Legislative update, May 15, 2015

Greetings from the Capitol,

Now with just 3 days until the end of session, key natural resource conference committees are meeting. The Legacy conference committee met earlier this week and is scheduled for later today. The Environment and NR Appropriations conference committee likely will meet today or tomorrow, however is not currently scheduled to do so.

The Environment and natural resources trust fund bill (SF698) passed the Senate on Monday.

For the most up to date list of meetings and bills, please visit committee web pages or currently posted meetings for the House and Senate.

Please contact me at pat.rivers@state.mn.us or Bob Meier (bob.meier@state.mn.us ) if you have any comments on concerns. I hope you are able to get outside and enjoy Minnesota’s great outdoors!


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DNR news releases, May 14, 2015

Apply now to hunt elk in Minnesota

Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Hunters have until Friday, June 12, to apply for one of seven elk licenses offered this year by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Hunters interested in applying for a license can find maps of the two hunting zones and other pertinent information on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/elk. Elk licenses will be available in Kittson County’s central and northeast zones, while the Grygla area will be closed to enable that area’s elk population to rebuild to goal levels.

“The goals of the state’s elk management plan influence the number of hunting licenses available,” said Leslie McInenly, DNR big game program leader. “The management plan aims to balance the interest of hunters, landowners and others.”

The DNR has started a public process to revisit the elk management plan with the intent to update objectives by 2016. Goals in the current plan were established for 2009 to 2015.

Aerial surveys report fewer elk
As a result of lower elk numbers, fewer licenses will be offered and this year’s hunt will be restricted to one season. The 2015 elk season runs from Saturday, Sept. 12, to Sunday, Sept. 20. Five bulls-only licenses will be available in the Kittson County central zone (zone 20) and two bulls-only licenses will be available in the Kittson County northeast zone (zone 30). One landowner license will be available in the Kittson County central elk zone.

McInenly said aerial surveys conducted this winter in the Grygla area (zone 10) identified 18 elk, which is the lowest count in a number of years and is below the pre-calving goal range of 30 to 38 animals. This is the third year in a row that the herd has been below goal and a season has not been held.

The aerial survey conducted in the Kittson County central zone (zone 20) also indicated a population decline, with 34 elk observed this year. While the herd has declined in size, it is still above the established population goal of 20 to 30 animals.

Elk within the Kittson County northeast zone spend a portion of the year in Manitoba, Canada.  A short-term population goal of 150 to 200 elk has been collaboratively established for this international herd, which consists of approximately 100 elk.

Apply at any DNR license agent, the DNR License Center at 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul, www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense or by telephone at 888-665-4236. Hunters may apply individually or in parties of two. There is a non-refundable application fee of $4 per hunter. License cost is $287.


DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                May 14, 2015
Media contacts: Jean Goad, information officer, Minnesota Interagency Fire Center,
218-322-2739, jean.goad@state.mn.us; or Linda Gormanson, DNR wildfire prevention supervisor,
651-259-5288, linda.gormanson@state.mn.us.

DNR lifts burning restrictions in much of Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is lifting burning restrictions today, May 14, in numerous Minnesota counties due to decreased fire danger because of precipitation and
green-up. This means burning permits will be available for burning of vegetative materials.

Although the state is lifting restrictions, local counties or municipalities may have specific regulations or restrictions that affect burning. Check with local authorities to obtain proper permits before burning.

Up-to-date fire conditions and burning restrictions can be found at www.mndnr.gov/forestry/fire/firerating_restrictions.html.

Also, because fire danger can change quickly, DNR foresters are able to restrict burning permits in individual counties whenever conditions warrant. This could occur if there is a dry, windy day where fires could start easily and burn quickly.

The DNR advises anyone doing burning to keep burn piles small, have a water supply nearby and stay with the fire until it is completely out. If fire escapes, the person who started the fire is responsible for the damage and suppression costs.

Burning permits are available through state and federal forestry offices, from local fire wardens or online by paying a $5 fee per calendar year. Online permits need to be activated on the day of the burn.

Burning restrictions will remain in place in northern Minnesota until sufficient green-up occurs.


NOTE TO MEDIA: Map of counties where restrictions have been lifted is available at ftp://mediaroom.dnr.state.mn.us in folder named “news release resources,” then in folder named “05-14-15 restrictions lifted.”

