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Economic Impact of Wildlife-Associated Recreation in Tennessee: 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 2.6 million people participated in wildlife-related recreation in the state of Tennessee, generating $2.9 billion for our economy.

Read Tennessee's News Release

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

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

 

Money Icon2011 Tennessee Quick Financials

  • $2.9 billion total spent on wildlife-related recreation in Tennessee
  • $1.1 billion spent in Tennessee from fishing-related activities
  • $494 million spent in Tennessee on hunting-related activities
  • $943 million spent in Tennessee on wildlife-watching activities

 

Pie chart showing 25% spent on trip-related, 4% on other, 71% on equipment costs.

Fishing IconFishing in Tennessee: $1.1 Billion

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

  • 826,000 people 16 years and older spent a combined total of 17.0 million days fishing in the state of Tennessee in 2011
    • 86% of anglers were state residents (709,000 people)
    • 14% of anglers were from out-of-state (117,000 people)
  • In total, residents and nonresidents combined spent an estimated total of $1.1 billion on fishing in the state in 2011
    • Trip-related expenditures (food, lodging, transportation): $283 million
    • Equipment: $803 million
    • Other items (magazines, membership dues, licenses, etc.): $51 million - 4% of all fishing expenditures
  • The average total trip cost per angler, freshwater fishing ($1,301.00 per trip)
  • 42% of the freshwater fish caught were black bass

 

Pie chart showing 43% spent on trip-related costs, 14% on other, 44% on equipment cost,

Hunting IconHunting in Tennessee: $494 Million

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

  • 375,000 people 16 years and older spent a combined total of 9.8 million days hunting in the state of Tennessee in 2011
    • 74% of hunters were state residents (276,000 people)
    • 26% of hunters were out-of-state (99,000 people)
  • In total, residents and nonresidents combined spent an estimated total of $494 million on hunting in the state in 2011
    • Trip-related expenditures (food, lodging, transportation): $210 million
    • Equipment: $216 million
    • Other items (magazines, membership dues, licenses, etc.): $68 million - 14% of all hunting expenditures
  • Hunters spent almost twice as much per day hunting migratory birds ($35 per trip) than on big ($19 per trip) and small game hunting ($13 per trip)
  • The big game hunters spent more than twice as much on their hunting trips ($437 per trip) than was spent on small game ($329 per trip) and migratory bird hunting ($183 per trip)

Bar chart depicting difference in spending between types of hunting

 

 

Pie chart showing 53% spent on trip-related costs, 6% on other, 41% on equipment cost,

Watching IconWildlife-Watching in Tennessee: $943 Million

Who watches wildlife in Tennessee, 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.

  • 2.0 million people 16 years and older watched wildlife in Tennessee in 2011
    • 81% of all wildlife watchers did so close to their home (1.6 million people)
    • 40% of all wildlife watchers traveled at least one mile from home to observe wildlife (787,000 people)
    • (303,000 people) of away-from-home wildlife watchers were from out-of-state
  • In total, residents and nonresidents combined spent an estimated total of $943 million on wildlife-watching in the state
    • Trip-related expenditures (food, lodging, transportation): $498 million
    • Equipment: $391 million
    • Other items (magazines, membership dues, plantings, etc.): $53 million - 6% of all wildlife-watching expenditures
  • The most popular around-the-home wildlife-watching activity is feeding wildlife (1.3 million people)
  • Tennesseans spent nearly 5.4 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 (491,000 away-from-home vs. 480,000 people at home)
  • 320,000 people reported visiting parks and natural areas to observe wildlife

 

 

Freshwater fishing in Tennessee.

Freshwater fishing in Tennessee. Photo: K. Dalton

 

Two Black Bears up a tree.

Two Black Bears up a tree. Photo: R. Neal

Last updated: September 26, 2013
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