"Many people may not fully comprehend how important hunting and fishing are to the fabric of this country. Yet nationally there are more people who hunt or fish than go bowling, and their spending would land them at No. 24 on the Fortune 500 list," said Jeff Crane, president of the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation. "Sportsmen and women spent $1.8 billion on hunting and fishing in Tennessee in 2011, which is more than the receipts for all livestock products in the state that year.”
Livestock products in Tennessee totaled $1.4 billion that year.
The base data for the CSF report is drawn from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Associated Recreation.
The CSF and its partners, the Amercican Sportfishing Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, commissioned Southwick Associates to develop detailed reports on the hunting and fishing industries, respectively.
Analysis of the data reveal that 994,000 people, both resident and non-resident, hunted or fished in Tennessee in 2011. That number exceeds the total population of Knoxville, the state's third largest Metropolitan Statistical Area. In addition, Tennessee's resident sportsmen and women could fill Neyland Stadium nine times.
Most importantly, CSF spokesmen noted, hunters and anglers supported nearly twice the amount of employees of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the state's largest employer (26,389 vs 15,000).