Business Blog

Deer are No. 1 Driver of Hunter Spending


In a recent Realtree Business Blog post, we looked at the incredible impact that hunter spending has on the U.S. economy. This injection of $185 million per day supports every economic sector you can think of, from retail to manufacturing to travel to tax contributions and much more.


It probably comes as no surprise to anyone in the outdoors industry that spending on deer hunting tops every other category. America’s No. 1 game animal inspires hunter investment in every facet of the hunt, from the planning and preparation at the beginning to taxidermy and meat processing at the end.


In the recently released report, the 2018 edition of Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation*, referenced in our first post on this topic, the scope of deer hunting’s popularity is neatly summarized. You might be amazed at the numbers presented, even if you are part of the industry that provides goods or services to deer hunters, or if you’re a deer hunter yourself. A few items of interest to help you put things in perspective:


  • In 2016, more than 7.9 million deer hunters spent 115 million days in the woods and fields in search of deer.
  • Of the $27.1 billion spent by all hunters, more than half, or $15.7 billion, came from deer hunters.
  • It is estimated that deer hunting supports more than 305,000 U.S. jobs.
  • The total multiplier (or ripple) effect of deer hunters’ spending (i.e. salaries, taxes, contribution to GDP) amounts to nearly $40 billion!
  • The No. 1 spending category by deer hunters is vehicles. This includes pickups, travel trailers and other means to get to their hunting destination. The total tab in 2016 was more than $2.4 billion.


For a summary of deer hunting’s monetary impact, along with other key spending categories, see the accompanying infographic.


deer hunter yearly spent in 2018

Check back here regularly as we report further on hunting’s huge, positive impact on the U.S. economy.


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*Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation, was produced for the National Shooting Sports Foundation via Multistate Grant #F17AP00083 awarded by the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.