Hunters, Anglers Spend Half a Billion in North Dakota

Fishing and hunting in North Dakota contributed an estimated $1.4 billion in annual input to the state’s economy, according to a report by the Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics at North Dakota State University.

NorthDakotaGFThe report, commissioned by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, tracked hunter and angler expenditures for the 2011-12 hunting and fishing seasons, and is similar to other studies conducted periodically since the late 1970s.

“The last time we commissioned an economic impact study was about 10 years ago,” said Game and Fish Department Director Terry Steinwand. “These studies help alert us to any major shifts in hunter and angler activities or participation.

Overall, anglers and hunters in North Dakota spent $642.9 million dollars on equipment, vehicles, boats, travel, lodging, food and many other items. In addition, these expenditures generated nearly $727 million in secondary economic benefits, gross business volume, secondary employment and state-level tax collections, according to the NDSU researchers.

According to the report, resident hunters and anglers accounted for $555.7 million of total expenditures, while nonresidents contributed $78.6 million. Anglers spent $425 million and hunters $217 million.

These direct and indirect expenditures from resident hunters and anglers generated approximately $35 million in state-level tax collection. Nonresidents generated another $5 million.

“We know that hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation are an important quality of life factor for many North Dakotans,” Steinwand said. “This report reinforces the notion that economic activity associated with our outdoors is significant as well.”

Compared to spending in the 2001-02 season, total direct expenditures by resident hunters and anglers increased by $43.6 million, and by $4 million for nonresidents.

Complete or executive summaries of the report are available from the Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics at NDSU, by contacting Edie Nelson at (701) 231-7441 or In addition, these publications can be found online at