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Economic Impact of Wildlife-Associated Recreation in Arkansas: 2011

Wildlife-related recreation generates billions of dollars for our nation's economy every year.

In an effort to highlight the contributions of southeastern hunters, anglers, and wildlife watchers, we are featuring findings from the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation report. This report is the result of interviews conducted by the Census Bureau with U.S. residents about their fishing, hunting, and wildlife watching. It focuses on 2011 participation and expenditures of persons 16 years of age and older.

Wildlife-related recreation is fishing, hunting, and wildlife-watching activities. These categories are not mutually exclusive because many individuals participated in more than one activity. Wildlife-related recreation is reported in two major categories: (1) fishing and hunting, and (2) wildlife watching, which includes observing, photographing, and feeding fish or wildlife.

According to the report, in 2011 1.0 million people participated in wildlife-related recreation in the state of Arkansas, generating $1.8 billion for our economy.

Read Arkansas's News Release

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Graphs and charts on this page are from the original report. The full report is available here. Arkansas Census

 

Money Icon2011 Arkansas Quick Financials

  • $1.8 billion total spent on wildlife-related recreation in Arkansas
  • $496 million spent in Arkansas from fishing-related activities
  • $1.0 billion spent in Arkansas on hunting-related activities
  • $216 million spent in Arkansas on wildlife-watching activities

 

Pie chart showing 29% spent on equipment, 3% on other, 69% on trip-related costs.

Fishing IconFishing in Arkansas: $496 Million

Who fishes in Arkansas, and how much do they spend?

  • 555,000 state residents and nonresidents 16 years old and older fished in Arkansas. Of this total, 458 thousand anglers (83 percent) were state residents and 97 thousand anglers (17 percent) were nonresidents. Anglers fished a total of 15.7 million days in Arkansas—an average of 28 days per angler. State residents fished 15.1 million days—96 percent of all fishing days in Arkansas.
    • 83% of anglers were state residents (458,000 people)
    • 17% of anglers were from out-of-state (97,000 people)
  • In total, residents and nonresidents combined spent an estimated total of $496 mililion on fishing in the state in 2011
    • Trip-related expenditures (food, lodging, transportation): $340 million
    • Equipment: $142 million
    • Other items (magazines, membership dues, licenses, etc.): $14 million

     

    Pie chart showing 31% spent on trip-related costs, 46% on equipment, 23% on other

    Hunting IconHunting in Arkansas: $1.0 Billion

    Who hunts in Arkansas, and how much do they spend?

    • 363,000 people 16 years and older spent a combined total of 10.7 million days hunting in the state of Arkansas in 2011
      • 316,000 state residents hunters
      • 8% of hunters were out-of-state (47,000 people)
    • In total, residents and nonresidents combined spent an estimated total of $1.0 Billion on hunting in the state in 2011
      • Trip-related expenditures (food, lodging, transportation): $317 million
      • Equipment: $467 million
      • Other items (magazines, membership dues, licenses, etc.): $235 million - 23% of all hunting expenditures.
    • Hunters on average spent almost the same per day hunting big game as small game ($22 big game vs. $12 small game), the migratory bird hunters spent almost twice as much at $43 per day
    • The average total trip expenditure per migratory bird hurnter was higher at $887 vs. big game $658 and small game $181 per trip

    Bar chart depicting difference in spending between types of hunting

     

     

    Pie chart showing 6% spent on trip-related costs, 91% on equipment, 3% on other

    Watching IconWildlife-Watching in Arkansas: $216 Million

    Who watches wildlife in Arkansas, and how much do they spend?

    Two wildlife-watching activities are reported: (1) away-from-home activities and (2) around-the-home activities. Because some people participated in more than one type of wildlife watching, the sum of participants in each type will be greater than the total number of wildlife watchers. Only those engaged in activities whose primary purpose was wildlife watching are included in the survey. Secondary wildlife watching, such as incidentally observing wildlife while pleasure driving, is not included.

    • 852 thousand people 16 years and older watched wildlife in Arkansas in 2011
      • 96% of all wildlife watchers did so close to their home (820 thousand people)
      • 16% of all wildlife watchers traveled at least one mile from home to observe wildlife (137,000 people)
      • 25,000 of the wildlife watchers were from out-of-state
    • In total, residents and nonresidents combined spent an estimated total of $216 million on wildlife-watching in the state
      • Trip-related expenditures (food, lodging, transportation): $35 million
      • Equipment: $157 million
      • Other items (magazines, membership dues, plantings, etc.): $26 million - 17% of all equipment costs
    • The most popular around-the-home wildlife-watching activity is feeding wildlife (712,000 people)
    • Arkansas spent nearly 1.1 million days engaged in away-from-home wildlife-watching activities in their state
    • More people photographed wildlife while near their homes than while away from their homes (249,000 people at home, 82,000 away-from-home)
    • Not enough data collected to report the number of visitors at our parks and natural areas

     

     

David Grimes, fly fishing on the Little Missouri River.

David Grimes, fly fishing on the Little Missouri River. Photo: Scott S. Floyd

 

A Barred Owl in Wapanocca NWR, AR.

A Barred Owl in Wapanocca NWR, AR. Photo: unknown

Last updated: September 26, 2013
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