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Hunting and Outdoor Recreation

NAICS Codes: 451110, 423910  SIC Codes: 0971, 5091

By: John Gonzales
Hunting deer in mountains.

Hunting creates many small business jobs.

The hunting and outdoor recreation industry is composed of two major categories; hunting and fishing, and wildlife watching. Fishing and hunting category contains sportspersons, anglers, and hunters. Wildlife watching focuses on residential and non-residential. Hunting and wildlife participants are among the most avid conservationist. Fees collected from the licenses and taxes on hunting and fishing fund many of the conservation efforts responsible for preserving the environmental and cultural values of U.S. parks and recreation. The purpose of this newsletter is to inform businesses, consumers, and people of similar interests that the hunting industry plays a major role towards the preservation of wildlife habitat.

Industry Overview

Hunting and wildlife is an American past time to be enjoyed by many. According to the 2001 national survey of hunters, fishers, and wildlife watchers spent an excess of 108 billion U.S. dollars pursuing their recreational activities.[1]

Due to the seasonal restraints of hunting and wildlife season, many consumers tend procrastinate buying equipment until the season of their choice. Manufacturers take advantage of this predictable demand by stocking up before seasons. Although demand may be seasonal, sports and outdoors retailers enjoy participation from 82 million recreation consumers.

Hunter with orange vest aiming rifle.

Small businesses sell the hunting equipment needed for a successful season.

Despite a sluggish start at the beginning of 2000, sales on hunting equipment grew 8 percent, larger than any of the other athletic sporting good or sports equipment sector. 2

Outdoor retailers can look forward to 1.9 billion from the sale of firearms (representing a 9.4 increase from 2004); the highest of all recreation sports. The outdoor recreation establishments accounted for 32.1 percent market share, which equals 3,272 establishments. Golf equipment accounted for 6.6 percent; fitness equipment and supplies had 5 percent; fishing equipment and supplies accounted for 3.6 percent; and exercise equipment held 1.4 percent. While the wholesale sporting goods industry as whole enjoyed revenues of $31 billion in 2005. (2) Hunters and fishers reportedly spent 20 billion on food, lodging, and transportation services. (1)

Retail Sales                 Total Multiplier Effect

1. Texas                       $1, 761,285,042          $3,636,484,738

2. Pennsylvania           $1,165,059,772           $2,275,366,632

3. Wisconsin                $960,104,751              $1,770,420,230

4. New York               $891,031,344              $1,529,508,716

5. Alabama                  $799,303,993              $1,576,405,455

6. Ohio                        $713,886,248              $1,539,487,897

7. Michigan                 $671,670,664              $1,281,527,914

8. Minnesota               $664,200,412              $1,316,964,312

9. Tennessee                $623,025,977              $1,321,659,467

10. Louisiana               $581,066,601              $992,471,903

 

Source: International Association of Fish and Wildlife 2

Demographics

According to the national survey of fishing, hunting, and wildlife-associated recreation, the target market that is mainly involved includes the age group of 16 and older. The survey concluded $28.1 billion was trip related, $64.5 billion was spent on equipment, and $15.8 billion was spent on other items.

Sportspersons spent a total of $70 billion in 2001-$35.6 billion on fishing, $20.6 billion on hunting, and $13.8 million on items used for both hunting and fishing. Wildlife watchers spent $38.4 billion on their activities around the home and on trips away from home. 1

Fishing and Anglers

Although the outdoor industry is dominated by men, woman proved to be a substantial contributor to the outdoor recreation sector. Women are reported to make up 26% of the total anglers market. Substantial sums of money where spent on fishing equipment such as; rods, reels, tackle boxes, dept finders, and artificial lures and flies. The amount spent is estimated to be around 17 billion of the total 35.6 billion spent on the fishing industry.

Age and Gender

Total, both sexes………………………………………….34.1

Male………………………………………………………..25.2

Female…………………………………………………………………8.9

Source: 2001 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (figures in millions) 1

Hunters

Of the 82 million participants in the outdoors, 13 million are hunters. The total days in the field where $228 million and went on $200 million trips. Although fishing revenue may be the larger of the two sportsman categories, hunting still earned a respectable $20.6 billion dollars on expenditures. The outdoor sports retailers get to enjoy 50% share of the hunting revenue which equates to $10.4 billion in sales. As is evident the majority of hunters are male, which make up 91% of the market where female hunters represent a mere 9%.

Age and Gender

Total, both sexes………………………………………..13

Male……………………………………………………11.8

Female…………………………………………………..1.2

Source: 2001 Fish and Wildlife Service (figures in millions) 1

Wildlife-Watching

Although the wildlife-watching may be described as nonconsumptive or none consuming, the industry managed to have an excess of $38.4 billion in expenditures. The majority of this revenue is made up of equipment expenditures which equaled $23.5 billion. According to the survey of fishing, hunting, and wildlife-associated recreation $7.4 billion was spent on wildlife-watching equipment, including binoculars, cameras, bird food, and special clothing. Revenue from auxiliary equipment included tents and backpacks which came out to $717 million and special equipment included off-road vehicles, campers and boats which tallied up $15.5 billion and is by far the most money spent on the equipment expenditures.

