Survey offers hunters census
The latest National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) provides information on the number of participants in fishing, hunting, and wildlife watching (observing, photographing, and feeding wildlife), and the amount of time and money spent on these activities.
According to the survey, over 87 million U.S. residents 16 years old and older fished, hunted, or watched wildlife in 2006. During that year, 29.9 million people fished, 12.5 million hunted, and 71.1 million participated in at least one type of wildlife-watching activity, including observing, feeding, or photographing.
According to the report, five percent of the U.S. population 16 years old and older, 12.5 million people, hunted in 2006. They spent an average of 18 days pursuing their sport. The number of all hunters declined by 4 percent from 2001 to 2006 and there was a 3 percent drop in overall expenditures.
Photo by Julian K. Robinson
Although the total number of hunters declined from 2001 to 2006, the number of big game hunters held their own. The biggest declines were in migratory bird hunting (down 22 percent) and small animal hunting (down 12 percent).
The survey provided a regional and state breakdown of outdoor activity. According to the state overview survey (available here), 12 percent of the residents in the New England states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont) fished and/or hunted in 2006 and 40 percent closely observed, fed, and/or photographed wildlife.
New England hunters averaged 18 days. The state with the most resident and nonresident hunters was Maine. The State that hosted the most resident and nonresident wildlife watchers was Massachusetts.
Fishing expenditures totaled $1.5 billion in the New England region, hunting expenditures were $666 million, and wildlife-watching expenditures were $2.7 billion. The averages per participant were $932 for fishing, $1,523 for hunting, and $490 for wildlife watchers.
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