Sportsmen Have Economic Clout
Fact: More Americans start the day in a deer stand, on a bass lake, or in a duck blind than receive the combined circulations of the top 20 daily newspapers in the United States, including USA Today, the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.
If that doesn't make you sit up and take notice, consider this: sportsmen could fill every NFL and major league baseball stadium as well as every NASCAR track - six times over.
That's not all.
According to recent reports published by the National Shooting Sports Foundation in conjunction with the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, and the American Sportfishing Association, American sportsmen are among the most prominent and influential of all demographic groups. The report is based on information from the 2001 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation.
"In fact, when you total their economic contribution, they pour $70 billion into the economy annually - with a whopping $179 billion in ripple effect," according to the reports.
Arizona Game and Fish Department officials point out that in Arizona during 2001, there were 486,000 sportspersons who participated in hunting and angling and spent $744.8 million.
The national report points out that the American sportsman is everything you think he is. And many, many things you think he isn't. "He is a good old boy from Alabama. But he's also a New York stockbroker. He's a Mid-western farm boy. But he's also a U.S. senator. He is your next-door neighbor. And, of course, he is a man. But millions of 'him' are wives, mothers and grandmothers," says the report.
Fact: Sportspersons support more jobs nationwide (1.6 million) than the number of people employed by Wal-Mart (1 million), the country's largest corporation.
- Twice as many people hunt and fish as belong to labor unions.
- Americans fish 557 million days per year.
- Fishing alone supports more jobs (one million) than Exxon-Mobil (98,000), General Motors (365,000) and Ford (383,000) combined.
- Sport fishing generates more revenue ($38 billion) than commercial fishing ($3.7 billion).
- Five million more Americans fish than golf.
- Each year hunters spend more money on food for hunting trips than Americans spend on Domino's pizza.
- Hunters support more jobs (half million) than the top U.S. airlines combined.
- The $2.4 billion in federal income-tax money generated by hunters' spending could cover the annual paychecks of 100,000 U.S. troops (that's eight divisions, 143 battalions, and 3,300 platoons).
- Hunters spend 228 million days in the field averaging 18 days per person, while spending $21 billion dollars in pursuit of what they love.
- Hunters spend $464 million annually on hunting apparel and waders
- Hunters spend $140 million annually on decoys and game calls.
While all of this is impressive, it is still not the whole story. Here's the rest of the story - sportspersons contribute $54 every second, $3,240 every minute, $194,400 every hour, $4.7 million every day, adding up to $1.7 billion every year for conservation.
Most people may not be aware that when a sportsperson buys a shotgun or even ammunition to go afield, a portion of the cost (federal excise tax) goes toward wildlife management or educating a new generation of hunters. The cost of a new rod or reel goes to make sure there are trout in the streams and places to launch boats. These Sportfish and Wildlife Restoration Funds add up to a lot of conservation work over the decades.
"For more than 60 years sportsmen have paid this self-imposed tax totaling more than $7.6 billion for on-the-ground projects in every state, protecting our national environment and our fish and wildlife for the enjoyment of all Americans," says the report.