The economic impact of fishing and hunting in Illinois is easy to see once the numbers have been crunched. The 2016 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting & Wildlife-associated Recreation has crunched these numbers and have come to the conclusion that 1.1 million hunters and anglers in the state of Illinois spent an average of $3.3 million per day for a total of $1.2 billion. This much money spent is definitely an impact on the economy of Illinois and can often trickle down to other economies.
The sports of hunting and fishing were responsible for 22,000 jobs in 2016 with salaries and wages totally $709 million. These hunters and anglers were also responsible for paying $170 million in federal taxes, $138 million in state and local taxes. This leads to a ripple effect of $2.1 billion.
How does Illinois fishing and hunting statistics add up when compared to other states? There were 1.1 million resident sportsmen in the state of Illinois in 2016, making Illinois rank 11th in the nation. Along with this 1.1 million resident sportsmen, there were 795,000 resident anglers, which rank number 13th in the nation and 258,000 resident hunters that rank 16th in the nation. There were also 58,000 non-resident anglers that ranked 15th in the nation and 78,000 non-resident hunters that ranked 42nd in the nation. The sport of fishing brought in $816 million, which put Illinois at 23rd in the rankings and hunting brought in $389 million and had a ranking of 26th, these two sports combined put Illinois in 24th place in the rankings. Those sportsmen who are both hunters and anglers are only counted once for total participation.
Hunting and fishing in Illinois also made an impact on the job opportunities. In 2016, there were 22,000 jobs related to fishing and hunting combined, giving Illinois a ranking in the nation of 21st. Of these 22,000 jobs, fishing contributed to 13,700 and a 21st ranking and hunting contributed to 8,500 and a 22nd ranking.
These statistics show that Illinois’s sportsmen, both hunters and anglers do impact the economy of Illinois and also of the nation. These sportsmen, who average to almost 1 out of 10 residents, spent 4.2 million days in the field hunting, which ranked Illinois as 19th and they spent 16.1 million days on the water for a ranking of 9th. With numbers like these, it is hard to even think that fishing and hunting do not have an economic impact at all levels, local, state and federal.