Number of hunting licenses issued in the U.S.

Method/Source: Using data provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the number of hunting licenses issued throughout the country, the established baseline is 14,974,534 licenses (2011). The eventual goal for number of hunting licenses issued is zero. The score calculates how much this number has declined since the baseline year by taking the difference between the baseline figure and the current number, as a proportion of the baseline figure. However, because the baseline is also the current year, there is no reduction and the score is zero.

Number of hunting licenses issued in the U.S. by year

See the underlying data (Table 14)

Discussion: There are a wide variety of food sources and recreational activities available to the U.S. population; hunting animals is unnecessary and is predominantly for “sport,” not sustenance. Tracking, injuring, and killing animals for sport is something that animal protection advocates oppose and would like to see eliminated. 2011 marks the highest level of hunting licenses issued in the past five years. In 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued almost 15 million licenses. This is an increase of more than a half-million licenses from the previous year.

Score: 0/100

Source: United States Fish and Wildlife Service

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6 Responses to Number of hunting licenses issued in the U.S.

  1. Joe says:

    This article is extremely misleading. The article states “Method/Source” Using data provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the number of hunting licenses issued throughout the country, the established baseline is 14,974,534 licenses (2011).

    That is the source. The information following that sentence, alluding that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s goal is “The eventual goal for number of hunting licenses issued is zero.” is false. This sentence should be in the Discussion portion.

    Hunting licenses for 2011 contributed over $1 billion to wildlife conservation via licenses and excise taxes. Based on personal experience and knowing many hunters in nearly every state, the majority of hunters actually consume their prey. There are very few who do not consume their prey. For those who do not consume their prey, they donate the meat to their guide or to a third party. Do hunters also trophy mount their prey. Absolutely! The fact that hunters mount their prey does not equate to wasting meat.

    I support conservation of wildlife as I not only want a continued food source that I and my family enjoy eating, but simply to ensure the continuity and logevity of the species. I only kill game that I consume. I have also never trophy mounted any of the animals I have killed. I can’t afford it.

    Of the following states (Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont), only hunters in Oregon have an income that is greater than 5% of the average Median Household Income. I would suggest that given the income levels of the remaining states, hunting is used as a form of subsistence.

    Hunting is simply NOT just sport. It is a way of life and another method of obtaining food that is NOT processed with hormones, anti-biotics, or confined in small areas.

    I respect those who do not wish to hunt. I do not advocate persons to try and limit, reduce, or prohibit a way of life that is both legal and provides a healthier food source. I would agree on trying to stop unwarrated killing of animals, waste and abuse. There are laws that prohibit killing animals out of season, killing animals and wasting meat, killing and not processing or reporting the kill to proper authorities.

    Once you get your wish to stop hunting of animals through legislation, you will eventually find yourself or your children having a personal liberty being taken away from you by someone who does not agree with your own liberty or way of life you cherish.

    • st says:

      Well, said! There are two hunters in our household
      and although it has taken a while to learn to cook
      wild game to our liking, we greatly appreciate being
      able to have it as a food source. We believe it’s much
      better for us than store-bought meat and more affordable.
      It’s a God-given part of an abundant life!

  2. dwb says:

    “The eventual goal for number of hunting licenses issued is zero.”

    For many species like deer, the only feasible population control is through lethal means. In many states like MD, PA, VA, an overabundance of deer results in destruction of the forest understory, displacement of other species, and auto accidents. In some MD and VA counties for example where there is scarce suburban hunting, autos kill as many or more deer than bowhunters. Deer love the suburban habitat with manicured lawns and gardens. Uncontrolled, hungry, coyote populations in suburban areas will attack small children and pets. Deer eat habitat that otherwise would be available other animals like rabbits and birds, and the lack of understory encourages non-native invasive plants. And, lets not forget what feral hogs, invasive snakes (like pythons), and the snakehead fish do to the ecology.

    Responsible environmental conservation does not mean protecting animals at all costs, it means ensuring a sustainable balance. That said, i agree with the comment above that animals that are killed purely as a trophy is shameful and wasteful. Most hunters are not slob trophy hunters despite what you see on the Outdoor channel. If you just want the 10-point rack on your wall, don’t be a slob and please donate the meat to a food bank or processor to feed the hungry.

  3. Keith Sterling says:

    You will never get these people to understand. Facts mean nothing to them. it’s a shame.

    I’ve been a hunter for over 30 years. I have taken many deer, turkey, rabbit, and squirrel.. My family and friends have enjoyed them all.. it truly is a way of life for us.

  4. River Mud says:

    I think you are more successful than you think – this blog states that the goal is for the US Fish and Wildlife Service to issue 0 hunting licenses per year. Luckily, you are already correct! The US Fish and Wildlife Service does not issue ANY hunting licenses. Never has. You have already reached your goal!

    Hunting licenses are issued by state environmental agencies, and the income generated from those sales supports endangered species research, the investigation and prosecution of wildlife traders and poachers, and voluntary wildlife habitat programs on public and private property that benefit non-game species.

  5. Joe Wanbacker says:

    There are many good comments on this page. Mine is pretty simple. Before computers, phones, cars, and video games; People needed to provide for their families. In order to do so they needed to hunt, trap, and fish. They may have used their game for trade, or food. I don’t think it matters what they used it for; either way it needed to be done to survive. So if people want to continue to hunt, fish, and trap for their own reasons, ( food, trade, etc). Well I say it is there god given right to do so.

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