8 out of 10 Americans Approve of Hunting 9 out of 10 Fishing

October 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Trail Boss News

How many American approve of hunting, fishing and wildlife management?  Recent-year surveys show 8 in 10 Americans approve of hunting and more than 9 in 10 approve of fishing. That’s strong support. Here are three reasons the American public value hunting and fishing today:

Economic Impact

No bailouts needed here. Hunting and angling together are an economic force worth $76 billion a year. In 2010, America’s economic stimulus package will generate its highest level of federal spending at $236 billion-but hunters and anglers will spend almost a third of that amount all by themselves.

A Congressional Sportsman’s Foundation report shows if hunters and anglers were a nation, their gross domestic product would rank 57 out of 181 countries.

About 1.6 million jobs depend on hunters and anglers. Gas stations, stores, restaurants, hotels and other businesses benefit, especially in rural America.

And these recreations are comparatively recession-proof. In the first half of 2009, hunting and fishing license sales actually gained 7.6 and 5.4 percent, respectively, over 2008, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation and Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.

Wildlife Management:

Rabies, crop damages, nuisances. Hunting helps control these wildlife issues and many others-none more dramatic than highway accidents involving deer. White-tailed deer once were on the verge of extinction but rebounded behind historic conservation efforts. The same is true with elk.Today, deer and elk numbers are skyrocketing.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates 1.5 million deer collisions occur each year. More than 200 people are killed annually. According to a Western Transportation Institute calculation that includes costs of emergency response, injuries to driver and passengers, damages to vehicle and more, the 2009 average cost of hitting a deer is $6,600. Total public cost: $9.9 billion a year.

Now consider that, nationwide, for every deer hit by a motorist, hunters take six. Imagine the human casualties and costs if hunting ended.

Conservation Funding:

What if Congress announced a tax increase to cover $2 billion in annual expenses for conservation programs? Don’t worry. Hunters and anglers are already paying that tab. For the privilege of consuming surplus, renewable game and fish resources, hunters and anglers purchase licenses. They also pay special excise taxes on firearms, ammunition, bows, arrows, rods and reels. Combined, these fees generate $100,000 every 30 minutes, more than $1.75 billion per year, for wildlife, fisheries and habitat programs. Hunters and anglers also contribute another $300 million a year to nonprofit organizations that extend conservation benefits even further. Results have brought many species turkey, pronghorn, Canada goose, wood duck and others and their habitats from vanishing to flourishing. These efforts enabled restoration of other species such as wolves.

America’s living landscape is a precious asset for all citizens who enjoy wildlife and wild places. Once again it is gratifying to read in the September 23 copy of The Willits News about the community volunteers who worked hard cleaning up Baechtel, Willits and Broaddus creeks.

WHS boy’s soccer Coach Noel Woodhouse and the soccer team, along with several City of Willits employees and many other volunteers, did a great job on September 19, collecting some 4,500 pounds of junk that had been dumped in the creeks.

Jerry Ward of Willits Solid Wastes allowed the group of volunteers to drop off the clutter free of charge. With the ongoing threat to the fish population, this is a giant step in helping to bring back the salmon and steelhead runs once abundant along these creeks.

Everyone should keep in mind that as long as littering is greater than the level of cleanup, pollution will always be with us. We all must make an effort to do better. Woodhouse will continue his efforts in the community; persons interested in helping or contributing may call him at 459-4677.

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One Comment on "8 out of 10 Americans Approve of Hunting 9 out of 10 Fishing"

  1. Sue Massey on Tue, 6th Oct 2009 8:30 AM 

    A friend of mine just emailed me one of your articles from a while back. I read that one a few more. Really enjoy your blog. Thanks

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