If you’ve been invited to speak to a local club (or even larger venue), write an article for your group’s newsletter or you’re a blogger, you have an ideal platform to talk about hunters, anglers and target shooters. We can’t wait for the mainstream media to cover how many people participate in these activities, their economic power and contributions to conservation. So, it’s important we take matters in our own hands. The hard part for many, though, is finding basic information about hunter numbers or how much anglers spend. Fortunately, this information is available, and I’m going to provide links that unlock the mystery of where these facts and figures are located.
Every five years the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service releases the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. It is considered to be the definitive source of information concerning participation and expenditures associated with hunting, fishing and other forms of wildlife-related recreation nationwide. You can find numbers of women hunters, how many days saltwater anglers spend on the water and how much wildlife watchers spend in pursuit of their hobbies. It’s a great tool and you can find the 2006 survey here:
Another valuable resource is found at the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation Web site. A publication highlighting the economic impact of sportsmen sheds light on how many jobs hunters and anglers support, days they go afield and dollars they spend on everything from gear to travel. While our current economic woes have likely affected these numbers, I am not aware of any information that spells out that impact. So, this information at least provides a baseline snapshot. You also can pull up state reports that bring the information closer to home.
Target shooters often cringe at how the mainstream media reports the facts and figures related to their sport. If only reporters would use the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s “The Writer’s Guide to Firearms and Ammunition.” While that may not happen, you can benefit greatly from this guide’s detailed information on the economic impact of the shooting sports, safety facts, regulations, a glossary of firearms terms and more.
Ever wonder how many people go camping or how many women hike or mountain bike? You can easily find that information in the sports participation reports at the National Sporting Goods Association Web site. You can even see participation trends from one year to the next or over a 10-year period.
These are just a few of the basic resources you can tap into to arm yourself for your next speaking engagement, writing assignment or even a meaty chat with friends. Just remember, you as an individual can make a big difference in getting the good word out about hunters, anglers and target shooters.
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