Nature Study

Wildlife watching or “nature study” exceeds hunting/fishing for participants

2016 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation: National Overview

Download the USFWS survey on wildlife related recreation 2016.
Wildlife watching – page 7, fishing- page 5, hunting -page 6
Total wildlife watching expenditures: $75.9 billion, Total fishing expenditures: $ 46.1 billion, Total hunting expenditures: $ 25.6 billion,
Total wildlife watching participants: 86.million, Total Anglers 35.8 million, Total hunters: 11.5 million
Of this Wildlife Watching subset
Wildlife watching away from home: 23.7 million participants or at watching home: 81.1 million;

Observe Wildlife away from home:19.6 million, at home 43.8 million,
Photograph Wildlife away from home:13.7 million, at home 30.5 million
Feed wildlife away from home: 4.9 million, at home 59.1 million,
Visit public parks or areas 11.4 million; Maintain plantings or natural areas 11.0 million
Bird Observers: 2016
Away-from-Home Observers : 16.3 million
Around-the-Home Observers: 38.7 million

Total Bird Observers: 45.1 million

We include link to another report, done just for SD by SD Game, Fish and Parks
“Economic Impact of Hunting, Fishing, Trapping, Boating, and Wildlife Viewing in South Dakota”

“South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks commissioned this study to estimate the regional and statewide economic activity generated by the State’s fish, wildlife and boating-related resources. Drawing from license sales records and survey-based data sources, this report presents economic contributions based on retail spending in South Dakota attributable to recreational fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing, boating and trapping. “

Please note the SDGFP report does not include data  from “at home” wildlife watching – which is very significant  factor in the federal study..


 2022 SCORP: Public Survey for Outdoor Recreation in South Dakota

February 15 – March 31st

2022 SCORP: Public Survey for Outdoor Recreation in South Dakota click here.  

. SDSU and SD GF&P are working together for the 2022 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan and are looking for your input through their survey to help them plan for future outdoor recreation opportunities.  Help the state of SD to provide the kind of outdoor recreation you want, by filling out this form and indicating your interests.    March 31st is the end date of this survey