The recently-released 2011 National Survey of Hunting, Fishing, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, a report issued from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, shows 13.7 million people, or six percent of the US population age 16 and older, went hunting last year. That marks a nine percent increase over 2006, reversing a previous downward trend, and more people hunting and shooting is good news for conservation.
“This is great news for everyone in the hunting and conservation community,” said David Allen, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation president and CEO, “but it’s even better news for our conservation efforts to protect and improve habitat for elk and other wildlife. We strongly believe that hunting is conservation. This is also a reflection of the importance of our hunting legacy of the past and our hunting heritage as we look to the future.”
US Fish and Wildlife Service data show hunters spent $34 billion last year on equipment, licenses, trips and other items to support their hunting activities. If you break down the numbers, sportsmen and women spent $10.4 billion on trip-related expenditures, $14 billion on equipment such as guns, camping items and four-wheel drives, and $9.6 billion on licenses, land leasing and ownership and stamps.
“The more hunters spend on firearms, ammunition, bows, arrows and hunting licenses and permits, the more money is generated to provide the necessary funding for successful science-based wildlife management across the United States,” added Allen.
Here are some brief highlights from the FWS report:
13.7 million hunters in 2011 compared to 12.5 million in 2006 (9 percent increase)
Hunters spent an average of 21 days in the field
1.8 million 6 to 15 year olds hunted in 2011
Big game attracted 11.6 million hunters (8 percent increase since 2006)
Hunting-related expense increased 30 percent since 2006
The overall participation of hunters increased more than 5 percent since 2001
Total hunter expenditures increased 27 percent since 2001
Expenditures by hunters, anglers and wildlife-recreationists were $145 billion or 1 percent of gross domestic product
Note that this 2011 FWS report contains preliminary numbers. Final reports, as well as reports containing data from the states, are due out from the FWS before then end of 2012. Read it in its entirety at the links below:
Read more in our October 2012 issue. Back issues are available.