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Number of Hunters in U.S. Rises for First Time in Decades

A study conducted by the U.S. of Fish & Wildlife Service showed an increase in the number of hunters and anglers over the last five years, reversing a downward trend spanning decades.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar released a preliminary report -- part of the USFWS's 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation -- Wednesday in Milwaukee that showed the number of hunters increased about 9 percent from 2006 to 2011, while the number of anglers grew by 11 percent.

"Seeing more people fishing, hunting, and getting outdoors is great news for America's economy and conservation heritage," Salazar told the Journal Sentinel.

The survey, conducted every five years since 1955, showed that almost 38 percent of Americans participated in some wildlife-related activity in 2011; that's 2.6 million more people than the last survey conducted in 2006. In addition, that fraction of the population spent $145 billion on gear, trips, tags, licenses, and land leasing and ownership, accounting for about 1 percent of the United States' gross domestic product.

In addition, a reported 13.7 million people, about 6 percent of the total population over the age of 16, went hunting, and spent a total of $34 billion. That's an average of $2,484 per hunter.

The full survey will be released later this year.

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