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“Why is hunting good for the economy?” I’ve often wondered if my hunting contributes in any way to economic development. Perhaps it’s the opposite. So I embarked on a self-discovery journey to find out.
Hunting impacts the economy in numerous ways. Hunters spend on clothing, gear, firearms, ammo, and training – generating income. More is collected from licenses and permit fees imposed by local and state governments. The practice also supports tons of jobs in various sectors.
Many people are unsure where they stand when it comes to hunting. It creates a moral dilemma whether killing certain wild animals is beneficial to anyone. If this is your conundrum, stick around. I might just sway your opinion.
Reasons Why Hunting is Good For the Economy
So, why is hunting good for the economy? Read on to see just how many ways you contribute without even realizing it.
According to a recent study by Statista, as of 2021, the average annual expenditure on hunting and fishing equipment (excluding ammo) in the United States is $53.44 per consumer unit.
Every year, American hunters spend close to $6.4 billion on hunting gear, $5.3 billion on travel, and $8.4 billion on other “significant” items. All of this adds up to a substantial annual cost of $2,800 per hunter. Which all goes into creating and advancing businesses and jobs.
Supports Emerging Markets
The economy is also impacted by direct sales of items derived from hunted prey. In some places, you can find a thriving market for bushmeat. States like Texas even compensate hunters per pound of hog meat presented from a hunt. On top of the prize money and hourly minimum wage in South Florida, you can sell the python skins to collectors or designers of custom goods. Who knows, you may even find an exotic cuisine restaurant that serves snake meat.
Creates Employment Opportunities
Hunters provide financial support for creating thousands of jobs directly involved in the manufacture, sale, or provision of hunting and outdoor products and services.
They contribute to the maintenance of thousands of jobs in factories, ammo and hunting stores, restaurants, and hotels. Aside from hunting guides, several people have made a living by trapping or shooting animals declared bounty.
Hunting generates nearly $12 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenue each year. State hunting license fees and firearm permits are the biggest contributors. Not to mention the funds raised through excise duty collected under the Federal Aid (Pittman-Robertson Act) in Wildlife Restoration Act.
A large chunk of this income is channeled to supporting conservation efforts. Donations are also obtained from sportsmen’s organizations and individual hunters. It also manages wildlife, and their habitats keeps the public safe by supporting low-cost hunter education and opens and maintains access to resources such as shooting ranges.
Businesses in small communities located near significant hunting zones benefit from the income generated from hunting activities. If you want to know how many hunters travel to hunting destinations do not wait until you get to the fields or woods. Just walk through any airport or train station during hunting season and observe the number of people in camo or blaze orange hauling heavy-looking ge