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Home » Library » 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation

2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation

In 2006, amongst U.S. residents, age 16 and older, 87.5 million people participated in at least one wildlife related recreation activity: 30 million fished, 12.5 million hunted, and 71.1 million participated in at least one type of wildlife-watching activity. Of 6-to-15-year-olds, 1.6 million hunted, 8.3 million fished, and 12 million wildlife watched. Together these individuals spent $122.3 billion on their activities, which equated to 1 percent of the Gross Domestic Product.
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Key FIndings:

Fishing and Hunting

  • In 2006, 33.9 million U.S. residents 16 years old and older went fishing and/or hunting. This includes 30.0 million who fished and 12.5 million who hunted— 8.5 million both fished and hunted.
  • In 2006, expenditures by sportspersons totaled $76.7 billion. Trip-related expenditures, including food, lodging, and transportation, were $24.6 billion—32 percent of all fishing and hunting expenditures. Total equipment expenditures amounted to $41.0 billion, 53 percent of the total. Other expenditures—magazines, membership dues, contributions, land leasing and ownership, and licenses, stamps, tags, and permits—accounted for $11.1 billion, or 15 percent of all sportspersons’ expenditures.

Wildlife-Watching Recreation

  • Observing, feeding, or photographing wildlife was enjoyed by 71.1 million people 16 years old and older in 2006. Among this group, 23.0 million people took trips away from home for the primary purpose of enjoying wildlife, while 67.8 million stayed within a mile of home to participate in wildlife-watching activities.
  • In 2006, wildlife watchers spent $45.7 billion. Trip-related expenses, including food, lodging, and transportation, totaled $12.9 billion, 28 percent of all expenditures. A total of $23.2 billion was spent on equipment, 51 percent of all wildlife-watching expenses. The remaining $9.6 billion, 21 percent of the total, was spent on magazines, membership dues, and contributions made to conservation or wildlife-related organizations, plantings, and land leasing and ownership for the purpose of wildlife watching.

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Last modified by Gayle Diehl

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