HomeArkansas newsThis is how the state of Arkansas ranks in hunting participation

This is how the state of Arkansas ranks in hunting participation

Arkansas – Hunting, one of the oldest human activities, has undergone significant transformations over the centuries. Originally a necessity for survival, it has evolved into a leisure activity, with profound effects on ecosystems and wildlife. This shift has necessitated regulatory measures across the United States to preserve and conserve wildlife resources. Recently, there’s been a notable decline in the number of people with hunting licenses, a trend that carries implications for conservation efforts and state rankings in hunting participation.

Declining Numbers and Conservation Challenges

In the past decades, the United States has seen a sharp decline in the number of hunting licenses issued. The peak was around 17 million in the 1980s, but as of 2023, there are only 15.9 million license holders. This decline can be attributed to urbanization, the development of farmland, reduced free time, and limited access to hunting lands.

This decrease in hunting participation has started to pose a significant challenge for conservation groups. Since the enactment of the Pittman-Robertson Act in 1937, which placed an 11% excise tax on firearm sales for conservation funding, along with the direct contribution of profits from hunting licenses to conservation initiatives, the drop in license sales impacts conservation funding.

Arkansas and Regional Comparisons

Stacker’s compilation of data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sheds light on the state of hunting in Arkansas and its standing compared to other states. In terms of per capita hunting license holders, based on 2023 data and 2022 American Community Survey population estimates, Arkansas ranks #11 nationally.

In Arkansas, there are 10.6 paid hunting license holders for every 100 people, totaling 323,474 individuals. When including hunting licenses, tags, permits, and stamps, the number rises to 16.8 for every 100 people, amounting to 510,212 in total. The total cost of these licenses, tags, permits, and stamps is $21,442,583.

Comparatively, states like Wyoming, Montana, and the Dakotas have the highest number of licensed hunters per capita. Arkansas’s ranking is relatively high, especially when compared to neighboring states:

  • Oklahoma is ranked #9 with 12.4 license holders per 100 people.
  • Tennessee, at #12, has 10.3 license holders per 100 people.
  • Louisiana is #15 with 9.6 license holders per 100 people.
  • Mississippi ranks #17 with 9.6 license holders per 100 people.

These statistics not only highlight Arkansas’s position in hunting traditions but also illustrate the broader regional trends in hunting participation across the United States.

This report, featuring data by Emma Rubin and writing by Meagan Drillinger, is part of a series utilizing data automation across 50 states. It provides a critical insight into the current state of hunting in the U.S., reflecting on how societal changes are influencing traditional practices and conservation efforts. As hunting continues to evolve, understanding these trends becomes essential for wildlife management, policy-making, and sustaining the balance between recreational activities and environmental stewardship.

Olivia Martinez

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