Responsive Management, an outdoor research organization, has published a survey that explains why hunting and fishing participation has increased in the US.
The survey was based on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s hunting and fishing participation survey, conducted from 2006 to 2011. During that period hunting participation increased by nine percent and fishing by 11 percent.
The primary reason for those increases: the great recession.
In recent years, hunters and anglers who were unemployed had more time to hunt and fish, and had a greater incentive to gather their own meat to save money.
Outdoorsmen that earned higher wages during the recession also played a big part. They spent more money on hunting and fishing trips, which created more business for guide and outfitter services.
The survey also showed that more hunters and anglers are turning to fishing and hunting as sources of ‘green’ organic food.
The Idaho Statesmen Journal reported that in recent years the organic food movement has become more open to hunting and fishing as a method for gathering local and ‘green’ meat.
Another reason for the increases was the boost in wildlife agency recruitment and access programs. Both of those factors created more opportunities for new hunters and anglers, particularly those in suburban areas, to get out into the field.
State Fish and Wildlife agencies have also increased their marketing efforts in recent years, and have focused on making licenses more appealing to sportsmen.
Gathering the Info
Responsive Management conducted the survey over an 18-month period. They interviewed more than 1,400 people in 10 states, and gathered information from state wildlife agencies, including license sales and recruitment numbers.
The organization said that all of the factors played a significant role in boosting hunting and fishing participation.
“The fact that a variety of factors was responsible for the increases should not take away from the importance of each individual factor,” Mark Damian, executive director of Responsive Management, told the Idaho Statesmen.
No matter what the reason, we’re glad to hear that more people are hunting and fishing.