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Economic Impact of Wildlife-Associated Recreation in South Carolina: 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 1.7 million people participated in wildlife-related recreation in the state of South Carolina, generating $2.0 billion for our economy.

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

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

 

Money Icon2011 South Carolina Quick Financials

  • $2.0 billion total spent on wildlife-related recreation in South Carolina
  • $686 million spent in South Carolina from fishing-related activities
  • $505 million spent in South Carolina on hunting-related activities
  • $467 million spent in South Carolina on wildlife-watching activities

 

Pie chart showing 52% spent on trip-related, 1% on other, 46% on equipment costs.

Fishing IconFishing in South Carolina: $686 Million

Who fishes in South Carolina, and how much do they spend?

  • 744,000 people 16 years and older spent a combined total of 11.2 million days fishing in the state of South Carolina in 2011
    • 75% of anglers were state residents (561,000 people)
    • 25% of anglers were from out-of-state (182,000 people)
  • In total, residents and nonresidents combined spent an estimated total of $686 million on fishing in the state in 2011
    • Trip-related expenditures (food, lodging, transportation): $360 million
    • Equipment: $319 million
    • Other items (magazines, membership dues, licenses, etc.): $7 million - 1% of all fishing expenditures
  • People spend three times as much per day on saltwater fishing as freshwater fishing ($69/day saltwater vs. $22/day freshwater)
  • 49% of the freshwater fish caught were black bass

 

Pie chart showing 45% spent on trip-related, 17% on other, 38% on equipment costs.

Hunting IconHunting in South Carolina: $505 Million

Who hunts in South Carolina, and how much do they spend?

  • 254,000 people 16 years and older spent a combined total of 4.4 million days hunting in the state of South Carolina in 2011
    • 71% of hunters were state residents (180,000 people)
    • 29% of hunters were out-of-state (74,000 people)
  • In total, residents and nonresidents combined spent an estimated total of $505 million on hunting in the state in 2011
    • Trip-related expenditures (food, lodging, transportation): $230 million
    • Equipment: $192 million
    • Other items (magazines, membership dues, licenses, etc.): $84 million - 17% of all hunting expenditures
  • Big game hunters spent two to four times more ($49 per day), than small game and migratory birds hunters ($21 vs. $12 per day)
  • Big game hunters spent five to eleven times more on their hunting trips ($783 per trip) than small game and migratory birds hunters ($145 vs. $66 per trip)

Bar chart depicting difference in spending between types of hunting

 

 

Pie chart showing 56% spent on trip-related, 3% on other, 41% on equipment costs.

Watching IconWildlife-Watching in S. Carolina: $467 Million

Who watches wildlife in South Carolina, 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.

  • 1.1 million people 16 years and older watched wildlife in South Carolina in 2011
    • 83% of all wildlife watchers did so close to their home (915,000 people)
    • 34% of all wildlife watchers traveled at least one mile from home to observe wildlife (378,000 people)
    • (167,000 people) of away-from-home wildlife watchers were from out-of-state
  • In total, residents and nonresidents combined spent an estimated total of $467 million on wildlife-watching in the state
    • Trip-related expenditures (food, lodging, transportation): $261 million
    • Equipment: $191 million
    • Other items (magazines, membership dues, plantings, etc.): $15 million - 3% of all wildlife-watching expenditures
  • The most popular around-the-home wildlife-watching activity is feeding wildlife (818,000 people)
  • South Carolinan's spent nearly 2.6 million days engaged in away-from-home wildlife-watching activities in their state
  • A few more people photographed wildlife away-from-home than while near their homes (200,000 away-from-home vs. 190,000 people at home)
  • 77,000 people reported visiting parks and natural areas to observe wildlife

 

 

Pier at Folly Beach, South Carolina

Pier at Folly Beach, South Carolina Photo: Tim Parkinson

 

Snapping turtle in Central South Carolina

Snapping turtle in Central South Carolina Photo: Hunter Desportes

Last updated: September 26, 2013
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