When I think of Idaho I think of hunting, fishering, hikeing and outdoors people. Something I never thought
of are the numerous people who head out into the mountains or desert just to view wildlife. I'm one of those
people who will take off at a moments notice and explore, hoping to see some wildlife. But how many people
in Idaho actually are “wildlife watchers”?
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service did a survey on this subject...Wildlife watcher, hunters and people
who fish for recreation purposes. And the numbers may surprise you.
Before you can understand the numbers you'll have to understand the categories:
- Anglers/Fishers are people who set out for the sole purpose of recreational fishing in Idaho.
- Hunters are just that...hunters who hunt for the sole purpose of recreational hunting.
- Wildlife Watchers include people who took trips or outings of at least 1 mile from their home for the primarypurpose of observing, feeding, or photographing fish and wildlife in Idaho.
How Many Participate in Idaho Wildlife Recreation?
The First Graph: this shows the total numbers of people who set out to hunt, fish or watch wildlife in Idaho.
These numbers include residents and tourist to Idaho. As you'll see, people who watch wildlife make up
almost 50% of the total numbers in Idaho. In other words the total numbers of hunters and fishers combined
almost equals the numbers of wildlife watchers.
The Second Graph (above): The numbers and graph above show a surprising fact. Hunting and fishing is becoming
less popular with time while the wildlife watching numbers have greatly increased in Idaho.
The third graph and more can be read by click "Read More" below
Where do these outdoor enthusiast come from?
It shouldn't surprise most people that a majority of the hunting and fishing is done by Idaho state residents but the
numbers of out of state wildlife watchers is surprising. It turns out that there is a 3:1 ratio of out-of-state wildlife
watchers to Idaho resident wildlife watchers.
What does it all mean?
Maybe Mountain Home could take advantage of this trend? Could we become a Wildlife Watching jumping off
spot for tourist? We have the hotels, stores and restaurants tourists need. We have the access to both
mountains and deserts wildlife habitat. Interesting possibilities for the local entrepreneur?
Reference: The United States Fish and Wildlife Service
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