New survey reveals continuing trend

A new nationwide survey of Americans 18 years old and older shows that a strong majority of Americans support hunting and fishing. The nationwide survey, conducted by Responsive Management of Harrisonburg, Va., found that support for hunting and fishing has remained strong over the past decade with approximately three out of four Americans approving of legal hunting and more than nine out of 10 approving of recreational fishing.

“We have been seeing public support for hunting increase in several states over the past decade where we had data, but this is the first nationwide study where we could verify that public support has increased nationwide,” says Mark Damian Duda, executive director of Responsive Management.

In 1995, 73 percent of Americans approved of hunting while in 2006, 78 percent approved of hunting. Support for fishing nationwide remains very high, with 93.3 percent of Americans approving. The results of this survey reflect the opinions of a random telephone survey of 813 adult Americans conducted from Aug. 31 through Sept. 9. The sampling error is 3.44 percentage points.

Steve Williams, current president of the Wildlife Management Institute and former director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and secretary of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, notes that “Sportsmen are essential to wildlife protection and management. Game management programs, which are funded by sportsmen’s dollars, have restored numerous wildlife species, such as wild turkey, wood ducks, white-tailed deer, beaver, pronghorn antelope, and Canada geese. In addition, sportsmen’s dollars have purchased and managed millions of acres of fish and wildlife habitat.”