Southeast Region
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Economic Impact of Wildlife-Associated Recreation in Georgia: 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 3.1 million people participated in wildlife-related recreation in the state of Georgia, generating $4.6 billion for our economy.

Read Georgia's News Release

Georgia Department of Natural Resources

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

 

Money Icon2011 Georgia Quick Financials

  • $4.6 billion total spent on wildlife-related recreation in Georgia
  • $873 million spent in Georgia from fishing-related activities
  • $965 million spent in Georgia on hunting-related activities
  • $1.8 billion spent in Georgia on wildlife-watching activities

 

Pie chart showing 46% spent on trip-related cost, 5% on other, 49% on equipment expenses.

Fishing IconFishing in Georgia: $873 Million

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

  • 829,000 people 16 years and older spent a combined total of 8.7 million days fishing in the state of Georgia in 2011
    • 92% of anglers were state residents (764,000 people)
    • 8% of anglers were from out-of-state (65,000 people)
  • In total, residents and nonresidents combined spent an estimated total of $873 million on fishing in the state in 2011
    • Trip-related expenditures (food, lodging, transportation): $402 million
    • Equipment: $430 million
    • Other items (magazines, membership dues, licenses, etc.): $41 million - 5% of all fishing expenditures
  • People spend almost three times as much per day on saltwater fishing as freshwater fishing ($114/day saltwater vs. $39/day freshwater)
  • 45% of the freshwater fish caught were black bass

 

Pie chart showing 50% spent on trip-related cost, 15% on other, 34% on equipment expenses.

Hunting IconHunting in Georgia: $965 Million

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

  • 309,000 people 16 years and older spent a combined total of 8.0 million days hunting in the state of Georgia in 2011
    • 75% of hunters were state residents (293,000 people)
    • 25% of hunters were out-of-state (98,000 people)
  • In total, residents and nonresidents combined spent an estimated total of $965 million on hunting in the state in 2011
    • Trip-related expenditures (food, lodging, transportation): $487 million
    • Equipment: $329 million
    • Other items (magazines, membership dues, licenses, etc.): $149 million - 15% of all hunting expenditures
  • Hunters on average spent almost the same per day hunting big game as small game ($44 big game vs. $40 small game), but the sample size of hunters hunting migratory birds and other animals was too small to report reliably
  • However, each individual hunter spent more than 1 1/2 times overall on their big game trips ($1,046 per trip) than on their small game trips ($674 per trip)

Bar chart depicting difference in spending between types of hunting

 

 

Pie chart showing 47% spent on trip-related cost, 4% on other, 49% on equipment expenses.

Watching IconWildlife-Watching in Georgia: $1.8 Billion

Who watches wildlife in Georgia, 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.

  • 2.4 million people 16 years and older watched wildlife in Georgia in 2011
    • 86% of all wildlife watchers did so close to their home (2.1 million people)
    • 47% of all wildlife watchers traveled at least one mile from home to observe wildlife (1.1 million people)
    • (258,000 people) of away-from-home wildlife watchers were from out-of-state
  • In total, residents and nonresidents combined spent an estimated total of $1.8 billion on wildlife-watching in the state
    • Trip-related expenditures (food, lodging, transportation): $839 million
    • Equipment: $890 million
    • Other items (magazines, membership dues, plantings, etc.): $74 million - 4% of all wildlife-watching expenditures
  • The most popular around-the-home wildlife-watching activity is feeding wildlife (1.7 million people)
  • Georgians spent nearly 34.3 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 (697,000 people at home, 657,000 away-from-home)
  • 753,000 people reported visiting parks and natural areas to observe wildlife

 

 

Wild Turkeys in Georgia.

Wild Turkeys in Georgia. Photo: Ernie Seckinger

 

An alligator swimming at the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge.

An alligator swimming at the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge. Photo: Jeff Gunn

Last updated: September 26, 2013
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