WASHINGTON, D.C. — Texas's 2.6 million hunters and anglers are among the most prominent and influential of all demographic groups, spending more than $6.6 billion a year on hunting and fishing, according to a new report.
The new report, "Hunting and Fishing: Bright Stars of the American Economy ~ A force as big as all outdoors," spotlights the immense impact hunters and anglers have on the economy at the national and state level.
In Texas, spending by hunters and anglers directly supports 106,000 jobs, which puts $3.5 billion worth of paychecks into pockets of working residents around the state. Of course, government coffers also benefit - spending by sportsmen in pursuit of these outdoor activities generates $654 million in state and local taxes. These latest figures demonstrate that season after season hunters and anglers are driving the economy from big businesses to rural towns, through booms and recessions.
“Because sportsmen enjoy hunting or fishing alone or in small groups, they are overlooked as a constituency and as a substantial economic force,” stated Jeff Crane, president of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. “When you compare spending by hunters and anglers to other sectors, their impact on the state’s economy becomes more tangible.”
Sportsmen support more than twice the jobs in Texas than Dell Computer Corporation, Lockheed Martin, Electronic Data Systems, and Dow Chemical Company combined (106,000 jobs vs. 49,000).
Annual spending by Texas sportsmen is more than the revenues of Dallas-based Blockbuster, a Fortune 500 company ($6.6 billion vs. $5.6 billion).
Annual spending by Texas sportsmen is greater than the combined cash receipts from the state's cotton, greenhouse/nursery, broilers, dairy and corn production ($6.6 billion vs. $6.1 billion).
Texas sportsmen annually spend $441 million on outboard boats and engines to get out on the water and around the marshes for fishing and hunting.
More people hunt and fish in Texas than attend Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Texans and Houston Rockets games combined (2.68 million vs. 2.6 million).
Texas sportsmen outnumber the populations of San Antonio and Dallas (2.7 million vs. 2.5 million).
The economic stimulus of hunting and fishing equates to an astounding $18 million a day being pumped into the state's economy.
“Spending by sportsmen benefits not only the manufacturers of hunting and fishing related products, but everything from local mom and pop businesses to wildlife conservation,” noted Doug Painter, president of National Shooting Sports Foundation. “And because most hunting and fishing takes place in rural areas, much of the spending benefits less affluent parts of the state.”
On the national level, 34 million sportsmen age 16 and older spent more than $76 billion in 2006, supporting 1.6 million jobs. If a single corporation grossed as much as hunters and anglers spend, it would be among America’s 20 largest, ahead of Target, Costco and AT&T. And if all hunters and anglers had voted during the last presidential election, they would have equaled 31 percent of all votes cast. If all hunters and anglers living in Texas voted, they would have equaled 53 percent of all votes cast in the state.
These statistics are impressive and, if anything, they underestimate the impact of sportsmen since they do not take into account the millions of hunters and anglers under 16 years of age or people who were not able to get out and hunt or fish in 2006. When sportsmen's spending is thought of in business terms and compared to other sectors of the economy, it is quite remarkable. From small rural towns scattered across our country’s landscape to the bottom-line of Fortune 500 companies located in major cities, if you take away hunting and fishing you take away the equivalent of a multi-billion dollar corporation.
“It is a fairly simple equation – hunters and anglers mean jobs in states and local communities that have made the effort to maintain their hunting and fishing opportunities,” said Crane. “The economic impacts that sportsmen have on state economies should be a wake-up call to state governments to welcome and encourage hunting and fishing in their state.”
The report, “Hunting and Fishing: Bright Stars of the American Economy ~ A force as big as all outdoors,” was produced by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation with support from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, National Marine Manufacturers Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation and SCI - First For Hunters. The report uses the results from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation and statistics provided by the American Sportfishing Association and Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.