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MN DU “Yamaha Raffle” – Wednesday June 17th, 2015

The Drawing Date is near!!

Here is your last chance to purchase a ticket for the Yamaha/Yeti Raffle. 

$20 per ticket/ #5000 chances sold. Drawing date is June 17th, 2015.

To purchase a ticket, reply to this email or call Terry at 320/852-8082

Need not be present to win.

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Release of new short film detailing threats to fly fishing


Hi all­­ –


We wanted to share with you the release of a new film by Conservation Hawks, a group of hunters and anglers working to defend America’s sporting heritage – - Co2ld Waters, a 10-minute film shot on a spectacular southwestern Montana spring creek, celebrates the joy and passion of fly fishing while discussing threats to the sport, including those of climate change.


About the film: In October 2014, five respected fly fishermen – Craig Mathews of Blue Ribbon Flies, Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia, Steve Hemkens of Orvis, Tim Romano of Angling Trade, and Todd Tanner of Conservation Hawks – came together to fish for wild trout and share their thoughts on angling and climate change. Cold Waters, which is a collaboration between Conservation Hawks and the cinematic team at Conservation Media, focuses on our responsibility to protect cold, clean waters and healthy landscapes, and to stand up for future generations of Americans. The movie has been touring the U.S. as part of the 2015 Fly Fishing Film Tour.


Cold Waters was made with unprecedented support from the fly fishing industry. The film’s sponsors included iconic brands, businesses and organizations like Patagonia, Orvis, Scientific Anglers, Costa, Winston, Sage, RIO, Redington, Abel, AFFTA, National Wildlife Federation, Trout Unlimited, TroutHunter, Linehan Outfitting Co., Sweetwater Travel Co., WorldCast Anglers, Emerald Water Anglers, Hatch Magazine, The Lodge at Palisades Creek, Angling Trade Magazine and Blue Ribbon Flies.


You can watch the film on Vimeo: vimeo.com/124560152 or YouTube: youtu.be/9NSkPWfhdsg.


Please feel free to share with your networks, incorporate into your work, and help spread the word! Here’s a sample tweet: Trout can’t take the heat! Check out the new short film #Co2ldWaters: vimeo.com/124560152 @NWF #flyfishing #ActOnClimate.


If you’re interested in educational opportunities surrounding the film’s release, check out the “CO2LD WATERS Toolkit – a Dropbox folder with materials to help you get the word out about threats to freshwater fishing, supplement any similar work you are doing, and of course to encourage action in support for climate change solutions like the Clean Power Plan – including a PowerPoint presentation, talking points, images, NWF’s Swimming Upstream report, and sample social media posts. Let us know if other materials would be helpful to you.




Jessica Holmberg

Manager, Affiliate and State Engagement
National Wildlife Federation

(O) 703-438-6326 | (C) 585-314-4946


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Register Today: Agricultural Lands, Legacy, and Accountability

Agricultural Lands, Legacy, and Accountability: A Clean Water Conversation
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Recent monitoring efforts reveal that the majority of lakes, rivers, and streams in the largely agricultural southern part of the state are failing to meet water quality standards, and state agencies acknowledge that current water funds, including Legacy Amendment investments, are not enough to ensure fishable and swimmable water statewide.

This legislative session we have seen vigorous debate about how to accelerate clean water outcomes in agricultural regions of the state, as well as how all levels of government and the private sector can cooperatively achieve—and be held accountable for—better water quality results.

During this forum, we’ll explore:

  • Outcomes of the 2015 legislative session related to agriculture and water quality,
  • How more robust information and new planning frameworks, as a result of Legacy funds, are changing our ability to identify and address the water quality impacts of agricultural production,
  • How stakeholders can work more effectively together to accelerate clean water outcomes on agricultural landscapes.

Learn more or register »

Environmental Initiative is pleased to offer a reduced registration rate to our members. Become a member today »

Contact Meleah Houseknecht at 612-334-3388 ext. 104 with questions about the program or to inquire about a scholarship rate.

Contact Sacha Seymour-Anderson at 651-308-4950 for questions about registration or about sponsorship opportunities.

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Action Alert: Fund the Trust in 2015!

