Hunting and fishing enthusiasts have long supported conservation in America.
Even though hunting for food is no longer necessary, it has a long history in our country.
Over the decades, the US and state governments have created a delicate balance between habitats, game management and hunters/anglers.
Through the cost of permits and fees, the people who enjoy fishing and hunting have paid for the improvements to land and animal management brought about by state and national fish and wildlife programs.
However, the US Fish and Wildlife Service recently released a shocking report.
The Report that May Rock Your Socks
Across America, there was a 10% drop in the number of hunters aged 16 and over, between years 1996 and 2006. In some states, however the drop was more serious. Illinois, between 1996 and 2006, experienced a 27% decline in hunters (aged 16 and above), and an unbelievable 35% drop in the numbers of fishing folk!
Besides money, anglers and hunters are the main way states stem wildlife over-population. By having hunters and anglers doing managed harvesting, the general animal population has enough to eat and the species stays strong.
The Monetary Impact of Fishing Folk and Hunters
Every year, these hunting and fishing enthusiasts spend $76 billion (according to the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, in their report – “Hunting and Fishing: Bright Stars of the American Economy ~
A force as big as all outdoors.”
The figures speak for themselves. “They (hunters and fishing enthusiasts) directly support 1.6 million jobs. They spend more than a billion dollars just on stamps, licenses, tags and permits. And they generate $25 billion in federal, state and local taxes.”
“If a corporation grossed as much as hunters and anglers spend, it would be among America’s 20 largest, ahead of Target, Costco and AT & T.” However, the money they spend causes a “ripple effect” of $192 billion per year across the economy.
One other statistic of the report I’d like to share is: “Spending by hunters and anglers is more than the revenues of Microsoft, Google, eBay and Yahoo — combined ($76 billion vs. $73.6 billion). Thus, you can see that a 10 % drop in revenues is a serious issue.
Lest you think the forests and woodlands are sitting idle, think again. There has been a huge increase in the numbers of folks who spend time watching wildlife. So there is more pressure on these forests and woodlands without an increase in income. Birdwatchers, generally, don’t pay fees, such as the stamps, licenses, tags and permits – mentioned above.
Final Words in Part I
In other words, the delicate balance between habitat, animal management and humans is being torn asunder. The latest stats I’ve read says that less than 3% of today’s hunters and anglers are under 17. That is why I wrote the article, “Why Should You Get Your Kids Interested in Hunting?”
There’s lots more to this issue. However, this blog is already getting long. Recently I promised myself to try keeping articles down to about 500 words.
Stay tuned for Part II
This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com