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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently received a survey in the mail regarding hunting, fishing, and wildlife observation. With the survey, which i filled out and mailed back, I received the flier below with results from a similar survey from 2011. The survey is a few years old but I doubt too much has changed and I thought the results may be interesting to some of you on here. A few of the charts aren't the easiest to follow but I particularly found two statistics very interesting.

1. Only 52% of hunters did any target shooting in preparation for hunting. I don't care if you are talking rifle or bow, that number is simply too low in my opinion.

2. People spent $27.2 Billion dollars on equipment to "watch" wildlife independent from hunting/scouting, etc. Imagine if there were a tax similar to Pittman Robertson on that equipment... That would be a lot of $$$ for wildlife conservation.

What are your thoughts on the statistics?

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I would agree that the target shooting statistic is something that should be higher. Granted, not everyone has time to shoot all the time, but at the minimum a couple rounds a week or two before the hunt to make sure your rifle is still sighted in is something I would consider essential.
 

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From the shots that I usually hear the day before a season starts I would presume that most of the hunters don't do any target practice until they are out to their hunting areas.
 

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I'll admit, even though I'm surprised by the statistic on practice shots, my father in law falls into that camp. I often wonder how he knows if he's sighted in or not as the only time he shoots is at deer. I was with him once when he had dropped his rifle. He felt like he needed to make sure the scope was still on so he shot at a rock about 50 yards off and it was close enough. I was a bit in shock, but at the same time, he has killed a lot more deer in his lifetime than me... Still, I feel we owe it to the wildlife to make a quick, clean kill and part of that for me is practicing.
 

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I call bravo sierra on this. There is no way that "wildlife watching" expenditures greatly exceed hunting or fishing expenditures. More liberal dribble to help do away with hunting and fishing.
 

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I call bravo sierra on this. There is no way that "wildlife watching" expenditures greatly exceed hunting or fishing expenditures. More liberal dribble to help do away with hunting and fishing.
No, and yes. I believe the raw statistics are accurate. However, look at what they include as "wildlife watching". Visiting parks and natural areas, Feeding or observing wildlife at home. Lots of people take a trip or two to a National park or local park and will qualify. May folks stick up a bird feeder or just watch the quail run around in the back yard. All of those people will "count" in this statistic. On the cost/expense side, the trip costs to said parks is a third of the listed expense. The percentage of Americans that travel to a National park or similar sites definitely dwarfs the percentage of Americans that hunt.

That said, if you combine hunting and fishing expenditures together, they still exceed the wildlife watchers $75.5 billion to $54.9 billion, even with the extremely liberal definitions of what constitutes "wildlife watching". It does show the economic force that we sportsmen really are. That can be a good thing when it comes to policy making.
 
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