There are nearly 38 million Americans who hunt and fish. That is more sportsmen than people who receive social security retirement benefits. If all sportsmen had voted in the 2000 presidential election, they would have equaled 36% of the entire vote.
We are Part of A Bigger Family
There are nearly 38 million Americans who hunt and fish. That is more sportsmen than people who receive social security retirement benefits. If all sportsmen had voted in the 2000 presidential election, they would have equaled 36% of the entire vote. Moral of the story is that political candidates should never underestimate the size and importance of the American sportsmen. Sportsmen cast ballots, not just lures.
The Economic Impact of Sportsmen and Women
Sportsmen and women pour $70 billion into the U.S. economy annually---with a whopping $179 billion in a ripple effect. This means the "corporation" of hunters and fishermen would rank ahead of companies with household names like Home Depot and AT&T. Sportsmen support more jobs in America than the number of people employed by Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest employer.
Think box office hits like Harry Potter, Spiderman, Titanic and Star Wars were block-busters? Maybe, but each year sportsmen generate over 6 times more revenue than Hollywood’s top forty movies of all time! $70 billion verses $10.5 billion. More Americans start the day in deer stands, bass lakes and duck blinds than receive the combined circulation of the top twenty newspapers in the U.S., including USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. That is 38 million sportsmen vs. 4 million subscribers!
Think potatoes are a big commodity in Idaho? Their sportsmen generate as much revenue as Idaho spuds. And three times more money is generated by Florida sportsmen than Florida oranges!
Just the hunters, excluding anglers, support more than 500,000 jobs. That is more jobs than the combined employment of all top U.S. airlines including American, United, Delta, Northwest, Continental, US Airways, Southwest, Alaska Air, and America West. Hunters spend $4.6 billion annually on boots and gear, equaling what Americans spend on Nike shoes and apparel. Hunters spend over $2 billion for food on hunting trips which is more than Americans spend on Dominos pizza.
Hunters spend over $2 billion on guns and ammo. More money is spent by hunters on ammo than Americans spend on golf balls. The $2.4 billion in annual federal income tax generated by hunter’s spending could pay the salaries of a 100,000 man army!
The American sport fishermen support more than 1 million jobs! That is more than combined employment of Exxon at 98,000, GM at 365,000 and Ford at 383,000. The $36 billion in spending would put sport fishing at #40 on the Fortune 500 - that is well above Johnson & Johnson.
Think golf is big? Five million more Americans fish than play golf! The $3.7 billion in revenues from U.S. commercial fishing is a minnow compared to the $36 billion generated by anglers each year.
Hunters and fishermen contribute $54 every second, $3240 every minute, $194,400 every hour, $4.7 million every day, adding up to $1.7 billion each year for wildlife conservation. Through license sales, sportsmen pay the lion’s share of all state wildlife agency budgets. The sale of duck stamps has generated funds to conserve wildlife wetlands and habitat greater in size than the state of Massachusetts.
What Does This Mean For Tennessee?
In Tennessee, there are 359,398 hunters who annually spend $623,025,977 while supporting 11,641 jobs with combined wages of $307,238,128. Hunters pay state excise taxes amounting to $36,937,656.
There are 903,385 anglers in Tennessee who annually spend $564,667,366 which supports 11,478 jobs with combined wages of $292,858,357. Anglers pay the state of Tennessee $39,442,500 in excise taxes.
Clearly, people who hunt and fish are big business in America and Tennessee. They are a constituency to be reckoned with. It is not surprising that presidential candidates like to be filmed dressed in camouflage attire. The bottom-line is hunting and fishing is woven into the fabric of the American culture and economy. The Tennessee General Assembly must continue to support the sportsman and the sporting industry in Tennessee.
(Portions of this article provided by State Sen. Doug Jackson)