Hunting, fishing pump $9 billion into Florida economy


Lee’s Note: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service commissions a national study every five years to determine the economic impact of hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission released Florida-specific information from the survey.

The state numbers are impressive – $9 billion worth of impressive.

I hope the pols in Tallahassee read this report.

Here’s their release:

National Survey Shows Engaging in Wildlife-Dependent Recreation, Hunting, Fishing and Observing Wildlife Provides Economic Benefits

In advance of National Hunting and Fishing Day on September 28, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is proud to join with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serve (the Service) in highlighting results from the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation.1110_FL_DS1Map_B

The Florida state report, part of the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, measures public participation in hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing and other wildlife-dependent recreation, as well as how much money is spent pursuing these activities.  It is now available online at:

Some highlights based on the 2011 data show the following Florida-specific information:

  • $9.0 billion total spent on wildlife-related recreation in Florida
  • $4.6 billion spent in Florida from fishing-related activities
  • $716 million spent in Florida on hunting-related activities
  • $3.0 billion spent in Florida on wildlife-watching activities

The Survey, done every five years by the Service and the U.S. Census Bureau, has become one of the most important sources of information on fish and wildlife recreation in the United States.

“This is a ‘must read’ for anyone who hunts, fishes, or watches wildlife, as well as reporters, economists, tourism bureaus, and elected officials,” said Cindy Dohner, Southeast Regional Director.  “It is filled with valuable facts that show the economic impact of hunting and fishing and wildlife viewing.”

Federal, State, and private organizations use the rigorously compiled and detailed information to manage wildlife and wildlife-related recreation programs, and forecast trends in participation and economic impacts.

“Hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing is an economic engine in Florida and the nation,” said Chairman Richard “Dick” Corbett, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “This tradition and our efforts to provide outdoor opportunities will define the legacy that we leave for the next generation.”

Nationally, here are some highlights:

  • More than 90 million U.S. residents 16 years old and older participated in some form of wildlife-related recreation in 2011, up 3 percent from five years earlier. The increase was primarily among those who fished and hunted.
  • Wildlife recreationists spent $144.7 billion in 2011 on their activities, which equated to one percent of the Gross Domestic Product.  Of the total amount spent, $49.5 billion was trip-related, $70.4 billion was spent on equipment, and $25.1 billion was spent on other items such as licenses and land leasing and ownership.
  • The number of people who hunted or fished or both rose from 33.9 million in 2006 to 37.4 million in 2011.
  • 71.8 million U.S. residents observed, fed, and/or photographed wildlife in 2011. Almost 68.6 million people wildlife watched around their homes, and 22.5 million people took trips of at least one mile from home primarily to watch wildlife.
  • Of the 46.7 million people who observed wild birds, 88 percent did so around their homes and 38 percent on trips a mile or more from home.
  • People spent $54.9 billion on their wildlife-watching trips, equipment, and other items in 2011.  This amounted to $981 on average per spender for the year.

Complete survey results are available at:


About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.


  1. The title for this article is misleading. According to the survey, in Florida people spent 4 times more money on wildlife viewing than on hunting.

  2. Pingback: Hunting, fishing pump $9 billion into Florida economy | FirstRefuge - Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge - Est. 1903

Leave A Reply