About The Author

Kim Hiss, an associate editor at Field & Stream, has hunted ducks, antelope, turkeys, and deer throughout the country, enjoying a number of women's hunts along the way. She lives in Dobbs Ferry, New York. Click here to email Kim.

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January 18, 2008

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Big $penders

     Reader Lou Alexander just got back from a vacation in England (Lou, it sounds like you take some killer trips, by the way), and emailed me, commenting that, "Hunting is a rich man's sport there."
     While it's true that in this country you don't have to be rich to be a hunter (yet!), sportsmen as a group spend some serious bucks. Around the time I got Lou's email, I was reading that Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation report on the money spent by hunters and fishermen a year. For those of you who haven't seen it, it's currently on the CSF homepage.
     Just to post some fun facts for a Friday afternoon, I yanked a few of the most interesting annual numbers out of that report.

$76 billion - Amount sportsmen spend on hunting and fishing a year (that's more than the revenues of Google, Microsoft, eBay, and Yahoo combined)

12.5 million - Number of hunters in the U.S.

$23 billion - Total amount hunters spend on their sport a year

$1,992 - Individual amount the average hunter spends on his or her sport a year

     And here's what the report says those bucks buy each year:

$493 million - Spent on hunting dogs

$2.4 billion - Spent on guns and rifles

$203 million - Spent on binoculars, telescopes, and field glasses

$459 million - Spent on apparel

$187 million - Spent on decoys and game calls

$696 million - Spent on ammunition

$3.50 - Spent at a yard sale by me on my newest pair of camo gloves (I talked the guy down from $7 - what a steal!)


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Lou Alexander

The bad news is that hunting is becoming a rich mans sport here too, one item that wasn't mentioned was hunting leases or outfitter hunts. The regular guy/gal can't compete with these and the prime spots are bought up.

By the way, England was awsome, the hisory is just incredible! The crazy thing is that over 60 million people live in about the same space as my home state, Kansas. It was sure good to come home and be able to tromp through the woods without anyone around.


Savage rifle in 7mm-08 and a Leopold 4x scope: $800

'Like new', used Remington 11-70 shotgun: $600

Diamond engagement ring: $4300

Watching your fiance leave you for one of your best friends and taking all the cool stuff you bought her: priceless.

I sure miss her ... guns.

(I'm sorry. Do I seem bitter?)


Hunting is one thing, but when you add in fishing equiptment on top of hunting equiptment, you can feel the pain pretty quickly. It would be great to go somewhere and have a hunt of a lifetime, but for some people that's just not an option. With the rise of hunting and fishing licenses continuing to rise, it might even be less of an option for some.