Economics of Hunting & Fishing

“Hunting and Fishing: Bright Stars of the American Economy”
From a report by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation

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New York State Facts

1.2 million hunters and anglers spending $5 million per day. Total spending of 1.8 billion per year just in New York State.

Sportsmen support as many jobs in New York as Merrill Lynch & Co. and Mt. Sinai Medical Center combined (28,000 jobs). • Annual spending by New York sportsmen is more than the revenues of the Nasdaq Stock Market ($1.8 billion vs. $1.66 billion). • Annual spending by New York sportsmen is equal to the combined cash receipts for dairy products and apples, two of the top agricultural commodities in the state ($1.8 billion). • New York sportsmen spend $188 million annually on outboard boats and engines to get out on the water and around the marshes for fishing and hunting. • More people hunt and fish in New York than attend NY Giants and Buffalo Bills football games (1.2 million vs. 1.17 million).

Jobs 28,000
Salaries and Wages $1 billion
Federal Taxes $254 million
State and Local Taxes $250 million
Ripple Effect $3.1 billion

National Facts

A $76 billion dollar economic force.

A dollar here. A hundred dollars there. It adds up to more than you might think. America’s 34 million hunters and anglers are an economic powerhouse, driving the economy. They’re passionate about their pastimes. And they spend passionately too. Multiply individual spending by those many millions of people, and you’re talking a major force in our economy, through booms as well as recessions. They directly support 1.6 million jobs. They spend more than a billion dollars just on licenses, stamps, tags and permits. And they generate $25 billion a year in federal, state and local taxes. By any measure, hunters and anglers are among the most prominent and influential of all demographic groups.

If a single corporation grossed as much as hunters and anglers spend, it would be among America’s 20 largest, ahead of Target, Costco and AT&T. But hunters’ and anglers’influence goes even further. They create an economic “ripple effect” of $192 billion a year. They keep people working: not just in typical hunting and fishing jobs, but also in gas stations, retail, restaurants and hotels throughout every state and congressional district of the USA. There are other numbers, too.

For instance, Americans spend more time hunting and fishing each year than days spent running the Federal government (737 million days vs. 486 million).

More people hunt and fish than watch the nightly newscasts of the three major networks—ABC, CBS, and NBC.

If the $76 billion that sportsmen spend on hunting and fishing were the Gross Domestic Product of a country, sportsmen as a nation would rank 57 out of 181 countries.

Hunters value their canine companions. So much, in fact, that they spend almost half a billion dollars ($493 billion) a year just on their dogs.

Public service paychecks: 527,900 POLICE OFFICERS. 454,000 FIREFIGHTERS OR 476,870 TEACHERS. That’s how many average salaries you could pay with the $4.2 billion that hunters contribute in state and local taxes each year.

The average hunter spends 18 blissful days engaged in his passion each year. With 12.5 million individuals, that’s 220 million days spent in the woods, fields and wetlands each year. Of course, the bigger story isn’t the time they spend. It’s the money. At $1,992 per hunter per year, that’s $24.9 billion pumped into our economy. And where do those billions go? Well, $2.1 billion goes just into food and drinks consumed on hunting trips. Another $56 million goes towards boat fuel alone, plus $30 million for boat trailers, motors and accessories. Bow hunters alone spend $674 million just on their bows and arrows. All this spending adds up to support close to 600,000 jobs—more than the number of people employed by McDonald’s corporation.

Quick: Guess what American anglers spend $1.1 billion a year on. No, it’s not their equipment. (That costs $5.3 billion.) Not food ($4.3 billion). Not even lodging ($2 billion). Nope. That $1.1 billion is what anglers spend just on bait. That’s twice what ski enthusiasts spend on all of their pricey gear (a mere $615 million).

Obviously, sportfishing is one of America’s favorite outdoor pastimes—outranking football, basketball, baseball and tennis. One in every six Americans 16 and older goes fishing. One quarter of all men do. And, perhaps surprisingly, some eight percent of all women.

Besides spending lots of money, anglers spend an average of 17 days a year on the water. That’s in stark contrast to the 13 days the average American spends on vacation. And during those 17 days, they’re supporting not just bait stands and boat makers, but gas stations, local motels, grocery and convenience stores, and of course, sporting goods retailers.

Recreational fishing, the tide that is always rising. Sportfishing pulls in 10 times the revenues of U.S. commercial seafood landings. 10 times the net. ($42 billion vs. $4 billion)

Just guess how much sportsmen spend on ice every year. No, it’s more. More than that, too. Ready? It’s $378 million. And that’s a hard fact. A cold truth.

Every year, more people go fishing than go to Orlando’s Disney World— the world’s number one resort. (30 million vs.16 million)

Thanks to fuel taxes, the Federal Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Fund now receives $570 million a year from boaters, used mostly for coastal wetlands and fisheries conservation…

Federal excise taxes and state license revenues generated by hunters and anglers allow states to own and manage 15.4 million acres of habitat, leading to dramatic increases in native fish populations. 1.4 billion fish restored.

Hunters and anglers have historically been — and continue to be — the largest contributors to government wildlife conservation programs. Through excise taxes and license revenues, they have contributed more than $10 billion dollars to conservation, and annually provide more than 80% of the funding for most state fish and wildlife agencies.

Through Federal Duck Stamp purchases hunters have generated more than $700 million, all of which goes into the National Wildlife Refuge System. This money has been used to purchase more than 5 million acres of land, offering some of the best public outdoor recreation and wildlife watching opportunities in the country.

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