Good News for Conservation – Hunter Numbers Up

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

MISSOULA, Mont. –-(Ammoland.com)- —A new report that shows more people are hunting is good news for conservation, according to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

The just-released 2011 National Survey of Hunting, Fishing, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation shows 13.7 million people, or 6 percent of the U.S. population age 16 and older, went hunting last year. That marks a 9 percent increase over 2006, reversing a previous downward trend.

“This is great news for everyone in the hunting and conservation community,” said David Allen, RMEF 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.”

Thanks to hunter-generated dollars, RMEF protected or enhanced more than 6.1 million acres of wildlife habitat. RMEF also recently added “hunting heritage” to its mission statement, reaffirming a commitment to ensuring a future for wildlife conservation through hunter-based support.

U.S. Fish & 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 4-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 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 &wildlife-recreationists were $145 billion or 1 percent of gross domestic product

The 2011 FWS report contains preliminary numbers. Read it in its entirety at the link below:

http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/upload/FWS-National-Preliminary-Report-2011.pdf

FWS 2011 National Survey of Fishing & Hunting Recreation

The final report is due in November. An FWS preliminary report containing data from the states is due out later this month.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
RMEF is leading a conservation initiative that protected or enhanced habitat on more than 6.1 million acres—an area larger than Yellowstone, Great Smoky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Yosemite and Rocky Mountain national parks combined. RMEF also is a strong voice for hunters in access, wildlife management and conservation policy issues. RMEF members, partners and volunteers, working together as Team Elk, are making a difference all across elk country. Join us at www.rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.