Every year millions of Americans, young and old, male and female, head out to pursue their passion for hunting. It is a great way of spending fun time outdoors, with every hunter taking a challenge to hunt more.
But, do you know besides the joy and fun, hunting is good for the economy?
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Wildlife stalking impacts the economy to a tune of $86.9 billion a year. It generates over $25 billion in revenue that helps fund wildlife and fish agencies. That’s not all; hunting also supports thousands of American jobs, with approximately $26 billion paid out in salaries and remuneration.
The revenue comes from the money spent by hunters on their gears, hotels, and food, among other goods and services. Monies are also collected from hunting licenses and stamp sales, with a good percentage of revenue going towards preserving wildlife and their habitat.
And, this is not going to stop soon. Hunting keeps growing, and there is an effort to draw more girls to the activity by introducing pink-colored safety gear. As more and more people get into the sport, the economic impact continues to grow in billions.
So, if you are a hunter, thinking of becoming one, or just curious about the activity, check below how it impacts the economy positively.
Importance Of Hunting To The Economy
Source of funding towards conservation efforts
A lot of money is collected from hunting licenses, stamp duties, taxes, and the sale of ammunition and firearms. Much of it goes towards the conservation of the game and non-game habitats as per Pittman-Robertson Act. The bill was put in place to help channel the funds collected from the purchase of archery tools towards wildlife agency programs.
As hunters interact with the environment, many of them develop a deep passion for becoming conservationists. As a result, they contribute millions of money to support preservation efforts. Stalkers also mobilize resources on the ground to protect wildlife to sustain their hobby now and in the future.
Creates thousands of jobs
Hunters spend billions of money on hunting gear and outdoor products as they seek comfort and success in their hobby. In the process, they create jobs directly in the manufacturing, hospitality, energy, and sales industry.
Many people also get support in their employment as hunters spend a lot of money in restaurants, local stores, and hotels. In fact, in some rural areas, the money spent during hunting season is enough to sustain local businesses for a whole year.
Stimulates economic growth through the multiplier effect
The value of money hunters spend in their hotel rooms when buying ammunition, renewing licenses, and paying for gas does not stop there. It trickles down the economy as it supports jobs that help people invest in various businesses.
Local economies in villages also significantly grow as hunters spend on lodgings and eat in rural restaurants.
Hunting prevents the spread of diseases that could have otherwise cost a lot to control
Hunters eliminate many predators right before the winter season. This is the season where food can become scarce, exposing the wildlife population to diseases. The diseases can even spread to human beings, which calls for finances to control.
But, as more animals are hunted, the population decreases, leaving enough food for the remaining wildlife.
Also, the hunters offer game samples to biologists and fill out surveys about the wildlife. These samples and data provided help researchers detect diseases earlier and develop ways of preventing their spread. Early prevention is far much cheaper than cure, saving the economy a lot of money.
Reduces automotive accidents that save insurance payout
In the US, around 1-2 million motor vehicle accidents happen due to wild animal crashes. As a result, at least 200 people lose their lives, over 26,000 get injures, and property valued at over $billion is lost. This is a huge loss to the economy, especially for the insurance companies who have to make compensation.
Hunting reduces wildlife population, which is an important factor in reducing accidents levels; thus, reducing average cost paid out by insurance and vehicle owners.
What Would Happen If We Stopped Hunting?
There is an ongoing debate whether hunting should be stopped due to the decline of endangered species in the wild.
But, apart from the negatives associated with hunting, if we stopped the activity, the situation won’t be better. It could result in:
Spread of diseases– If there is no hunting population of the wild animals will become overabundant. This increases the chance of sick animals spreading the diseases to others and, worst, to human beings. Hunting helps manage the number of wildlife.
Poaching- Many countries in Africa have not legalized hunting resulting in increased cases of poaching. For instance, Kenya has lost 70% of its wild animals to poaching since hunting was banned. Natives kill animals that pose a threat to their livelihood as they also benefit from meat and horns. Legalizing hunting could make it easy to manage the wildlife.
Human-wildlife conflict- Resources decline when there is a high population of wildlife. The animals could then wander outside the wood, searching for food, posing dangers to private property, livestock, and people. Vehicle-wildlife accidents also increase as many animals wander out to the roads.
Game damage– Increased population of the predators becomes a bigger challenge to forestry and agricultural plantations. Animals such as deer and wild boars will strip tree barks and root plants as they seek to survive.
In the US, hunters kill more than 100 million wild animals each year. However, some state wildlife agencies do not maintain their kill figures. This number is excluded in reports, meaning many more animals are killed but not accounted for.
Animals are not adapted to defend themselves against traps, bullets, and other cruel ways of killing them. So, hunting causes immense suffering, pain, and injuries to animals. It also destroys their families and habitats, with baby animals starving as their mothers are killed.
Key Insights & Takeaways
From the preceding discussion, hunting has an enormous economic impact that goes beyond the local economy. From supporting conservation effort to supporting thousands of jobs in America, it is no doubt hunting does more good than bad.
Of course, some people do not support the activity. But the economy can cripple down unless alternative funding sources are established. Think of a wildlife-human conflict that can result if the animal population is not controlled, plus the vehicle-animal accidents and the harm to the game and agriculture?
It all points out the good that hunting does to the economy!