The trade organization for the firearms and ammunition industry released a report “Hunting in the 50 States: An economic force for conservation” Sept. 26 that demonstrates the competitive affordability of hunting as a pastime comparable to activities.

“There’s a misperception about hunting being a very expensive pastime. It can be in some circumstances, but for the most part hunting compares very favorably with the costs of other popular activities like playing golf, attending professional sports games and even going to the movies,” said Jim Curcuruto, the director of industry research and analysis for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, based in Newtown, Connecticut.

Hunter with deer decoy (Courtesy of NSSF)
Hunter with deer decoy (Courtesy of NSSF)

The report totals a day of turkey expenses to average $37.54 for a license, tags and ammunition to be less expensive than a round of golf, estimated at $72.54 for green fees and a sleeve of balls, he said. The NSSF report also provides hunters with consolidated information for regulations, license fees, species and methods of take from across the country, he said. One example is South Carolina, which offers two free days sportsmen and women can hunt without purchasing a state hunting license. Other states offer licenses for apprentice hunters, juniors, seniors, military and the disabled are discounted for residents and non-residents.

The report points out that U.S. hunting-related spending grew by 55 percent in 2011, adding $87 billion to the nation’s economy and supporting more than 680,000 jobs nationally,” he said. The report provides information on more than 40 categories, including number of hunters, retail sales, taxes and jobs. “The major growth in spending by hunters is good news for businesses throughout the country, particularly small businesses in rural areas,” said NSSF President Steve Sanetti.