posted on October 03, 2007 00:00
New Report Documents the Immense Economic Impact of Hunting and Fishing In America
Washington, DC, September 26, 2007 - A new report released by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation demonstrates that by any measure, America’s 34 million hunters and anglers are among the most prominent and influential of all demographic groups. Spending more than $76 billion dollars a year on hunting and fishing, America’s hunters and anglers would rank in the top 20 list on the Fortune 500. In fact their spending is greater than the revenues of high-tech giants Microsoft, Google, eBay and Yahoo - combined.
These latest figures demonstrate that season after season, hunters and anglers drive the economy from big business to rural towns, through booms and recessions. They directly support 1.6 million jobs, which is twice as many jobs as the combined civilian payrolls of the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps.
“While hunting and fishing are generally thought of as just outdoor traditions, they actually comprise an outdoor nation - both in terms of economic impact, and in turning out the vote on Election Day,” stated Jeff Crane, president of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. “If the $76 billion dollars sportsmen spend on hunting and fishing was the Gross Domestic Product of a country, sportsmen as a nation would rank 57th out of 181 countries.”
Broken down to a daily spending figure, the economic stimulus of hunting and fishing comes out to an astounding $208 million dollars a day. This spending keeps 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. Of course, government coffers also benefit -- spending by sportsmen generates $25 billion dollars in federal, state and local taxes.
“Hunters have an unequaled passion for their outdoor traditions, spending 220 million days in the woods, fields and wetlands each year and nearly $2,000 per person on firearms, ammunition and other equipment and services,” said Doug Painter, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “That’s $23 billion pumped into the economy, benefiting not only the manufacturers of hunting-related products, but everything from local mom and pop businesses to wildlife conservation in every state in America.”
Even despite the recent rise in fuel costs, hunters and anglers remained immune to jumps in gas prices; spending a total of $1.8 billion in motorboat fuel on hunting and fishing activities.
“Boating plays a larger role in hunting and fishing than people realize, especially in terms of money spent and participation,” noted Thom Dammarich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “Figures from the U.S.F.W.S. survey estimate that sportsmen spend more than $11 billion dollars on boat fuel, boats and related equipment to get them around in the marshes and out on the water.”
The report, Hunting and Fishing: Bright Stars of the American Economy ~ A force as big as all outdoors, uses the results from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation and compares hunters’ and anglers’ impact on the economy with other industries and constituencies.
“This report clearly demonstrates the tremendous impact that sportsmen and women have on their communities, the economy, the environment, and even on politics,” said U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, avid sportsman and co-chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus. “Their presence is too great to be ignored by policymakers in Washington, DC, and I urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to look at this report and make sportsmen’s issues a priority.”
While recent media attention has focused on the small decreases in licensed sportsmen, the CSF report focuses on the economic powerhouse of hunters and anglers and how they compare to other sectors of the economy. The report also discusses the “undocumented sportsmen” – hunters and anglers whose numbers cannot be derived from this data.
It is a fairly simple equation - hunters and anglers mean jobs and tax revenue in every state and congressional district of the country,” stated Crane. The economic impact and shear size of sportsmen as a constituency are facts that every lawmaker should pay attention too.”
“Auto manufacturers are well aware of this demographics tremendous economic impact,” said Dave McCurdy, president & CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. “Hunters and anglers are among our largest consumer groups for pick-up trucks and SUVs and because those vehicles best meet their needs. In fact, in 2006, for the fifth year in a row, sales of these larger vehicles exceeded passenger car sales.”
Hunting and Fishing: Bright Stars of the American Economy ~ A force as big as all outdoors is available on the web at www.sportsmenslink.org and www.nssf.org
A video of the press conference will be available September 27th on the web at www.versus.com