Support Iowa’s Wildlife and Habitat. Fund the Trust in 2015!

In 2010, 63 percent of Iowa voters approved the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. A broad coalition of groups have been working to direct revenue to the Trust Fund to ensure this permanent, constitutionally-protected funding is available to conserve and enhance wildlife habitat, provide cleaner water, protect valuable soils and allow more hunting and fishing access.

Now is the time to let your legislators know you support Funding the Trust in 2015, and ask them to pass legislation that would create a conservation legacy for your children and grandchildren.

Funding the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust fund will generate $180 million/year of dedicated funding to address soil and water conservation, willdife habitat, state park and trail creation and improvements — let’s invest in our economy, environment and quality of life!

Please take a few minutes and send letters to your legislator — it is quick, easy and effective.

Click here to send a letter now!

Thank you!

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Can This Man Turn Hunters & Anglers Into Climate Activists?


Todd Tanner, hunter and climate activist

By Matt Miller

Todd Tanner sees 37 million American hunters and anglers, and he sees a force that could actually get something done for climate change.

Let’s get one thing out of the way. I know what you’re thinking, especially if you’ve followed climate communications at all: We’ve heard this before.

After all, getting new audiences to care about climate change has been a priority – some might say obsession – of environmental organizations for a very long time.

And for good reason: meaningful action on climate change won’t happen without much broader support.

Climate, after all, needn’t be a political issue (and it’s not in many countries).

So why not expand the tent to include people who care about stewardship and land and water? Why not make climate change relevant to hunters, to evangelicals, to conservatives, to parents?

And yet, for all that seeming promise, all that endless strategizing, in the end climate change remains a politicized and polarizing issue.

What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate

I’ve seen such outreach efforts fail, sometimes firsthand. I’ve attended gatherings of hunters and anglers – I’m a lifelong and enthusiastic sportsman – where an environmentalist attempts to address climate change.

So often, the talk begins like this. The speaker proudly proclaims some sporting credentials. And it’s often something like: I went fishing once. With my grandpa. When I was ten. I totally understand your passion.

At this point, I bury my face in my hands. Please stop.

Too late. The room has turned cold. Eyes roll. I know exactly what everyone’s thinking: No. No, you don’t get us at all.


And who can blame them?


Writer and climate activist Todd Tanner has seen this, too. Frequently. And he wants to change the dialogue.

“When environmental groups try to raise the climate issue with hunters and anglers, their messaging and framing are actually counter-productive,” he says. “They don’t sound right; they’re not part of the tribe. So sportsmen and sportswomen simply tune them out.”

Tanner represents a different kind of messenger. The question is: Can he, and others like him, make a difference?

Angling for Climate Change Activists


Tanner lands a steelhead on the Dean River.

I first encountered Todd Tanner on the pages of outdoor magazines, far from the realm of climate change communications. He writes reliable, solid pieces on rivers and hatches and gear. If he recommends a fly rod, I know I can trust it.

Then he founded Conservation Hawks, an organization dedicated to getting hunters and anglers involved in climate change.

I was impressed – the “hook and bullet” magazines wouldn’t touch this issue, nor would most of their writers.

Tanner knows the political clout that the sporting community carries, especially in rural areas and “red” states.

Hunters and anglers have a long history of conservation and political action – but they have been largely absent when it comes to climate change.

Tanner leapt in with a passion, perhaps for the same reasons that draw many of us to be climate activists.

“I am not a doom-and-gloom guy, but I realized if things kept on this trajectory, there would be no hunting and fishing in a 100 years,” he says. “I’ve always felt like we have a moral duty to act as stewards and caretakers. When my son was born, though, it took things up a notch. Those ‘future generations’ we all talk about suddenly had a face and a name.”

As an accomplished fly fisher and avid big game hunter, he also felt he could make headway where others have failed.

“Hunters should talk to hunters, evangelicals should talk to evangelicals, military should talk to military,” he says. “Groups should focus on their base and not stray too far afield.”

Common sense? Perhaps. But so often large environmental organizations believe they can partner with anybody. Easier said than done.


Climate change affects big game migration patterns. Photo: Matt Miller/TNC

Tanner knows the terrain here. He writes stories on climate change for outdoor magazines. He’s at outdoor conventions and industry trade shows. He meets with some of the biggest names in outdoor sport, but also spreads the message along trout streams.

