Funding the Wildlife Division

Thank you for purchasing a Michigan hunting license. Your hunting license dollars help restore and improve habitats for wildlife species, advance research on wildlife and wildlife-borne diseases, foster programs that help ensure access for public hunting, support hunter safety education and much more. We encourage you to keep hunting and to share your experiences with others. In doing so, you can do your part to keep our state's hunting heritage alive for future generations.

Federal Aid LogoThe Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act places an excise tax on firearms, handguns, ammunition and archery equipment. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service apportions these funds to state wildlife agencies to be used for wildlife management, research, habitat acquisition, game area and shooting range development and hunter education. Since its inception in 1937, Michigan's share of the Wildlife Restoration funds has reached almost $150 million.

Facts You Should Know

  • One of every six Michigan residents hunt or fish.

  • Hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing contribute more than $3 billion annually to our economy.

  • Recreation related to fish and wildlife conservation is vital to Michigan's economy, directly supporting more than 33,000 jobs.

  • More than 76 percent of the DNR's budget comes from funds that are restricted by law on how and why they can be spent. One of those funds is the Game and Fish Protection Fund (hunting and fishing license fees) that provide nearly one-third of that total.

  • The DNR receives little money from general tax dollars (General Fund). In fact, out of the DNR's total budget, only 9 percent comes from the General Fund - and half of that 9 percent goes to local governments, with only the remaining 4.5 percent to conservation.

  • In contrast, just 10 years ago, 23.3 percent of DNR's budget came from the General Fund.

  • The last time hunting trapping and fishing license fees were increased by Legislature was in 1996.

  • The DNR has initiated $8 million in program reductions over the past three years.

  • Cuts in conservation programs not only threaten our fish, wildlife and public land resources, they also threaten Michigan's economy.

  • Learn more: Conservation Funding Trends and Implications