is a lot easier being a Bowhunters United member.”

– Anthony Federico, Virginia — Member since 2020

National Issues


The Future of Bowhunting: Funding, Restoration, & Protection


Recovering America's Wildlife Act (RAWA)

One of the most significant pieces of conservation legislation in the last 70 years. Recovering America's Wildlife Act will help ensure bountiful wildlife for our communities and future generations to enjoy.

Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA) would dedicate funding, approximately $1.4 billion, to States and Tribes, across our nation to address wildlife to those that are hunted, fished, and beyond.

This historic legislation has broad bipartisan support in both chambers and HR 2773 has passed through the House of Representatives while the Senate companion bill (S. 2372) has been passed out of committee and is now awaiting floor time. Conservationist, hunters, and anglers, hope to see encouraging movement to the Senate floor for passage before the end of the year.



Bowhunters are a vital contributor to wildlife conservation, habitat enhancement, protection, and management to our country. RAWA impacts our passion, our drive, and our future. This bill will ensure dedicated resources are going towards a healthy future for the wild game we pursue. With the introductory house passage of this impactful act, this bill opens the door to new hunting opportunities and the preservation of our hunting heritage.

Bowhunters Benefits:

  • Resources dedicated to over 12,000 species in need of proactive, voluntary conservation before a listing as endangered or threatened
  • Ensure bountiful wildlife for our bowhunting communities and future generations
  • Creation of new job opportunities
  • Investments in on-the-ground projects in every state, territory, and tribal land
  • Outdoor recreation economy boost
  • Restoration of natural resources
  • Funding to support agriculture, forestry, and ranching industries

FET Tax Slippage: Unfair Advantage and Lost Dollars for U.S. Hunting, Conservation, and Archery Manufactures


Federal Excise Tax Issues Slippage

Millions of federal excise tax dollars are being lost to foreign suppliers who sell “direct to U.S. consumers,” and avoid paying the excise tax US based manufacturers pay in support of hunting and conservation funding.
What is Federal Excise Tax (FET)?

A 10- to 11-percent tax manufacturers pay on the first sale of firearms, ammunition and some archery equipment established by the Pittman-Robertson Act.

What is FET Slippage?

Federal excise tax avoidance

In short, millions of federal excise tax dollars are being lost each year when foreign manufacturers sell products “direct to U.S. consumers” mainly through the internet. Over 55 conservation organizations have joined together to notify the Senate and House to take corrective action against this unfair practice. They hope to see legislative action within the next year.


Although this is a tax, bowhunters, conservation efforts, and wildlife DIRECTLY benefit from those tax dollars. All of the FET revenue is collected by the IRS, then sent to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, where it is distributed to EACH state wildlife agency.

FET dollars are applied to:

  • Habitat Restoration
  • Hunter Education
  • Wildlife Research
  • Public-access Programs
  • High-Priority Nationwide Conservation Projects

This tax directly benefits bowhunters by ensuring they have places to hunt and animals to pursue.



State Issues


Help Minnesota’s Environment Win Big


Minnesota Lottery

Minnesota’s legislation to renew lottery money for the Environment and Natural Resource Trust Fund is one of the most notable policies up for consideration this year. The trust has been funding conservation initiatives since 1988 and is responsible for protecting the state’s air, water, land, fish, wildlife and other natural resources. Constituents must pass the amendment to ensure the trust can protect natural resources in the future.

Although the trust fund isn’t going anywhere, the Minnesota Constitution states 40% of net lottery proceeds must go to the fund until 2025. If not renewed by H 1900 and companion S 2404, the trust would lose its primary revenue source leaving beneficial conservation programs, that directly impact the game species and habitat we pursue, unfunded. As bowhunters, it’s vital to pass a new constitutional amendment this year to extend the longevity of this revenue stream.

Let’s break it down; two things must occur before conservation can keep the lottery funds:

  • First, the general assembly has to pass legislation (still being negotiated) that would put this issue on the ballot for voters to consider in 2024.
  • Secondly (and only if the legislation passes), voters would have to approve the initiative at the polls just like they did in 1988. In Minnesota, the only way funds can be “dedicated” is through a constitutional amendment.

