Published since 1946
FWS Releases 2016 Survey on Wildlife-Related Recreation
Preliminary findings from the most recent National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Related Recreation show that 101.6 million Americans, 40 percent of the U.S. population over the age of 16, participated in some form of wildlife recreation in 2016. These participants also play a key role in the nation’s economy spending $156 billion. The new survey data, released in early September, found large increases in fishing and wildlife viewing, however there was a decline in hunting participation and spending. Overall, there was a 20 percent increase in wildlife viewing between 2011 and 2016 from 71.8 million to 86 million participants with an associated 28 percent increase in spending from $59.1 billion to $75.9 billion. Fishing participation increased by 8 percent since 2011 from 33.1 million to 35.8 million anglers in 2016 with a slight increase in expenditures from $45 billion to $46.1 billion. Participation in hunting dropped by about 2 million with 11.5 million hunters in 2016; there was also a 29 percent decline in spending by hunters from $36.3 billion to $25.6 billion. A new component of the survey evaluated participation in archery and target shooting with 32 million target shooters using firearms and 12.4 million people recreationally shooting archery.
“Hunters and anglers form the foundation of wildlife conservation in the United States, consistently generating more funding for habitat and wildlife management than any other source,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Principal Deputy Director Greg Sheehan in a statement. “Industry, federal, and state fish and wildlife agency initiatives that focus on hunter and angler recruitment, retention, and reactivation are crucial to sustaining these conservation dollars and ensuring the next generation of wildlife enthusiasts have the opportunity, access, and awareness to pursue these time-honored American traditions.”
A video recently released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tells the story of how hunting and fishing fund state wildlife management and the important role that these outdoor traditions play in conservation efforts.