The nation's population is ever growing, as is the number of hunters who take the field each year. Even with attacks from various groups to push for an end of hunting entirely, the sport continues to grow. This is evident with the amount of money that the types of hunting produces for the national and local economies, state and federal taxes, and conservation efforts. So in essence, each year when you buy your hunting tags, you're not just buying your right to hunt, you are actually benefiting the game that you plan to pursue as well as the economy.
38.3 Billion, billion with a "B", is the amount of dollars that hunters spent in 2011 alone. With expenditures growing 55% since 2006, those dollars are going to grow exponentially each year. Even though the amount of new hunters afield isn't growing as quickly, sportsmen and women are still spending more and more each year on new gadgets to help them bag their buck. With the $38.3 billion spent nationwide, the multiplier effect of hunting on the economy equated to an overall economic output of $86.9 billion dollars in 2011.
There are an estimated 13.7 million hunters in the United States, who's dollars not only stem the economy, they contribute to the conservation of many animal species. Hunters typically are conservationists, sometimes more so than the folks who wish to end hunting as a means of conservation. With various groups such as; National Wild Turkey Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and Ducks Unlimited, the amount of hunters who are true conservationists makes up a high percentage of the hunting population. Aside from taxes and proceeds from hunting licenses (approx. $796 Million), $440 million dollars in donations that directly affected conservation and in 2011 $1.6 billion directly benefited conservation.
Hunting isn't always just a past time as 680,300 jobs nationwide are directly related to the expenditures from hunting. This doesn't take into account the number of dollars spent at local restaurants, shopping, and hotels. Hunting isn't just a sport as it is a way of life for many, including outfitters and small sporting goods store owners. Hunters aren't a group of savages on a conquest to ruthlessly take the lives of animals, in contrary they are a force for good to help sustain the populations of game for the better. Yes, some years the cost of your license may go up in price, but keep in mind that much of that increase will only increase your contributions to conservation and in turn benefit your hunting experience in the future.
We hope you to take pride in the sport that you are a part of. Hunting is a benefit and a privilege afforded to just a number of Americans and there is an ever growing battle to end the sport as we know it. I encourage you to pick a foundation that tailors to the game you pursue and donate to it. I want you to read this article and feel a sense of accomplishment that you aren't just spending money to chase game, you are a conversationalist and you can make a difference. Hunters and conservationists need your help making this sport that we love survive, take pride in each dollar that you spend towards hunting as you are making a difference. Happy hunting and in turn preserving for each other the sport that we love.