A Dying Sport: The State Of Hunting In America
The statistics presented in this document originated from various reports from Almanacs, state wildlife agencies, or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Furthermore, this report explains the conservation movement, which is responsible for the creation of modern sports hunting, and how it has control over wildlife policy. Also explored, are wildlife agencies, how they are funded, and how their funding results in these agencies being proponents of the hunting industry.
Discussion is also devoted to the economic activity generated by the hunting industry.
- According to the US Fish and Wildlife service, in 2001, hunters spent $20.6 billion on their sport.
- For every 1% that the number of hunters’ declines, the hunting industry loses $206 million per year.
- The hunting industry has come up with different ways to make fewer hunters spend more money to make up for the decline in hunting, through GPS, high tech equipment, etc.
- By comparison, wildlife watchers spent $38.4 billion in 2001, more than hunters, but largely ignored by wildlife agencies since none of the revenue went back to the agency, but was spent on equipment, trips, etc.
The long-term decline of hunters and animal victims is also presented within.
- The number of hunters has been declining by 1.4% per year, while the number of animals killed has been declining by 3% per year.
- The primary reason for this decline is attributed to a decline in small game hunting, including mourning doves and upland game birds.
- Per year, hunters kill an average of .7 large animals per hunter or 18 small animals per hunter.
- The most widely hunted animal is white tail deer, which is stalked by twice as many hunters as other animals.
- 84% of hunters hunt for big game, 41% hunt small game, 23% hunt migratory birds and 8% hunt other animals.
- The animals most killed by hunters are mourning doves, which make up 20% of all animals hunted in the United States.
- White tailed deer made up 5.6% of the animals killed in 2001.
- If the downward trend in hunting continues, by the year 2050, hunters will only comprise 1% of the population.
- The most notable decline in hunting is in small game, which is a concern to the hunting industry because this is the way small children are indoctrinated to hunting.
This analysis offers insight into how hunting may change over time:
- Hunting will become a sport for the elite, wealthy urbanites, and may gravitate toward canned hunting.
- An increase in “suburban” hunting.
- Increasing breakdown of the Leopold Synthesis, which has historically dominated wildlife management.
Section two of the report presents a statistical overview of hunting in the United States.