There is more good news for hunters and our efforts to increase our ranks. According to results of the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation State Overview Report, participation in hunting increased in 28 states between 2006 and 2011. This report is the second in a series of reports released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
In mid-August, an overview of the report showed that 38 percent of all Americans 16 years of age and older participated in wildlife-related recreation in 2011. Hunting ranks swelled by nine percent, and reversed a trend that showed a 10 percent decline in hunting participation between 1996 and 2006. According to the survey, hunting equipment expenditures rose 29 percent.
This phase of the report, the State Overview, aids wildlife management departments in creating goals and funding projects for the future. It also allows them to see if their programs are benefitting state participants in hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing.
In the release from Sept. 12, highlights included the following:
• Of the 28 States with increases in the number of wildlife-related recreation participants from 2006 to 2011, the largest percentage increases were seen in Alaska (47 percent) and Louisiana (40 percent).
• South Dakota had the highest proportion of state residents who hunted – 21 percent.
The final report will be available in November 2012, followed by detailed state reports in December. You may read the full State Overview Report here.