To an environmentalist, some of Tanner’s tactics can seem, well, unconventional.

I once moderated a panel where he spoke to a crowd comprised of avid hunters. When the time for questions came, the inevitable climate change deniers hogged the podium.

Then Tanner stood up and offered a new shotgun to anyone in the room who could produce peer-reviewed evidence to back up the denial.

He makes this offer frequently. He has yet to pay out.

The hunters paid attention.

“Lay people want to understand scientific concepts, but at the same time they want those concepts to be clear and concise and free from caveats and qualifiers,” he says. “My job is to translate for them – to share information in a way they can understand.”

He has an array of evidence that hits at what sportsmen and sportswomen care about: Rivers getting warmer. Water levels getting lower. Shifting duck migrations. Altered big game patterns.

But not polar bears. Definitely not polar bears.

In fact, Tanner wrote a piece for Forbes calling environmentalists to task for making the polar bear a symbol for climate change, and sticking with that symbol regardless of audience.

“I am not going to point towards the Arctic if I want hunters and anglers to care about climate change,” he says. “There are plenty of examples that they can relate to every time they go afield.”

Generic Messages Won’t Cut It


Todd Tanner and his son at Glacier National Park.

Even within the realm of hunting and angling, Tanner recognizes that there can’t be a one-size-fits all message.

While environmentalists may lump this community together, its participants recognize sub-groups and sub-sub-groups and points of difference.

Visit a Western trout stream and a bass tournament and the difference may become apparent. Deer camp is not a duck blind. Tying flies is not mixing catfish stink bait.

To the outsider, this all may seem trivial. To insiders, these differences are vitally important, the fodder for endless discussion and debate in magazines, internet forums and campfires.

There are nuances and overlaps, of course, but the bottom line is this: to talk to this community you have to understand all this.

Tanner’s own strength is his respect and credibility among the fly fishing community. Granted, some might call fly fishers the low hanging fruit of this realm.

Fly anglers have often been highly involved in wilderness designation and clean water regulations and other environmental issues. They are often members of non-angling environmental organizations.

Still, the increasing support of fly fishers around climate change is impressive. Last week, the film Cold Waters, a film about how anglers will feel the effects of climate change, featured some of the biggest names in the industry.

Just as important, many of sport’s biggest companies signed on: Orvis and Patagonia and even the industry’s trade group, the American Fly Fishing Trade Association.

“All of us who care about climate change have to recognize who we can reach,” says Tanner. “I am not going to reach evangelicals. I can reach fly fishers. I know this community, and they know me. They’re going to give me the benefit of the doubt. And we need this for bass anglers and bird hunters and lots of other groups.”

“Generic climate messages are not going to cut it,” he adds. “We need people who know the science but can speak to their tribe.”

You can’t fake this. You can deliver all the messages you want, but unless you speak to peoples’ passions, those messages land like a badly-cast fly.

When I listen to Tanner, I’m no longer an employee of an environmental organization. I’m a hunter. I’m listening to one of my people. He’s telling stories that matter. To me and to the future I want for my own son.

And I think: here is someone who gets it. No: Gets us.

Opinions expressed on Cool Green Science and in any corresponding comments are the personal opinions of the original authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Nature Conservancy.

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Economic Impact of Waterfowl Hunting in the United States

