Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation

If your customers are people who hunt, fish, or watch birds and other wildlife, you're in luck. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides an in-depth look at them in its 2016 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. The report provides detailed demographic, spending, and activity profiles of Americans aged 16 or older who participated in hunting, fishing, and/or wildlife observation. The survey, which is fielded by the Census Bureau every five years, has been ongoing since 1955.

Among the three recreational activities examined, wildlife watching is by far most popular. More than one-third (34 percent) of Americans aged 16 or older participated in wildlife watching in 2016 compared with 14 percent who fished and 4 percent who hunted. The survey defines wildlife watching as closely observing, feeding, and/or photographing wildlife, or visiting natural areas with wildlife observation as the primary objective.

Wildlife watching is more popular than fishing or hunting, and it is growing faster and generates more spending. Between 2006 and 2016, the number of wildlife watchers grew 21 percent—from 71 million to 86 million. The number of birdwatchers alone (45 million) almost surpasses the number of anglers and hunters combined. Wildlife watchers spent $76 billion in 2016. The number of people who fish grew from 30 million to 36 million between 2006 and 2016. Anglers spent $46 billion on fishing equipment and services in 2016. The number of hunters fell during the decade, from 12.5 million to 11.5 million. Hunters spent $26 billion in 2016.

Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2016 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation

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