Please join Bowhunters United and other archery hunters across Minnesota to solicit a “YES” vote on H 1900 and companion S 2404 to extend lottery funding for the Environment and Natural Resource Trust Fund. The trust has an exemplary history of conservation accomplishments and aims to protect, preserve, and enhance Minnesota’s wildlife and land.


Hunting Ground TETRIS: Landlocked Lands Restrict Public Hunting Opportunities



Over 8.3 million acres of landlocked lands are posing serious accessibility challenges to public hunters. Undefined corner crossing laws leave public hunters unaware of the legal consequences for accessing ground locked by private property.

What is a Landlocked Public Land?

Land that is reserved to the public that is surrounded and restricted by surrounding private land, with no public road or trail to reach them.

What is a Corner Crossing?

The act of stepping or crossing over a property corner from one piece of public land to another.

Other than the fact that millions of landlocked public lands are bounded by surrounding private property land tracts. The larger issue is the undefined, legal grey area of hunters’ ability to corner cross into public lands legally.  At these corners, four ends meet: two public, two private.

Passing over these corners has raised a huge debate in the West. For example, in 2021 four hunters corner crossed from public land to another tract of public land using an “A” frame ladder. Private landowners prosecuted them with trespassing. Even though the hunters did not step foot on their land, they passed through their private property’s airspace.

No laws currently exist that specifically outlaw the act of corner crossing. Various attempts to define whether it is legal or illegal to do so have failed.

Over 27,120 landlocking corners are in existence in the West. The popularity of hunting has increased by 25% since 2020. Many of those new hunters are hunting on public lands, thus increasing the demand for public land hunting opportunities.

There is a MAJOR grey area when it comes to corner crossing or accessing lands that touch private property. It is important as bowhunters and citizens that we understand the laws and limitations we must abide by. It is unfair for hunters to be penalized and stripped of their right to hunt, because of unclear legislation. As bills are presented at the legislative level, we must promote and protect our right to hunt, while allowing equal opportunities for public land hunters and the preservation of our country’s wildlife and landscape.


ANIMAL “PERSONHOOD”: A world where hunting is MURDER, and deer have the same rights as YOU.



Anti-hunting and animal extremist groups are pushing legislation to give animals the SAME rights as you! Say goodbye to hunting because harvesting wild game would be considered a crime.
Organizations like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are posing a threat to your hunting heritage. Their goal is to legalize Animal “Personhood”: The ability for animals to have the same obligated, bodily rights as humans.

Animal rights activists are trying to persuade legislators to take action and give animals the same rights as you. Enacting Animal “Personhood” would drastically change our conservation system and the lives of Americans across the nation. Passing this bill would mean:

  • Hunting and harvesting an animal would be equal to murder.
  • Catch and release fishing would be a crime.
  • Trapping would be a horrific injustice.
  • Utilizing hunting dogs would be an act of animal slavery.
  • Breeding animals would be a violation of bodily rights.

This is just the surface of the outcomes we could see if anti-hunting and animal rights extremists get their way. As this issue is not on the voting roster currently, animal activists are slowly gaining traction by constantly bringing this inquiry to the legislative table. As bowhunters, we must stay diligent to protect our passion, stay informed of animal activist schemes, and oppose these types of fanatical “animal rights” initiatives.


Game Commission Seat War: Anti-Hunters V.S. Pro-Hunters



Anti-Hunters push to replace pro-hunters, skilled conservationist, and wildlife biologist positions with one of their own at the state game commission level across the nation.

What is a game commission?

A board of expert conservationists and wildlife biologists who make executive decisions to conserve, protect, and preserve wildlife through regulations and sustainable hunting.

Animal rights activists are enraged with game commissions being composed of skilled wildlife management professionals. Their goal is to maintain a commission with a board that represents the entire population, not just hunters, anglers, and outdoorsmen.

Today, anti-hunting activists continue to malign the reputations and credibility of game commissioner members, leading to qualified hunters and anglers being rejected from commission boards or the nomination process.

Repercussions of Anti-Hunter Initiatives:

  • (2021): Missouri, Nebraska, and Vermont
    • Revised the nomination process for commissions.
  • (2020-2021): New Hampshire
    • Revised nomination and qualification process. Thus, allowing recreational clubs and non-consumptive organizations a chance to sit at the table.
  • (2019): Oregon
    • A big game hunting guide, ex-military, and retired rancher was rejected by the State Senate due to concerns and criticism from animal-rights activist organizations for his big game hunting photos on social media.
  • (2018): Idaho
    • A commissioner resigned his position due to a controversial uproar after sharing images from his African safari hunting trip.
  • (2016): California
    • A commissioner submitted his resignation due to environmentalist commissioners taking a majority vote for decisions concerning their state’s wildlife conservation from a political view, instead of following proven scientific wildlife management studies.

