Hunter/Angler Expenditure Survey Results Available

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Every five years or so, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department surveys hunters and anglers to assess activities and associated spending. Results of the most recent survey, covering the 2001-02 fishing and hunting seasons, are now available.

The Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics at North Dakota State University conducted the survey.

Data obtained from the report allows game and fish department personnel to identify trends in hunting and fishing activities by comparing current information with previous studies, said Dean Hildebrand, game and fish director. "We understand hunting and fishing plays an important role in the state's economy," Hildebrand said, "and we are at a time when sportsmen and women can enjoy abundant fish and wildlife resources."

In the 116-page final report and 24-page summary, authors Dean A. Bangsund and F. Larry Leistritz attribute a combination of more participants, and greater per-person spending to a $106 million increase in total spending related to hunting and fishing in North Dakota in 2001-02, compared to the previous survey period, 1996-97.

The authors state in the report's abstract that total spending by resident hunters and anglers increased by $73 million, or 22 percent, while nonresident spending increased by $33 million, or 101 percent. Hunter expenditures increased by $31 million or 23 percent, while angler expenditures increased by $75 million or 33 percent over the period.

The authors' abstract also states that total spending by hunters and anglers in North Dakota during the 2001-02 season was estimated at $468.5 million, excluding purchases of licenses. Resident hunter and angler expenditures were estimated at $402.7 million, and nonresident hunter and angler expenditures were estimated at $65.9 million. Hunting expenditures were estimated at $166.4 million, and fishing expenditures were estimated at $302.1 million. Total spending in rural areas was estimated at $213.4 million by residents and $48.4 million by nonresidents.

The authors conclude the abstract by writing: "The economic importance of hunting and fishing in North Dakota has continued to increase throughout the 1990s, and continues to be an important source of economic activity in the state. However, policy decisions affecting wildlife management should not be based solely on economic information, and must balance the ever increasing demand for wildlife-related recreation with the supply of wildlife-related resources to ensure the continued economic benefits that abundant hunting and fishing opportunities provide to the state."

A 24-page summary, as well as the full survey report, can be obtained free of charge by writing Carol Jensen, Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics, North Dakota State University, P.O. Box 5636, Fargo, ND 58105-5636; phone 701-231-7441; fax 701-231-7400; or email View, download summary and full report on line.