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.

Recommended for You

Try these tips to improve your wild boar hunting skill set. Hogs

Quick Tips: How to Spot and Stalk a Hog

Ian Nance - May 28, 2019

Try these tips to improve your wild boar hunting skill set.

Brush-style bowfishing arrow rest and kits designed for simplicity and reliability. Bows

New TRUGLO Bowfishing EZ•Rest

May 23, 2019

Brush-style bowfishing arrow rest and kits designed for simplicity and reliability.

Crankbaits mimic exactly what they eat when hungry — other fish! Bass

Baitfish for Bass: Search, Suspend or Sink Crankbaits

Jason Houser - May 21, 2019

Crankbaits mimic exactly what they eat when hungry — other fish!

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Mustad

Mustad's New Tungsten Weights

Long known as one of the world's premiere hook makers, Mustad's Reid McKinstry shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead that the company is now one of the leaders in making tungsten terminal tackle products for anglers.

Lowrance Enters Trolling-Motor Market with Ghost

Lowrance Enters Trolling-Motor Market with Ghost

Lowrance's Lucas Steward shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead what all of the fuss is about in the brand new Ghost trolling motor being brought to market by the Tulsa, Okla.-based fishing equipment manufacturer.

New Spinning Reel for Finesse Fishermen

New Spinning Reel for Finesse Fishermen

As Pure Fishing's Andrew Upshaw explains, reel making giant Abu Garcia has done it again at ICAST 2019 with a new spinning reel geared towards finesse fishermen.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

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

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use bait rigs for stripers. Other Freshwater

3 Deadly Bait Rigs For Stripers

J.B. Kasper - April 21, 2005

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use bait rigs for stripers.

Experts agree record channel cat caught in 1949 was actually a blue catfish. Records

Upon Further Review: 70-Year-Old Catfish Record Voided

G&F Online Staff - May 22, 2019

Experts agree record channel cat caught in 1949 was actually a blue catfish.

See More Stories

More Stories

Once considered a denizen of the Western wilds, the coyote has learned to adapt to human Stories

Coyotes In Suburbia

Stephen D. Carpenteri - November 30, 2016

Once considered a denizen of the Western wilds, the coyote has learned to adapt to human

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...

Predator hunters living in more open areas are in a unique position to enjoy coyote hunting at its Stories

Guns & Loads for Long-Range Coyote Hunting

Stephen D. Carpenteri - December 13, 2015

Predator hunters living in more open areas are in a unique position to enjoy coyote hunting at...

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.

×