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TPWD News Release — Aug. 10, 2007

Latest Survey Reveals Texas Leads Nation in Hunting

AUSTIN, Texas — According to preliminary state data from the new 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, Texas led the nation in 2006 with 1.1 million Texans going hunting at some point during the year, while Florida led the nation in total fishing participation with 2.8 million anglers and California was the top wildlife-watching state with 6.2 million of its residents observing wildlife.

The Lone Star State was also among the national leaders in fishing participation at 2.5 million and wildlife viewing with 4.17 million Texans participating.

Texas also leads the nation in hunting-related expenditures, and the Lone Star State generates among the highest spending levels in the country for fishing and wildlife-watching. The survey showed hunters spent about $2.3 billion in Texas, more than any other state. Angler spending in Texas was about $3.2 billion, second only to Florida at $4.5 billion. Texas ranked third nationally for expenditures by wildlife-watchers at about $2.9 billion, with California first at $4.6 billion and Florida edging above Texas at close to $3 billion. These figures reflect spending on food, lodging, transportation, equipment and other items.

“The National Survey is an important tool that measures in economic and participatory terms the value that wildlife has in Americans’ hearts and to the nation’s economy. Wildlife related recreation rejuvenates our spirit, connects us with nature and gets us outside pursuing healthy activities,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director H. Dale Hall.

In 2006, more than 87 million Americans, or 38 percent of the United States’ population age 16 and older hunted, fished or watched wildlife. They spent $120 billion that year pursuing those activities. Further broken down by category, 30 million or 13 percent fished and spent a total of $41 billion on their activities, 12.5 million or 5 percent hunted and spent a total of $23 billion, and 71 million or 31 percent observed wildlife and spent a total of $45 billion.

The National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation has been conducted every 5 years since 1955 and is one of the nation’s most important wildlife recreation databases. It is considered to be the definitive source of information concerning participation and expenditures associated with hunting, fishing and other forms of wildlife-related recreation nationwide.

The Survey is conducted at the request of State fish and wildlife agencies and is funded by grants from the Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration Acts’ Multistate Conservation Grant Program. A wide range of individuals and groups depend on the Survey to analyze participation rates, economic impacts of expenditures, demographic characteristics, and trends in participation and activities.

It is important to note that the National Survey counts only participants who actually went hunting, fishing or observed wildlife in 2006 and does not represent the total number of anglers, hunters, and wildlife watchers in the U.S. Many people who consider themselves hunters, anglers or wildlife watchers do not participate every year. For example, examination of survey data shows that over the five year period from 2002 to 2006, a cumulative total of 44.4 million people fished and 18.6 million hunted.

This 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation State Overview report, as well as previous surveys and reports, can be found at The Service expects to publish the final National Report in November 2007.

Most Participants In-State
(age 16 and older)
Highest Participation Rates
(age 16 and older)
In-State Hunters Hunting

Texas — 1,115,000

Pennsylvania — 1,027,000

Michigan — 756,000

Wisconsin — 698,000

Missouri — 613,000

Montana — 19%

North Dakota — 17%

South Dakota, Wisconsin — 15%

Arkansas, Maine, West Virginia — 14%

Minnesota, Missouri, Wyoming — 13%

In-State Anglers Fishing

Florida — 2,755,000

Texas — 2,500,000

California — 1,740,000

Minnesota — 1,435,000

Michigan — 1,408,000

Alaska, Minnesota — 28%

Montana, Wyoming — 24%

Wisconsin — 23%

Arkansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, West Virginia — 21%

Idaho — 20%

In-State Wildlife Watchers Wildlife Watching

California — 6,233,000

Florida — 4,177,000

Texas — 4,174,000

Pennsylvania — 3,965,000

New York — 3,762,000

Maine — 57%

Montana, Vermont — 55%

Iowa, Minnesota, Wyoming — 48%

New Hampshire — 46%

Missouri — 45%