Feds Release State-by-state Report On Hunting, Fishing And Wildlife Watching

South Dakota leads the country in the percentage of residents who hunt, and Minnesota ranks second, behind Alaska, in the percentage of residents who fish.

Those are just a couple of the statistics that jumped out at me in the state-by-state overview from the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released the state overview Tuesday, a follow-up to the preliminary national survey results that came out in mid-August. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has conducted the survey every five years since 1955.

For the record, 21 percent of South Dakota residents hunt, and 32 percent of Minnesota residents fish — second only to Alaska, where 40 percent of residents fish. Alaska also came in a close second in the percentage of residents who hunt, tied with Mississippi at 20 percent.

Wildlife-associated recreation such as bird-watching gained participants in 28 states since 2006, the new report indicated.

“The State by State data from the National Survey is where the rubber meets the road for state fish and wildlife agencies,” Dr. Jonathan Gassett, commissioner of the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Resources Commission and president of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, said in a statement. “These results help each state set the course for future fish and wildlife conservation and they help quantify the results of investments that each state has made in its wildlife-related recreation programs, especially hunter and angler recruitment and retention programs.”

In North Dakota, 28 percent of survey respondents said they watched wildlife near their home, while resident anglers spent 74 percent of their fishing days in-state and 26 percent of their time out of state.

Minnesota anglers, by comparison, spent 80 percent of their fishing time in the state.

I’m having trouble interpreting the hunting results for North Dakota and Minnesota, so I’ll leave it at that for now. To read the full state-by-state survey, click here: