Good Stats to Know

Next time you need some ammunition for arguing the pros of hunting and gun ownership, try using some these stats, which recently came across my desk in a new report from the Congressional Sportsman's Foundation. The report spotlights the immense impact that sportsmen have on the national economy – 34 million sportsmen spending 76 billion dollars annually on their pastimes of hunting and fishing.

• Spending by hunters and anglers is more than the revenues of Microsoft, Google, eBay and Yahoo—combined! ($76 billion vs. $73.6 billion).

• More people hut and fish than watch the nightly newscasts of the three major networks—ABC, CBS, NBC. (34 million vs. 27 million)

• Hunters spend more on their activity than the total revenues of McDonald’s ($23 billion vs. $20 billion).

• All this spending adds up to support close to 600,000 jobs—more than the number of people employed by McDonald’s corporation.

• Hunters spend $2.4 billion on guns and rifles annually.

• Every year hunters and shooters pay millions in Federal excise taxes: $5.3 billion since 1939. In 2007 hunters and shooters paid $233 million in excise taxes. In fact they annually provide more than 80% of the funding for most state fish and wildlife agencies.

• Through Federal Duck Stamp purchases, hunters have generated more than $700 million, all of which goes in to the National Wildlife Refuge System. This money has been used to purchase more than 5 million acres of land for outdoor recreation and wildlife watching opportunities around the country.

• 80% of sportsmen consider themselves “likely voters”. 8 in 10 sportsmen state that a candidate’s position on sportsmen’s issues is important in determining whom they will vote for.

• 73% of Americans approve of hunting.

• Only 3% of Americans live the animal rights philosophy.

-Todd Smith