The number of Coloradans who participated in fishing and hunting dropped slightly during the last decade, according an updated report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but the number of those engaged in other wildlife recreational activities increased.
The 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, re-released on Feb.7, indicates that fewer residents were anglers and hunters in 2011 compared to a similar survey 10 years before.
In 2001 there were 915,000 anglers in the state, but that number dropped by 16 percent in 2011. The number of hunters in the state also dropped by 8 percent from 281,000 in 2001.
The decline in numbers also meant a dip in dollars being spent in the wildlife-associated recreation industry. In 2001 Coloradans spent more than $1.3 million on in-state fishing and hunting. The amount spent in 2011 was down roughly $195,000 or about 15 percent. (The 2001 dollar amounts have been adjusted to 2011 levels for inflation.)
The decline does not reflect the hunting boycotts or gun-debates that occurred in response to the 2013 legislative session when stricter gun-control measures were passed in Colorado. The 2016 report will likely depict the long-term implications 2013 had on the state’s hunting and fishing industry.
Coloradans who identified as either away-from-the-home or around-the-home wildlife watchers increased by 12 percent from 1.9 million people in 2001. In 2011, 2.2 million people observed, photographed or fed wildlife, according to the report.
U.S. wildlife watchers spent $1.4 million on in-state expenditures during 2011, a figure that nearly doubled from the 2001 amount of $793,000.