Economic Impact of Waterfowl Hunting in the United States
Addendum to the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation
Report 2011-6
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
March 2015
Erin Carver
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Division of Economics
Falls Church, VA
This report is intended to complement the National and State reports from the
2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation.
The conclusions are the author’s and do not represent official positions of the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The author thanks Sylvia Cabrera, Richard Aiken, and Matt Fuller for their
input into this report.
2 Economic Impact of Waterfowl Hunting in the United States
Introduction � 3
Waterfowl Hunters � 4
Demographics � 5
Avidity and Expenditures � 8
The Economic Impacts of Waterfowl Hunting � 9
Total Industry Output � 9
Employment and Employment Income � 9
Federal and State Taxes � 9
Summary � 10
Appendix A � � 11
References � 12
Economic Impact of Waterfowl Hunting in the United States 3
Every year millions of sportspersons
take to the field to hunt. Among them are
waterfowl hunters who pursue ducks and
geese in the nation’s flyways. Waterfowl
hunters have an important economic
impact on local, state, and national
economies. In 2011, waterfowl hunters
constituted 11 percent of all hunters,
6 percent of all hunting trip-related
expenditures, and 7 percent of all hunting
equipment expenditures.
This report provides information on these
hunters, including their participation,
demographic characteristics, and the
economic impact of their expenditures.
The first section of this report examines
the demographic characteristics of
waterfowl hunters. The second section
examines the economic impact of
waterfowl hunting on state and national
economies. Due to small sample sizes,
some state-level impacts are not
presented. All dollar estimates are
presented as 2011 dollars.
All data are from the 2011 National
Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-
Associated Recreation and represent
participation and expenditures for the
2011 calendar year by U.S. residents 16
years of age and older. The 2011 Survey
was conducted for the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service by the U.S. Census
Bureau. The survey was conducted in two
phases. First, the screening interview
identified wildlife-related recreationists.
Second, multiple interviews collected
detailed information on participation
and expenditures for persons 16 years of
age and older. The U.S. Census Bureau
collected the data primarily by telephone;
respondents who could not be reached
by telephone were interviewed in person.
The response rate was 71 percent for
the screen phase and 69 percent for the
detailed sportspersons phase. For more
detailed information on the methods of
data collection, refer to the 2011 National
Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-
Associated Recreation1.
1 This document is available on the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service webpage: http://
4 Economic Impact of Waterfowl Hunting in the United States
Waterfowl Hunters
Table 1 highlights the total number of
waterfowl hunters, days, and trip-related
and equipment-related expenditures2. In
2011, approximately 1.5 million people
participated in waterfowl hunting. While
some waterfowl hunters hunt both ducks
and geese, nearly 90 percent at least hunt
ducks. Waterfowl hunters spent $663
million on trip expenditures and $699
million on equipment expenditures in
2011. For trip expenditures, 33 percent
was allocated for food and lodging, 42
percent was spent on transportation, and
25 percent was spent on other costs such
as guide fees, user fees, and boat costs.
2 The Survey does not have an expenditure
category for waterfowl hunters. Therefore,
expenditures are prorated by multiplying
migratory bird expenditures by a ratio to
derive waterfowl expenditures. This ratio is
(number of days hunting geese and ducks)/
(total number of days hunting migratory
birds). For separate duck and geese
expenditures, the numerator included only
duck hunting days or goose hunting days.
Table 1. 2011 Waterfowl Hunters, Days, & Expenditures
(Includes hunters 16 years of age and older.)
Hunters, all waterfowl* 1,517,000
Duck 1,371,000
Geese 781,000
Days, all waterfowl 17,292,000
Duck 15,295,000
Geese 8,684,000
Total Waterfowl Expenditures
Trip Expenditures** $663,054,000
Food and Lodging $220,745,000
Transportation $274,682,000
Other Trip Costs $167,627,000
Equipment Expenditures*** $699,488,000
*The number of duck hunters, goose hunters, and days of hunting does not sum to the total number of
waterfowl hunters because of multiple responses.
**Trip-related expenditures include food, drink, lodging, public and private transportation, guide fees,
pack trip or package fees, public and private land use access fees, equipment rental, boating costs, and
