ELK & Wildlife Viewing - Economic Impact

Wildlife Viewing and Birdwatching has become the fastest growing recreational
activity in the United States!

  • Over 1,081,000 individuals participate in wildlife viewing and birdwatching in Kentucky creating 11,481 jobs and generating over $600,000,000 dollars for our economy.
  • The number of participants and jobs created has increased 20% and 18% respectively since 1996 making it one of the fastest growing "industries" in Kentucky.
  • Across the U.S., there are over 66,100,000 participants generating $48,400,000,000 in revenue.

If these expenditures were the annual sales revenue of a particular company with a total of $38.4 billion in sales, this company would rank 34th on the Fortune 500 list, just above Dell Computer ($35.4 billion), UPS ($31.2 billion)
and Microsoft ($28.3 billion)!

The above are direct expenditures. The total economic impact is two times this or $1,203,100,000 for Kentucky and $76,800,000,000 for the United States!
*The above statistics came from 2001 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting & Wildlife Associated Recreation.

Economic Impact of Hunting Elk in Kentucky
Click here for the Elk & Wildlife Viewing Potential in eastern Kentucky Study.
Survey Instrument: A 4-page survey was developed by a panel made of representatives from the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and We Make Things Happen Corporation. From a pool of 26,000, 200 hunters received an elk tag to hunt elk in Kentucky. Surveys were sent out to all 200 hunters asking for their input to better assess the impact made on the region as well as assess the future needs of elk hunters in Kentucky. Some of the questions were: 1) If you did indeed hunt . . .; 2) If so, how much money did you and others in your hunting party spend both in scouting the area and in the actual hunt ...; 3) And what we could do better to serve you in future hunts. Click here to download a PDF file of survey or click on pages below to see a larger version of that page.