Macro-economic forces, technological innovations in equipment, abundant wildlife populations, changing participation levels, and land access are all contributing to a changing environment for wildlife managers and outdoor recreationists. Since the late 1970s, numerous studies have periodically examined hunter and angler spending in North Dakota; however, comprehensive assessments of changes in spending over time have not been conducted. The purpose of this report was to evaluate changes in hunter and angler spending from 1981 through 2001 and evaluate spending patterns based on selected participant characteristics. For resident hunters, increasing trends in miles traveled, spending on lodging, and spending on durable goods were observed, while overall spending on nondurable goods remained relatively unchanged. Average spending by nonresident hunters generally increased for nondurable goods, but no conclusive trends in durable good purchases were found. Average spending on durable and nondurable goods increased for resident anglers, while average spending was mostly constant over the period for nonresident anglers. The shifts in spending were generally widespread among a majority of survey activities, yet the magnitude of spending changes was subtle. When spending levels were evaluated based on selected participant characteristics, statistically significant differences were found. The strongest relationships in spending levels were found with miles traveled, days participated, and whether the participant paid access and/or guide fees. Weaker relationships were found in differences in spending levels associated with location of residence (i.e., rural versus urban participants) and percentage of spending in rural areas. Only minor differences in spending levels were found with variations in age and income. Policy makers may wish to consider a data collection system in the future that provides more predictive assessments of sportsman spending and includes additional geographical information on spending, rather than the current system which produces mostly descriptive assessments and provides virtually no geographical distribution of spending within the state.


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