Hunting & Wildlife Viewing - Statistics & Facts

Hunting & Wildlife Viewing - Statistics & Facts

Statistics and facts on Hunting & Wildlife Viewing

People across the globe have been hunting since prehistoric times – paleontologists say there is evidence to suggest the practice was carried out in some parts of the world around two million years ago, long before the evolution of Homo sapiens. Back then, hunting was necessary for survival. Today, however, hunting has developed into a sport and a form of recreation in western cultures. In 2013, almost 14 million people participated in hunting in the United States. In the U.S., hunting is generally regulated on a state-by-state basis but all protected species hunters country-wide are required to hold a hunting license. There were 14.63 million paid hunting license holders in the U.S. in 2013.

Wildlife viewing, while not as historical, is an even more popular form of outdoor recreation in the U.S. It involves observing nature in its natural habitat and might include such activities as bird watching, safaris and scuba diving. In 2013, there were more than 21 million U.S. participants in wildlife viewing and it was one of America’s most popular outdoor activities in terms of the average number of annual outings per participant.

Both hunting and wildlife viewing often come at a cost. In 2013, wildlife viewing equipment sales totaled 10.7 billion U.S. dollars and hunting equipment sales reached almost nine billion. As well as buying firearms, for which they shelled out more than six billion U.S. dollars in 2013, hunters may also have to pay for a license to participate. That year, the gross cost of hunting licenses in the U.S. amounted to 790 million U.S. dollars.

Photo: Statista

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