A report released recently by the Commonwealth Department of Health has revealed that recreational hunting and shooting by an estimated 642,000 Australians contributes more than $2.4 billion to the National economy and generates an estimated 19,500 full time jobs.
Along with the economics of hunting and shooting, the report looks at other aspects such as motivations. The key motivator for hunters was time with simply spending time outdoors.
New South Wales and Victoria accounted for sixty per cent of the total expenditure.This was due to the relatively large populations of hunters and shooters in these two states and the tendency for hunters and shooters in other states to make expenditures there.
Generally speaking there was an even balance between participants living in regional and metropolitan areas.
Deer hunting is a real growth area in Australia with a five fold increase in participation over the past quarter of a century. Well regulated recreational deer hunting on public land provides economic, environmental and social benefits to participants and local communities.
Another key focus of the report is health. It found that participants in hunting were more active than the average non hunter and also had better mental health outcomes.
"Anecdotally we have known this for years" Australian Deer Association Executive Officer, Barry Howlett said, "hunting brings people together in a unique way that allows for conversations and support networks that are all to often lacking in our modern, urbanised society - it's really a camo clad Mens Shed in a lot of ways".
The report summarises the results of the research into the economic and social benefits of recreational hunting and shooting. The study was commissioned by the Commonwealth Department of Health and was undertaken by RMCG, EconSearch, JS Consulting and Bartley Consulting.
The Australian Deer Association says it is not surprised by the results.
“We know that hunters and shooters spend significant amounts of money on their recreation” Mr Howlett noted.
“This report builds on previous studies in Victoria and New South Wales and, once again, highlights how important good regulation and access for hunting and shooting is, particularly for regional Australia.”
Mr Howlett also commented on the opportunities missed in some states.
“It’s no real surprise that New South Wales and Victoria disproportionately benefit from the expenditure. When you provide opportunities for hunters and enable them, they will come and they will spend money”.
The report can be viewed on the Department of Health Website.