The Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, popularly known as the Pittman-Robertson Act, was approved by Congress on September 2, 1937, and began functioning July 1, 1938. The purpose of this Act was to provide funding for the selection, restoration, rehabilitation and improvement of wildlife habitat, wildlife management research and the distribution of information produced by the projects. The Act was amended October 23, 1970 to include funding for hunter training programs and the development, operation and maintenance of public target ranges.

Funds are derived from 11 percent Federal excise tax on sporting arms, ammunition, and archery equipment, and 10 percent tax on handguns. These funds are collected from the manufacturers by the Department of the Treasury and are apportioned each year to the States and Territorial areas (except Puerto Rico) by the Department of the Interior on the basis of formulas set forth in the Act. (The hunter education apportionment formula is based on total state population.) Funds for hunter education and target ranges are derived from one-half of the tax on handguns and archery equipment.

The selection, planning and execution of wildlife restoration, as well as hunter education and target range projects are the responsibility of the State fish and wildlife agencies. State’s fish and wildlife agencies may be reimbursed for up to 75 percent of the total cost of approved projects. Financial aid is not directly available to individuals, clubs, or local governments; except through the Administrative Grant process, discussed elsewhere in the Federal Aid Handbook. Grand Proposals are submitted by State fish and wildlife agencies to their respective Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director.

In 2000, additional funding was made available to states for hunter education enhancement and shooting ranges. These monies are available to be used to enhance existing programs, for advanced hunter education training and to improve delivery methods.

Note: As you can determine from the above information, hunters, anglers, and archery and firearms owners are where the vast majority of funding and support for our wildlife resources and public lands lie. Sportsmen are clearly the largest contributors to conservation, paying for programs that benefit all Americans and all wildlife thanks to the Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937.

Hunter Education Courses have been offered and taught in North Carolina since 1960. Hunter education was placed directly under the Division of Enforcement in 1972. On July 1st, 1991 the Hunter Education Course became mandatory. On or after July 1st, 1991 a person regardless of age, may not procure a hunting license or hunt in the State of North Carolina without producing a certificate of competency or a hunting license prior to July 1st, 1991.

Our Hunter Education Manual is one of the most up-to-date and widely used manuals throughout the United States. The minimum requirement for certification is a ten-hour course. The Hunter Education Course must cover the following:

  1. Hunter Responsibility
  2. Wildlife Conservation and Management
  3. Firearms
  4. Wildlife Identification
  5. Survival and First Aid
  6. Tree Stand Safety

The Hunter Education Manual covers all this and more. There are nine (9) chapters in the manual. In addition to the subjects we just mentioned are:

  1. Game Care
  2. Specialty Hunting
  3. Water Safety


The purpose of the IHEA is to promote hunter safety and education by providing a medium for the exchange of views and experiences; by fostering interstate, Federal-State, and Province-State cooperation and coordination in mutual problems; by promoting greater uniformity in hunter education requirements from state to state, province to province, and state to province; by promoting the reciprocal recognition of properly trained hunters between state and province hunter safety education programs; by cultivating characteristics of honesty, self-discipline, self-reliance, mutual consideration, essentials of good sportsmanship and good citizenship; by promoting programs to prevent hunting accidents; by upholding the image of hunting both as a legitimate tool of wildlife management and as a recreation sport throughout North America; and, to carry out the effective presentation and dissemination of these purposes.

In summary, the IHEA is mostly members of each state's hunter education coordinators working together for the betterment of hunter education as stated above. If a state belongs to the IHEA all certified hunter education instructors are automatically “Instructor Members”.

Each member has the right to attend the annual conference, order any materials from the IHEA catalogue at a discounted price and be eligible from some manufacturers for discount prices on items such as firearms, bow, clothing, etc.