We have a cheer for the news that just a measly five percent of the U.S. population—11.5 million people, 16 years old and older, went hunting in 2016. That’s a drop from 13.7 million in 2011, according to the 2016 National Survey of Fishing Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation.
We are bolstered by this sign that the NRA is on shaky ground with Americans despite its powerful grip on legislators, and also that wildlife watching is on the uptick—more than 86 million people 16 years old and older fed, photographed and observed wildlife in 2016.
That’s a 21 percent increase, up from 71.8 million in 2011. Of the 86 million people who engaged in wildlife watching last year, 28% participated by taking trips away from home and 94% participated around their home.
Nearly 11.4 million visited parks or natural areas to view wildlife and 11 million maintained plantings or natural areas for the benefit of wildlife within a mile of their home!