Statement from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies on a Series of Reports on Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation

September 4, 2018

The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies is pleased to see a series of reports released today by the American Sportfishing Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, showcasing expenditures made for hunting, target shooting and sportfishing gear and services in 2016 supported 1.6 million jobs and provided $72 billion in salaries and wages. 

“Outdoor recreation is one of our nation’s largest economic engines and benefits vital conservation and education programs that benefit all Americans,” stated Virgil Moore, President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Director of Idaho Fish and Game. “Hunting, fishing and wildlife watching are part of our national heritage and continue to be powerful forces in our nation’s economy.”

Key highlights of the reports include:

  • Each year, 35.8 million people 16 years and older take to America’s waters to fish.
  • More than 28 million people over 16 years old took to our nation’s forests and gun ranges to hunt and target shoot in 2016.
  • The number of people who participate in sportfishing, hunting and target shooting represents 16.5 percent of the total U.S. population.
  • When factoring in multiplier effects, spending by sportsmen created economic activity in excess of $220 billion.
  • Hunting, fishing and shooting adds $119 billion of overall value to our nation’s gross domestic product and generates $17.6 billion in federal taxes and $12.2 billion in state and local taxes.

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