Shooting Sports

August is National Shooting Sports Month!

Have you wanted to try target shooting, but haven't had equipment, someone to teach you, or a safe place to shoot? In August, IWLA chapters across the country will host public events for beginners like you.

At many of these events, chapters will provide everything you need, from firearms and ammunition to skilled instructors who can teach you how to shoot safely and responsibly. You can start very simply using an air rifle or basic bow, and have fun with your family and friends.

Find an event near you.

Shooting sports take many forms. Hunting is growing in popularity among people interested in local, organic food. Students are honing their skills in coordination and self-control by practicing with their school's trap-shooting team, or emulating their favorite movie characters by trying out archery at summer camp. And Ginny Thrasher (a long-time Ike!) proved herself the best in the world at air rifle when she won a gold medal and set a record high score in the sport at the 2016 Olympics.

Over 100 League chapters across the country own and operate shooting sports facilities, offering chapter members and the public opportunities to practice sports including archery, skeet shooting, and trap. These facilities are also used for firearms safety training, hunter education courses, and youth shooting programs. Many of these programs are endorsed by the National Rifle Association, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, and the Amateur Trapshooting Association.
Photo credit: Izaak Walton League of America

Hunters and Recreational Shooters Fund Wildlife Conservation

Shooting sports participants are major funders of conservation programs. Dollars collected from excise taxes on the sale of firearms, ammunition, bows, and arrows go into a federal fund managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service, and then are distributed to state wildlife agencies. The state agencies are required to use these funds to set aside land for outdoor recreation, to improve habitat and re-introduce wildlife into these restored areas of their historic ranges, and to educate would-be hunters about how to pursue game safely and ethically. In total, up to 75% of the funding for state wildlife agencies comes from special taxes and fees paid by hunters, other shooting sports participants, and anglers.

These special taxes, which have been in place since 1937, have always been supported by hunters and anglers, including by the members and leadership of the Izaak Walton League. Today, the League is still actively involved in protecting and promoting opportunities for people to safely and responsibly engage in recreational shooting sports. LEARN MORE