heating and cooking fuel.
***Equipment expenditures consist of rifles, shotguns, other firearms, ammunition, telescopic sights,
decoys, hunting dogs and associated costs. Also included are auxiliary equipment such as camping
equipment, binoculars, special hunting clothing, processing and taxidermy costs. Due to small sample
sizes, special equipment purchases such as boats, campers, trucks, and cabins are excluded from
equipment expenditures.
Economic Impact of Waterfowl Hunting in the United States 5
This section illustrates the demographic characteristics for waterfowl hunters. In addition, demographic characteristics are presented for all hunters to depict the differences and similarities with the waterfowl hunter subset.
Figures 1 and 2 show where hunters live by region and flyway. By region, the majority of waterfowl hunters live in the South (38 percent) and the Midwest (37 percent). While 18 percent of waterfowl hunters live in the West, only 7 percent live in the Northeast.
The continental United States is divided into four flyways: Atlantic, Central, Mississippi, and Pacific. These flyways represent major migration routes for migratory birds. Figure 2 shows that the majority of waterfowl hunters live in the Mississippi flyway (48 percent). Less than 1 percent of waterfowl hunters do not live in a designated flyway in the continental United States, instead living in Hawaii or Alaska.
Figure 1. Distribution of Waterfowl Hunters by Region
(Population 16 years of age and older.)
Figure 2. Distribution of Waterfowl Hunters by Flyway
(1.5 million total waterfowl hunters)
37% 7% 38% 18% Midwest Northeast South West Central16%Mississippi48%Atlantic22%Pacific14%
6 Economic Impact of Waterfowl Hunting in the United States
For all hunters, participation increases with age. In contrast, for waterfowl hunters participation is lowest for the 16–24 age category and is relatively even for each subsequent cohort.
Figure 4 depicts the association between waterfowl hunting and educational attainment. The number of waterfowl hunters generally increases with educational achievement. Only 84,000 waterfowl hunters (6 percent) have not obtained their high school degrees. The percentage of all hunters also increases after attaining high school degrees. However, the percentage of waterfowl hunters with more educational attainment after high school degrees (66 percent) is higher than all hunters (53 percent).
Figure 5 shows that waterfowl hunting is positively correlated with income. That is, as household income increases, the percentage of waterfowl hunters for each group also increases. Income is also positively correlated with the participation rate of all hunters. However, all hunters do not tend to be as affluent as waterfowl hunters. Waterfowl hunters with an annual household income of over $50,000 is 69 percent (896,000 hunters) compared with 57 percent for all hunters (7.8 million hunters). (In Figure 5, “all hunters” does not sum to 100 percent due to those who did not report household income.)
Figure 3. Percent of Hunters by Age
Figure 4. Percent of Hunters by Education
Figure 5. Percent of Hunters by Annual Household Income
51015202530354016–2425–3435–4445–5455+Percent0Waterfowl HuntersAll Hunters142420202313151823320510152025303540PercentWaterfowl HuntersAll Hunters< High School H.S. Graduate Some College College Graduate +
62833341136262701020304050PercentWaterfowl HuntersAll Hunters< $20,000 $20–29,999 $30–49,999 $50–$74,999 $75,000+ 2425244578171938
Economic Impact of Waterfowl Hunting in the United States 7
Figures 6 and 7 compare hunting participation by residents of metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) with that of individuals living outside those areas. A MSA is a major populated area comprising a central city or urban core of 50,000 or more people and its surrounding counties or communities, as identified by the U.S. Census Bureau. It is not surprising that a majority of all hunters also reside in those areas.
In 2011, 94 percent of the U.S. population 16 years of age and older, 80 percent of all hunters, and 82 percent of waterfowl hunters lived in MSAs (Figure 6).
It is not difficult to see that hunters are less urban than the population as a whole, and that a nonmetropolitan resident has a higher percentage chance of being a hunter than does a metropolitan resident. In 2011, 18 percent of all nonmetropolitan residents hunted and 2 percent waterfowl hunted; only 5 percent of all metropolitan residents hunted and 1 percent waterfowl hunted (Figure 7).
Figure 6. Percent of Hunters by Residence
Figure 7. Percent of U.S. Population Who Hunted by Residence
Waterfowl HuntersAll Hunters Inside Metropolitan Statistical Area Outside Metropolitan Statistical Area 82% 18% 80% 20% 5101520Percent0Waterfowl Hunters All Hunters Inside Metropolitan Statistical Area Outside Metropolitan Statistical Area 15218
8 Economic Impact of Waterfowl Hunting in the United States
