Hunting Economics Prove to be Worth Millions

Hunters spend $292 million annually in Vermont, including in our more rural areas, and they do so after foliage tourism ends and before skiing starts.

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department reports that hunters contribute significantly to the state’s economy and spend more than $292 million in Vermont annually, according to a recent survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Census Bureau.

“More than $39 million is spent on travel, such as dining, lodging, transportation, and similar expenses,” says Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Patrick Berry. “Another $190 million is spent on equipment, and more than $62 million is spent on other items.”

“Hunting is economically important not just because of its total economic impact,” said Berry, “but also because so much of it occurs after foliage season and before skiing, and the spending takes place throughout the state, including in our most rural areas.”

In 2012, more than 74,000 people purchased Vermont hunting licenses, including 64,589 residents and 9,428 nonresidents. Deer are the most important species sought by hunters in Vermont, with close to 90 percent of license buyers planning to pursue deer according to the Fish & Wildlife Department.

The federal survey also shows that Vermont ranks first among the lower 48 states in participation of its residents in wildlife-related recreation, including hunting, fishing and wildlife watching, with 62 percent of our residents enjoying these resources. Residents and nonresidents spend $744 million annually in Vermont in pursuit of these activities.

“Vermont isn’t Vermont without wildlife and fish. These resources are important to all of us recreationally, socially and economically,” said Berry. “They also contribute greatly to our quality of life. As hunters continue to enjoy excellent opportunities here in the state, it’s good to know that local communities benefit as well.”

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