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Survey: About 18 percent of Coloradans hunt or fish
See the state overview of the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation.
Nearly half of Coloradans hunted, fished or spent time watching wildlife in recent years, according to a national survey of wildlife-related recreation.
The same survey found participation in wildlife recreation has increased in 28 states since 2006.
The 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation State Overview Report was released earlier this month by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
It is the second in a series of reports to be released over the next few months highlighting results from the National Survey.
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar released the first report on Aug. 15. The National Survey, conducted since 1955, measures participation in hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing as well as on related spending on trips and equipment.
The 2011 National Survey data show that hunters, anglers and wildlife watchers spent $145 billion last year on related gear, trips and other purchases such as licenses, tags and land leasing or ownership.
“Hunting, fishing and wildlife watching are part of our national heritage, and the trip and equipment-related spending of participants’ forms significant support for local economies across the country,” said Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe in a news release. “These survey results are good news for the small businesses and rural communities who depend on wildlife-related tourism, and it shows an encouraging increase in personal investment of citizens in the future of wildlife and wild places.”
In Colorado, 1,854,000 people - 47 percent of the state's population - fished, hunted or spent time watching wildlife in 2011, according to the survey. Eighteen percent of the population, or 727,000 people, reported they had fished or hunted; 37 percent of the population, or 1,456,000 people, said they were wildlife watchers.
Seventy-seven percent of Colorado residents and visitors were wildlife watchers; 40 percent were hunters and anglers.
Residents and visitors spent $2,984,156,000 on hunting, fishing and wildlife watching in Colorado; $1,239,959,000 on trips and $1,557,286,000 on gear. Of that, $1,551,557,000 was spent on hunting and fishing, the rest on wildlife watching.
Of Colorado's "sportsmen," 567,000 people said they were anglers only. About 60,000 identified themselves only as hunters.
Seventy-seven percent of the fishing in Colorado was done by the state's residents, according to the survey, while 55 percent of the hunting in Colorado was done by the state's residents.
More from the news release:
A lot of our recreation time is spent on public land.
• Of the 28 states with increases in the number of wildlife-related recreation participants from 2006 to 2011, the largest percentage increases were seen in Alaska (47 percent) and Louisiana (40 percent).
• South Dakota had the highest proportion of state residents who hunted (21 percent).
• Alaska had the highest proportion of state residents who fished (40 percent).
• Vermont had the highest proportion of state residents who wildlife watched (53 percent).
Overall, the 2011 survey found that 38 percent of all Americans age 16 or older participated in wildlife-related recreation in 2011, an increase of 2.6 million participants from the previous survey in 2006.
Participation in recreational fishing increased by 11 percent and hunting was up 9 percent.
Previous surveys showing a 10 percent decline in hunting between 1996 and 2006. The 2011 survey reports a 29 percent increase in hunting equipment expenditures from 2006.
Money collected through sales of hunting fishing licenses is combined with federal funds to create and sustain many wildlife areas and programs.
The survey information was gathered during interviews with 48,627 households across the U.S.