The replacement of hunters, anglers, expert conservationists and wildlife biologists on state game commission boards is a huge concern not only for our wildlife but for sportsmen and women across the nation. Skilled conservationists, wildlife biologists, and management specialists make educated decisions for our wildlife based on science. Basing their decisions on pure emotion, anti-hunters who fill the seats of the game commission, pose a threat of restricted access, decreased hunting opportunities, and will put wild game and non-game species populations at risk.

As bowhunters, it is important that we stay active in promoting the fight to keep conservationists and hunters seated at the game commission table. Their position allows hunters like us to continue to contribute to wildlife conservation through hunting licenses, permits, tags, stamps, and outdoor-related gear.


Maryland Conservation Funding Bill


BIG Moves for Maryland’s Conservation and Wildlife

A huge conservation funding and access bill has been presented in the state of Maryland. Senate Bill 327 and a cross-filed House Bill 983 would provide nearly $9 million annually in additional conservation funding that will go directly into conservation programs benefiting all Maryland hunters, anglers, outdoorsmen, and the DNR. 

SB 327 and HB983 areis Maryland’s attempt at doubling down on conservation developmental improvements. The bill not only provides significant benefits in boosting conservation funding, itbut opens an expansion of opportunities for hunters, which will aid. Aiding in the establishment of DNR programs and divisions for hunter recruitment, retention, and reactivation. Additionally, the bill supports the continued repeal of outdated blue law restrictions preventing sportsmen and sportswomen from hunting on Sundays.  


Specific benefits the bill would have on Maryland hHunters and wWildlife include:  

  • Establishing a sika deer stamp to hunt sika deer. 
  • Removing the prohibition against hunting waterfowl on Sundays. 
  • Establishing the “Wildlife Conservation, Education, and Outreach Program” to provide outdoor recreation, hunting and wildlife conservation education to underserved communities. 
  • Allowing non-resident students attending a college or university in Maryland to obtain a hunting license at the resident rate. 
  • Increasing the price of the resident and non-resident hunting licenses by a few dollars. 

Are you a Marylander? Show your support for Maryland wildlife and conservation by contacting your representatives today.  


Right to Hunt: Iowa & Florida Fight for Constitutional Amendments


Iowa & Florida Bill Amendments for Conservation

Two states have introduced bills to affirm the rights of residents to hunt, fish, and trap wildlife. Iowa and Florida legislatures are proposing constitutional amendments to support the right to hunt, fish, and trap within their respective states. Amendments would not limit or reduce the wildlife agency’s management authority and would continue to support science-based decisions for its citizens. 

Twenty-three states across the U.S. have already actively challenged legislation to protect their rights to hunt, fish, and trap. Inspired by these same values, Iowa and Florida are sending a series of bills aimed to grant the highest level of protection to our hunting heritage and traditions.   


StatusAs HJR 6 and SJR 128 pass through the House and Senate, Iowa voters will have the final opportunity to approve the passed amendments once they pass. 


About the Bills:  

  • Public hunting, fishing, trapping, and harvesting of wildlife shall be a preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife. 
  • Reasonable laws will be enacted by the general assembly and reasonable rules adopted by the natural resources commission that promote wildlife conservation and management to preserve the future of hunting, fishing, and harvesting wildlife. 



Status: Two bills have been introduced to the House and Senate legislation table, HJR 1157 and SJR 1234.  


About the Bill:  

  • Hunting and fishing shall be preserved in perpetuity as a public right.  


The Big Picture:  

As other states see the actions of passing amendments to protect the right to hunt, fish, and trap, Bowhunters United is creating a defensive barrier to anti-hunters and animal activists who persist to take those rights away. Strategically, as more states gain the highest levels of protection for our right to hunt, we have the opportunity to focus our efforts to helping MORE states gain those same rights.  

If you are in either state, Iowa or Florida, contact your representatives today to show support for these bills. 


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