According to the federal government, more than 38 million Americans hunt and fish annually. More Americans hunt and fish than play golf and tennis combined.
Nearly five percent of the U.S. populations, about 12.5 million people, are active hunters. Whitetail deer remain the most popular big game species, with nearly 78 percent of all hunting activity targeting whitetails. The average hunter spends $1,638 every year on the sport.
According to research, 72 percent more women are hunting with firearms today than just five years ago. And 50 percent more women are now target shooting. Combined, Americans hunt 228 million days per year and sales of hunting gear are growing faster than all other segments of the sporting goods industry.
More than 44 million Americans enjoy fishing every year and the average angler spends more than $1,000 annually on the sport.
Over one quarter of all anglers are female and largemouth bass remain the most popular species of freshwater fish, with nearly 60 percent of fishing activity targeting largemouth.
And the survey says...
I've long had a keen interest in polls, surveys and statistics, especially those that offer insight into the outdoor activities that I enjoy regularly, such as hunting and fishing.
Surveys conducted by institutions that have a vested interest in the results are susceptible to skewing the numbers. Often, the results of surveys that are unfavorable to the funding organization never make it into the public domain.
Such practices are not acceptable to Southwick Associates, which are one of the nation's oldest and most reputable resources for obtaining reliable statistics regarding the economics of the hunting and fishing industry. Southwick Associates functions independently of industry manufacturers and marketers. They are not connected to any government agencies, tourism councils or trade associations.
The firm gathers data from a variety of sources including retail and wholesale sales figures, Federal Excise tax receipts, which are included in the cost of all equipment sold for hunting and fishing purposes, as well as regular surveys of sporting good stores and their customers.