Avidity and Expenditures
Figure 8 depicts the mean days of waterfowl hunting nationwide. Waterfowl hunters who hunt both ducks and geese average over twice as many days (27 days) as waterfowl hunters that do not hunt both. On average, duck hunters spend the same number of days hunting as goose hunters (11 days). All hunters averaged about 18 days per year, which is more often than the estimate for all waterfowl hunters (11 days).
Although they hunt the same number of days on average, duck hunters tend to spend more than goose hunters annually (Figure 9). However, waterfowl hunters who hunt both ducks and geese spend nearly 50 percent more ($1,324) than duck hunters or goose hunters. All hunters tend to spend more ($1,497) than waterfowl hunters.
Table 2 compares national-level avidity and expenditures for 2006 and 2011.
Figure 8. Average Annual Days of Hunting
Figure 9. Average Annual Expenditures
(Including Trip-related and Equipment-related expenditures)
51015202530Days0All Hunters All Waterfowl Both Ducksand Geese Ducks Geese 1811271111Dollars ($) 0All Hunters All Waterfowl Both Ducksand Geese Ducks Geese 2004006008001,0001,2001,4001,6001,4978981,324661574
Table 2. Avidity and Expenditure Trends, 2006 and 2011
(Includes hunters 16 years of age and older. 2011 dollars)
Hunters, all waterfowl
Days, all waterfowl
Total Waterfowl Expenditures
Trip Expenditures
ood and Lodging
Other T
rip Costs
Equipment Expenditures
*None of the 2006–2011 differences were statistically significant at the 95% level.
Economic Impact of Waterfowl Hunting in the United States 9
The Economic Impacts of Waterfowl Hunting
Waterfowl hunters spend money on
a variety of goods and services for
trip-related and equipment-related
purchases. Trip-related expenditures
include food, lodging, transportation, and
other incidental expenses. Equipment
expenditures consist of guns, decoys,
hunting dogs, camping equipment,
special hunting clothing, and other costs.
By having ripple effects throughout
the economy, these direct expenditures
are only part of the economic impact of
waterfowl hunting. The effect on the
economy in excess of direct expenditures
is known as the multiplier effect. For
example, an individual may purchase
decoys to use while duck hunting. Part
of the purchase price will stay with the
local retailer. The local retailer, in turn,
pays a wholesaler who in turn pays
the manufacturer of the decoys. The
manufacturer then spends a portion of
this income to pay businesses supplying
the manufacturer. In this sense, each
dollar of local retail expenditures can
affect a variety of businesses. Thus,
expenditures associated with waterfowl
hunting can ripple through the economy
by impacting economic activity,
employment, and household income. To
measure these effects, a regional inputoutput
modeling method3 is utilized
to derive estimates for total industry
output, employment, employment
income, and tax revenue associated with
waterfowl hunting.
Total Industry Output
Table 3 depicts the economic effect of
waterfowl hunting in 2011. The trip
expenditures of $663 million by waterfowl
hunters generated $1.5 billion in total
output while equipment expenditures of
$699 million generated $1.5 billion in total
output in the United States. Total output
includes the direct, indirect, and induced
effects of the expenditures associated
with waterfowl hunting.
3 The estimates for total industry output,
employment, employment income, and
federal and state taxes were derived using
migratory bird hunting multipliers from
“Hunting in America: An Economic Force of
Direct effects are the initial effects or
impacts of spending money; for example,
purchasing ammunition or a pair of
binoculars are examples of direct effects.
An example of an indirect effect would
be the purchase of the ammunition
by a sporting goods retailer from the
manufacturer. Finally, induced effects
refer to the changes in production
associated with changes in household
income (and spending) caused by changes
in employment related to both direct
and indirect effects. More simply, people
who are employed by the sporting goods
retailer, by the wholesaler, and by the
ammunition manufacturer spend their
income on various goods and services
which in turn generate a given level of
output (induced effects).
Employment and Employment Income
Table 3 shows that waterfowl hunting
expenditures in 2011 created 27,348 jobs
and $956 million in employment income.
Thus, each job had an average annual
salary of $35,000. Jobs and job income
in Table 3 include direct, indirect, and
induced effects in a manner similar to
total industrial output. Jobs include both
full and part-time jobs, with a job defined
as one person working for at least part
of the calendar year. Job income consists
of both employee compensation and
proprietor income.
Federal and State Taxes
Federal and State tax revenue are
derived from waterfowl huntingrelated
recreational spending. In 2011,
