Hunting is money

Hunting is a Major Boost for the US-Economy, states a release from the United States Fish & Wildlife Service.

Hunting remains a major boost for the ailing US-economy according to the “Responsive Management”, which regularly surveys hunting and outdoor recreation issues in the United States (US). In an exclusive report for the CIC, the firm’s Executive Director, Mark Duda and researcher Amanda Ritchie describe how hunting continues to have a substantial impact and how it is part of a “green economy”, which is overlooked by many. At the same time, hunting expenditures pay for the maintenance of wild lands and biodiversity and conserve wildlife, huntable and non-huntable species alike. Like in many countries, hunters are the top contributors to wildlife conservation efforts in the US.

13.7 million hunters.
The recent release of the preliminary results for the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation published by the United States Fish & Wildlife Service confirmed that hunting participation in the United States is increasing. Preliminary findings suggest that 13.7 million people went hunting in 2011, a 9% increase since 2006. The same period also saw a 30% increase in hunting-related spending, with expenditures totalling nearly US$34 billion, excluding the impact of expenditures on state tax revenues, local economies, wages and salaries (i.e. total multiplier effect).
A closer look at individual hunter expenditures illustrates the wide economic impact of hunting and the far-reaching effect of recreational spending. The impact extends beyond retailers, manufacturers, and suppliers; it helps companies buy supplies and pay employees, and funds manufacturing and delivery. Together with the various hunting-related trips and money spent at fuel stations, expenditures quickly add up. When multiplied by 13.7 million hunters in the US, it is clear that hunting has a substantial impact on community economic development.

600.000 jobs.
Sales in the hunting industry appear to be faring better than many other sports despite the slowing US economy. In the US, while hunting equipment and land leasing and ownership constitute the greatest portions of expenditures, money spent on special equipment, transportation, food, and lodging also accounts for a substantial portion of total expenditures, as do licences, stamps, tags and permits. In 2006, US hunters spent US$24.7 billion in retail sales, generating US$9.2 billion in local, state, and federal tax revenue, contributing US$20.9 billion in salaries, wages and business owners’ incomes and supporting nearly 600,000 jobs nationwide. In the same year, US hunters had an overall US$66 billion economic impact in the US, when the total multiplier effect is included.
Evidence suggests that hunting is an activity that some have embraced precisely because of the recent weakening economic environment in the US. Rising fuel costs are prompting many to stick close to home and importantly, close to nature. Soaring food prices also give hunters a pragmatic reason to return to nature – hunting provides relatively inexpensive and readily available protein. It is clear that in the US hunters remain an economic force to be reckoned with, and one that appears to be increasing its power.

US$1.3 billion for wildlife conservation.
Hunting is also valuable in reducing economic losses associated with human-wildlife conflicts, livestock and agricultural damage, and animal diseases. The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation uses hunting and trapping to regulate and stabilize wildlife populations. Although some damage caused by wildlife is attributed to species that are considered non-game and cannot be hunted, hunting can be used effectively to control certain nuisance and overpopulated species. Hunting remains one of the most cost-effective methods for controlling wildlife populations and therefore helps maintain healthy wildlife populations and reduces the costs associated with wildlife damage and agricultural losses.
Hunters remain the top contributors to wildlife conservation efforts. Through a combination of excise taxes applied to hunting equipment, hunting licence sales and private donations, hunters invest more than US$1.3 billion in wildlife conservation each year. Additionally, the federal Duck Stamp has generated more than US$750 million since its implementation in 1934. All this money supports state and national game management, wildlife and habitat conservation, and conservation education programs.
In the US, hunting remains a major economic player, with increasingly substantial contributions to local, state, and national economies. Hunting helps redistribute money to rural areas, with hunting providing a financial return from lands left in their natural state. In the past, people have opposed conservation initiatives on the basis that fish and wildlife – and therefore hunting – come at the expense of economic prosperity. When managed as a recreational resource, hunting can lead to increased state and national revenue, provide jobs for millions, and contribute to the conservation and preservation of our natural resources and habitats.

See full report: The Importance of Hunting to the United States Economy..