Age and Gender (Residential)

Total, both sexes……………………………………………62.9

Male………………………………………………………….28.8

Females………………………………………………………34.1

Source: 2001 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (figures in millions) 1

Age and Gender (Non-Residential)

Total, both sexes…………………………………………….21.8

Male…………………………………………………………..11.4

Female………………………………………………………..10.4

Source: 2001 Fish and Wildlife Service (figures in millions) 1

 

Business Leaders

The nations sporting goods arena has maintained consistence despite a slowing economy. Many of the smaller retail chains such as, Gart Sports and Hibbett Sporting Goods are making a move towards the top due to strong management and acquisitions of other sporting good stores. According to 2001 data Sports Authority is leading the industry but recent findings from Yahoo Finance shows that Dicks Sporting Goods previously #2 has moved up to #1 with a $2.9 billion in market capital. Dicks Sporting Goods continue to grow at a record breaking pace, expanding store locations and breaking into new 80,0000 square foot locations.

 

Leaders in Market Capitalization
DICK’S SPORTING GDS [DKS] $2.9 B
CABELAS INC [CAB] $1.5 B
HIBBETT SPORTS INC [HIBB] $862.1 M
BIG 5 SPORTING [BGFV] $598.2 M
SPORT CHALET CL-B [SPCHB] $146.7 M
GOLFSMITH INTL HOLD [GOLF] $109.6 M
DREAMS INC [DRJ] $104.2 M
DOVER SADDLERY, INC. [DOVR] $41.1 M
FAIRCHILD CP CL A [FA] $40.6 M

Source: 2007 Yahoo Finance 4

Trends

Where is all the land? This is the question that most hunters today are wondering. States like Virginia and Iowa are losing land due to increased production of home building. Virginia lost more than 100,000 hunters due to this population increase.3 According to the Department of Game and Inland Fishers, more than half of the $47 million dollar budget was covered by hunting and fishing license sales. This may develop into a problem if revenue from this decline in license sales develops recessionary tendencies. One alternative is to get more of America’s youth involved in outdoor sports and recreation.

Youth Programs

Many states are adopting programs such as extreme Jakes coordinated by the National Wild Turkey Federation and families’ afield devised by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), to educate and develop an interest for hunting in the youth of America. National and State level policy makers understand the importance that sportspeople have on wildlife management as well as the preservation of wildlife habitat. States like Iowa and Minnesota and Iowa are noticing declining license sales due to the lack of recruitment and retention in the hunting and fishing industry. Many factors such as age, disabilities, unfamiliar areas, loss of access and loss of friends add to the decline of revenue from licenses. More and more states are adopting a strategic plans focused at the recruitment of youth, identify long-term goals, and establish stable funding through state conservation programs.

Recruitment Programs

The National Shooting Sports Foundation found that the No. 1 problem for not hunting was lack of access. Their response to this problem was a pilot website called Wingshooting USA which gives reason for optimism in the hunting and shooting industry. They found that more than 1,000 bird hunters visited the sited that had not hunted the previous year. Conventions such as the Shot Show produced more than 40,000 enthusiasts and over 1,800 different companies. The NSSF also hosted an education class for retailers that armed them with ideas to increase market share profitability.

Political View

The NARF, ATF, and NAICS are working together with firearm dealers to better detect and stop illegal straw purchases or purchasing a firearm for someone who is prohibited from doing so. The NSSF is joining the effort to stop illegal purchases by sponsoring educational programs to stop straw purchases.

Currently many bills are being tracked by the National Assembly of Sports Caucuses that will promote hunters, anglers and trappers such as; hunting made easier for youth, no net loss which enforces states to maintain the level of hunting land, special hunting and fishing licenses to veterans, and enhanced funding for fish and wildlife.

Associations

National Association of Firearm Retailers – http://www.nafr.org/

National Shooting Sports Foundation – http://www.nssf.org/

National Rifle Association - http://www.nrahq.org

Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies – http://www.fishwildlife.org/

National Sporting Good Association – http://www.nsga.org/public/pages/index.cfm?pageid=1528

 

Sources

1. 2001 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. http://www.census.gov/prod/2003pubs/fhw01-us.pdf

2. “Sporting and Recreational Goods and Supplies.” Encyclopedia of American Industries. Online Edition. Thomson Gale, 2007

3. Miroff, Nick. “Hunting’s bind of less space and time” Washington Post, February 2007.

4. 2007 Industry Center-Sporting Good Stores. Yahoo Finance. http://biz.yahoo.com/ic/ll/740mkt.html

 

“This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations are those of SBDCNet and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. SBA. The SBA funds this U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Grant. SBA’s funding is not an endorsement of any products, opinions, or services. All SBA funded programs are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis.”

photo by: FtCarsonPAO
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