U.S. Reports Slight Decline in State Hunters, Fishermen

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 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation released last month shows that fewer Colorado residents went fishing or hunting in 2011 as 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 to 767,000. The number of hunters in the state dropped by 8 percent from 281,000 in 2001 to 259,000 in 2011.

But the updated report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also showed that the number of state residents engaged in other wildlife recreational activities increased.

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.

The decline in hunters and fisherman also meant a dip in dollars being spent. 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.)

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.

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