The latest data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service show that 13 million people 16 years old and older hunted in 2001. These hunters spent over $20 billion (whew!) on their hunting trips, licenses, equipment, vehicles, motels, food, etc. That’s an average of $1,581 per hunter. Though hunters spend a lot of money for recreation, overall numbers dropped from just over 14 million in 1991, to 13 million in 2001. Other outdoor activities also dropped. For example, the number of nonhunters who watch wildlife has dropped by 13 percent in the past 10 years. Those who wrote the survey indicated that the economic recession, terrorist attacks, and military reaction may have lowered participation rates in all outdoor wildlife activities in 2001.
The state with the highest hunter participation rate was Montana. Twenty-four percent of all Montanans hunted in 2001. North Dakota came in second with 19 percent, while West Virginia and Wyoming tied for third with 17 percent. States with the most hunters continue to be Texas (1.2 million bought licenses), Pennsylvania, Michigan, New York, and Wisconsin.