Elk hunting adds nearly $1 billion a year to economy

Elk hunting adds nearly $1 billion a year to economy

MISSOULA, Mont. - Elk hunting in America is big business. The average elk hunter spends $1,201 a year pursuing the species - the second-highest amount of any game animal - and contributes to an economic engine worth nearly $1 billion annually. Elk hunters outspend all others on guides, food, lodging, private transportation, licenses and tags, but trail deer hunters in overall per capita spending by $37. Duck hunters are third at $1,182 a year.

Within the data, one spending category is for dues, such as membership dues to conservation organizations. In this category, elk hunters fall behind several other groups.

David Allen, president and CEO of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, said, "In reviewing the data, we were struck by the fact that for $35 - less than 3 percent of the average outlay for elk hunting - you can join the Elk Foundation and invest in conserving and enhancing the habitat that makes good hunting possible."

Founded in 1984, the Elk Foundation has led a massive conservation movement that has helped improve wildlife habitat on over 5.2 million acres, a land area larger than Connecticut, Delaware and District of Columbia combined. More than 500,000 acres previously closed to public access are now open for hunting, fishing and other recreation.


Today, however, the once-open spaces of the West are being developed and populated much faster than the national average. Noxious, encroaching and under-managed vegetation also threaten the future of elk habitat, hunting and related economic benefits.


"A $35 membership to the Elk Foundation supports habitat conservation efforts across elk country, as well as education and hunting heritage projects nationwide. Plus, members receive our award-winning magazine, 'Bugle,'" said Allen.

Some interesting average annual expenditures per elk hunter:

Guides $189.91
Private Transport. $150.25
Food $129.46
Lodging $70.56
Licenses/Fees $65.46
Rifles $56.38
Bows $35.24
Taxidermy $30.67
Ammunition $24.80
Scopes $23.73
Handguns $15.24
Dues $13.34
Binoculars $11.06
Decoys $7.54

In total, there are 794,602 elk hunters in the U.S. generating $954,421,128 annually in total spending, much of it in rural areas that depend on hunting revenue.


Data are based on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's "2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife - Associated Recreation," prepared for the National Shooting Sports Foundation's "Today's Hunter" report, 2008.

To learn more about the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, visit www.elkfoundation.org or call 800-CALL-ELK.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Mustad

Mustad's Saltwater Jig Lineup

Russ Whisler shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the innovative features and great color schemes in Mustad's voluminous lineup of saltwater jigs introduced at ICAST 2019.

Berkley

Berkley's Surge Shad

Major League Fishing pro Scott Suggs has relied on the Berkley Surge Shad lure concept for years, using similar designs to capture MLF titles and a $1 million dollar FLW Forrest Cup win. With new features in the Surge Shad, Suggs tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead that even he can find success out on the water!

13 Fishing Inception SZ

13 Fishing Inception SZ

Florida angling pro Jessie Mizell knows that the saltwater found in Sunshine State coastal fisheries can wreak havoc on even the best fishing gear. But with 13 Fishing's new feature laden Inception SZ saltwater baitcasting reel, tackling inshore and light tackle saltwater game fish just got a whole lot easier!

Costa

Costa's Award Winning Waterwoman Sunglasses

Costa's Amanda Sabin tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead about all of the great features that made the new Waterwoman frame a big winner at the 2019 ICAST show as well as out on the water.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range Ammo

10 Best Long-Range Cartridges Ever Made

David Hart - January 14, 2015

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range

While wildly popular amongst anglers around the world, the IGFA World Record book shows the biggest pike come from Europe. Records

Top 10 Biggest Pike World Records of All Time

Jack Vitek - August 19, 2015

While wildly popular amongst anglers around the world, the IGFA World Record book shows the...

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews of smelly ingredients often used to catch catfish. Catfish

How To Make Your Own Catfish Dough Bait

Keith Sutton - August 04, 2015

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews...

          From Monksville Reservoir to Union Lake, plus five other picks, here's where you'll find Bass

7 Best Bets For New Jersey Largemouth Bass

October 04, 2010

From Monksville Reservoir to Union Lake, plus five other picks, here's where you'll...

See More Trending Articles

More Stories

Calling all coyotes:'These predators are efficient, so finding and calling them to the gun can Stories

Predator Hunting: 3 Ways to Find Elusive Coyotes

Brad Fitzpatrick - June 26, 2018

Calling all coyotes:'These predators are efficient, so finding and calling them to the gun can

A rimfire, old standard and new import top our list of favorite rifles for coyote hunting 

All Stories

3 Coyote Guns

Brad Fitzpatrick - September 28, 2017

A rimfire, old standard and new import top our list of favorite rifles for coyote hunting...

 Missouri hunter Tim Phillips is all smiles after using his late grandfather's worn Marlin 30.30 Stories

Grandpa's Gun Tags Giant Buck, Ends Multi-Year Quest

Lynn Burkhead - November 21, 2017

Missouri hunter Tim Phillips is all smiles after using his late grandfather's worn Marlin...

Here's a look at some of coyote hunting rifles and shot gun featured in this summer's Game & Fish 2018 Gear Guide magazine. Stories

Gear Reviews: New Coyote Hunting Rifles, Shotguns

Game & Fish Online Staff - September 07, 2018

Here's a look at some of coyote hunting rifles and shot gun featured in this summer's Game &...

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.