$202 million in State tax revenue and
$234 million in Federal tax revenue
were generated.
Table 3. Summary of Economic Impacts
(dollars in thousands)
Waterfowl Hunters 1,517,427
Total Expenditures $1,362,542
Total Industry Output $3,041,425
Employment 27,348
Employment Income $955,679
State Tax Revenue $202,049
Federal Tax Revenue $234,131
10 Economic Impact of Waterfowl Hunting in the United States
This report has presented information
on the participation and expenditure
patterns of approximately 1.5 million
waterfowl hunters. Compared to all
hunters, waterfowl hunters tend to
be younger, have higher educational
achievements, and are more affluent.
The majority (75 percent) of waterfowl
hunters live in the South and Midwest.
Trip-related and equipment-related
expenditures associated with waterfowl
hunting generated over $3.0 billion
in total economic output in 2011. This
impact was dispersed across local, state,
and national economies.
Economic Impact of Waterfowl Hunting in the United States 11
Appendix A
Table A-1 shows the number of people
that participated in waterfowl hunting
and the number of waterfowl hunting
days by state. Due to small sample
sizes, statistics are not reportable for
all states. For example, Texas has the
largest number of waterfowl hunters in
2006 but is not reportable in 2011 due
to small sample sizes. Of those States
with reportable information, the 3
States with the most waterfowl hunters
were California (128,000 hunters),
Louisiana (97,000 hunters), and Arkansas
(87,000 hunters).
The economic impact of a given level
of expenditures depends, in part, on
the degree of self-sufficiency of the
area under consideration. An area
with a high degree of self-sufficiency
(out-of-area imports are comparatively
small) will generally have a higher
level of impacts associated with a given
level of expenditures than an area
with significantly higher imports (i.e.,
a comparatively lower level of selfsufficiency).
Thus, the economic impacts
of a given level of expenditures will
generally be less for rural and other less
economically integrated areas compared
with other, more economically diverse
areas or regions. The impacts in each
State are only those impacts that occur
within the State, and a State’s multiplier
is typically smaller than the multiplier for
the United States.
Table A-2 shows the economic impacts
of trip-related and equipment-related
waterfowl hunting expenditures by state
in 2011. Due to small sample sizes, the
economic impacts are not depicted for
all States. Arkansas, California, and
Louisiana generated the largest amount
of total output at $385 million, $271
million, and $138 million, respectively.
Table A-1. Number of Waterfowl Hunters and Hunting Days: 2011
(Population 16 years of age and older. Numbers in thousands.)
Number of Hunters Number of Days
State Waterfowl Ducks Geese Waterfowl Ducks Geese
Arkansas 87 87 – 1,942 1,664 –
California 128 128 68 1,838 1,831 1,438
Delaware 7 – – 73 – –
Kansas 34 33 – 213 198 –
Louisiana 97 97 – 981 981 –
Maryland 29 – – 137 – –
Missouri 37 37 – 422 263 –
Nebraska 23 – 22 245 – 240
New Jersey 16 – – – – –
Rhode Island 7 – 7 46 45 –
South Dakota 52 40 51 318 251 –
Note: All estimates are based on samples sizes of 10–29. A hyphen (–) denotes sample sizes that are too
small to report reliably (9 or less). States not listed have sample sizes too small to report reliably for any
category (9 or less). These sample size criteria are consistent with the “2011 National Survey of Fishing,
Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation.”
Table A-2. Economic Impact of Waterfowl Hunting – State and National Totals: 2011
(Dollar values are in thousands.)
Trip &
Income Jobs
State Tax
United States $1,362,542 $3,041,425 $955,679 27,348 $202,049 $234,131
Arkansas $259,960 $384,567 $127,542 5,104 $28,680 $29,422
California $142,566 $270,616 $99,966 3,151 $19,942 $23,028
Delaware $4,548 $6,523 $2,139 57 $536 $530
Kansas $5,559 $8,007 $2,835 70 $533 $626
Louisiana $86,411 $137,738 $47,773 1,409 $9,952 $9,915
Maryland $9,203 $14,194 $4,886 168 $1,135 $1,229
South Dakota $33,893 $46,133 $14,912 453 $3,313 $3,527
Note: States not listed have sample sizes too small to report reliably (9 or less). All estimates are based
on samples sizes of 10–29. These sample size criteria are consistent with the “2011 National Survey of
Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation.”
12 Economic Impact of Waterfowl Hunting in the United States
Southwick Associates. Hunting in
America: An Economic Force of
Conservation. 2012
U.S. Department of the Interior,
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and
U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S.
Census Bureau. 2011 National Survey
of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-
Associated Recreation.

U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
March 2015
Cover photo: USFWS

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