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How Much Money Is Spent On Hunting?

How much money is spent on hunting in the U.S. each year?

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According to the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting & Wildlife-Associated Recreation in 2016, the total spend in the United States on hunting was $26.2 billion.

The survey – the largest of its kind – is done every five years to collect information on anglers, hunters and wildlife watchers across the United States.

The latest survey shows a decline in spending on hunting, having come down from $33.7 billion in 2011. However, it does remain higher than the findings of the previous 2006 edition, noting expenditure of $22.9 billion.

To collect the data, they interview U.S. Residents to get an idea of the changing landscape of outdoor recreation, and its future economic impact.

The statistics include hunters – with or without a licence – who hunted big game, small game, migratory birds, or other animals.

Hunting weapons include rifles, shotguns, pistols, handguns, archery equipment, crossbows and muzzleloaders.

$26.2 billion was spent on hunting in 2016.

$26.2 billion was spent on hunting in 2016.

In 2016

0
Hunters
0
Days Hunting
0
Hunting Trips
$ 0 Billion
Expenditures

On What type of hunting do we spend our money?

  • Big Game
  • Small Game
  • Migratory Birds
  • Others

Big-Game Hunting

Hunting ElkBig-game hunting appears to be by far the most popular type, with 9.2 million hunters chasing deer, moose, bear, elk and wild turkey over a massive 133 million days.

Spending on big-game related hunting trips and equipment reached $14.9 billion in 2016.

Small-Game Hunting

Pheasant HuntingSmall-game hunting – such as rabbits, pheasants, quail and grouse – cowers in comparison, with overall related spending of $1.7 billion in 2016.

Around 3.5 million hunters went small-game hunting in 2016, for a combined 38 million days.

Migratory-Bird Hunting

Geese HuntingThere were fewer hunters again when it came to migratory-bird hunting at 2.4 million. These hunters racked up a combined 16 million days of hunting in 2016.

Impressively though, they managed to spend more than small-game hunters, investing some $2.3 billion on their hobby in 2016.

Migratory birds include waterfowl, doves, ducks and geese amongst others.

Other animals

Wild Boar HuntingOther animals included racoons, feral pigs and other uncategorised animals. About 1.3 million hunters hunted for 13 million days and spent some $755 million in 2016.

9.2 million hunters spent $14.9 billion hunting big game in 2016.

9.2 million hunters spent $14.9 billion hunting big game in 2016.

# of Hunters in 2016

0 Million
Big Game
0 Million
Small Game
0 Million
Migratory Birds
0 Million
Other Animals

What do we buy to go hunting?

  • Trips
  • Equipment
  • Other Fees

Going hunting can get quite expensive due to all of the additional costs related to a hunting trip.

Speaking broadly, we spend our money on three categories.

Hunting Cost Categories

Trip-Related Spending

In 2016 we spent a total of $9.2 billion on trips and their related costs.

  • Food & Lodgings
    Food & Lodgings $3.1 billion

    Lodgings rental, food, drink.

  • Transportation
    Transportation $3.2 billion

    Vehicles, gas, tickets, etc.

  • Other Trip Costs
    Other Trip Costs $2.9 billion

    Guide fees, land use fees, equipment rental, etc.

Equipment-Related Spending

In 2016 we spent a total of $12.8 billion on hunting equipment.

Other Costs

In 2016 we spent a total of $2.9 billion on additional costs, such as memberships, subscriptions, land leasing, permits and plantings.

Although they don’t seem like much, these additional costs start to add up significantly.

Importantly, many of these costs go towards the conservation of land and hunted species, bolstering their numbers and protecting them for the future.

  • Magazines, Books & DVDs
    Magazines, Books & DVDs $0.2 billion
  • Membership Dues & Contributions
    Membership Dues & Contributions $0.2 billion
  • Land Leasing & Ownership
    Land Leasing & Ownership $2.9 billion
  • Licenses, Stamps, Tags & Permits
    Licenses, Stamps, Tags & Permits $0.8 billion
  • Plantings
    Plantings $0.2 billion

    To entice game.

Who spends money on hunting?

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Household Income

What percentage of the U.S. hunts?

The US population in 2016 consisted of 323.4 million people. There are 11.5 million hunters, which is roughly 3.5% of the total population.

3.5%

What percentage of men and women in the U.S. have hunted?

Males
8%
Females
1%

Gender

Hunting is undoubtedly a male-dominated pastime. Of nearly 12 million hunters, men make up almost 90%. 

10.3 million men
89.5%
1.1 million women
10.5%

Age

Hunting is predominated by an ageing population.

When compared against surveys from 2011 and 2006, hunting not only has slightly fewer followers than 5 or 10 years earlier but is also losing interest in younger generations.

Household Income

The participation rate in hunting increases as household income increases.

When compared to previous surveys, it seems that either inflation is taking its toll on lower-income hunters.

Summary

Hunting contributes significantly to the U.S. economy, contributing $26.2 billion in 2016.

The majority of this was spent on hunting trips and equipment purchase for hunting big game.

Total expenditure has dropped significantly by 22% from 2011, which seems to be from a declining interest from younger generations in hunting.

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