According to a recent report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, wildlife-related outdoor recreation in the USA increased dramatically from 2006 to 2011.
Details are contained in the final report of the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The final report follows the August 2012 Preliminary Review and the September 2012 State Overview. Contained within the final version are details about the types of activities and money spent for fishing, hunting, and wildlife watching.
More than 90 million U.S. residents 16 years old and older participated in some form of wildlife-related recreation in 2011; that is up 3 percent from five years earlier. The increase was primarily among those who fished and hunted.
Wildlife recreationists spent $144.7 billion in 2011 on their activities. Of the total amount spent, $49.5 billion was trip-related, $70.4 billion was spent on equipment, and $24.8 billion was spent on other items such as licenses and land leasing and ownership.
According to the report, 33.1 million people fished, 13.7 million hunted, and 71.8 million participated in at least one type of wildlife-watching activity such as observing, feeding and photographing wildlife.
71.8 million U.S. residents observed, fed, and/or photographed birds and other wildlife in 2011. Almost 68.6 million people wildlife watched around their homes, and 22.5 million people took trips of at least one mile from home to primarily wildlife watch.
Of the 46.7 million people who observed wild birds, 88% did so around their homes and 38% on trips a mile or more from home.
Wildlife enthusiasts also traveled to see other types of wildlife. 13.7 million people enjoyed watching land mammals. 4 million people watched marine mammals such as whales and dolphins. 6.4 million enjoyed watching fish and 10.1 million enjoyed watching other wildlife such as butterflies.
People spent $54.9 billion ($981 on average per spender) on wildlife-watching trips, equipment, and other items in 2011.
source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service