Big Sky Blogging:

I have been at a conference in Montana the past several days. While here I learned some interesting facts about the state. Approximately 30 percent of Montana's 700,000 residents purchase fishing licenses, and nearly 25 percent purchase hunting permits. I would be surprised to see higher numbers in any of the other lower 48 states. Perhaps more surprising, according to a presentation I attended yesterday, approximately one in five Montana hunters is female.

[NOTE: I edited post to correct a minor error.]

Alaska Jack (mail):
Prof. Adler, where did you pick up this term?

"any of the lower 48 states"

I've only ever heard it in common use in Alaska.

- jc
7.19.2006 11:00pm
John Jenkins (mail):
I've heard it before and never even been to Alaska, though I've more commonly heard it referred to as CONUS (CONtinental United States), a term that should include Alaska, but for some reason doesn't (b/c the military treats Alaska as an overseas tour, or at least it used to).
7.20.2006 1:25am

Just curious:
Why is that surprising to you?
Do you know nothing about Montana before visiting?
7.20.2006 8:13am
Eric Muller (www):
I would not be at all surprised if the percentages in Wyoming are even higher.
7.20.2006 10:35am
TomHynes (mail):
With those statistics, I think I can prove that there are exactly three adult male Montana residents without a hunting license.
7.20.2006 12:08pm
Crunchy Frog:
I thought it was the "Contiguous" 48, not Continental.
7.20.2006 2:37pm
Alaska Jack (mail):
JJ -

OK. I'd never heard it elsewhere, but obviously I am but a single little data point :)

- AJ
7.20.2006 2:40pm
In North Dakota every able-bodied person (male or female) is required to purchase a fishing and furbearer license annually.
7.20.2006 5:56pm
Approximately 30 percent of Montana's 700,000 residents purchase fishing licenses

Hmmm, 700,000? The census gives me get 900,000+. I suppose they mean 700,000 adults, figuring that children don't need licenses to fish (the census had 672,000 adults in Montana as of 2000).

Looking at the statistics here (2001 data) and here (2000 data) (ain't the census great?), I get the following:

672,000 adult residents
212,000 resident anglers (31.5%)
170,000 resident hunters (25.3%)

365,000 adult residents
117,000 resident anglers (32.1%)
65,000 resident hunters (17.8%)

925,000 adult residents
251,000 resident anglers (27.1%)
150,000 resident hunters (16.2%)

N. Dakota:
481,000 adult residents
119,000 resident anglers (24.7%)
87,000 resident hunters (18.1%)

3,636,000 adult residents
1,293,000 resident anglers (35.6%) (!!)
568,000 resident hunters (15.6%)

436,000 adult residents
183,000 resident anglers (42.0%) (!!!)
72,000 resident hunters (16.5%)
7.20.2006 11:22pm
Just to add to AS's data, if you look at those who hunt or fish (total sportsmen), participation rates for residents age 16+ (USFWS data) are:

Alaska 45%
Montana 40%
Minnesota 39%
Wyoming 37%
N Dakota 35%
S Dakota, Arkansas, Idaho 31%
Utah 30%

My own state with an increasingly undeserved yet lingering cowboy reputation, Texas, comes in at a measly 18%.

Unsurprisingly, Cali comes in last at 10%.
7.21.2006 1:46pm
steelheader (mail):
Pennsylvania certainly can't compete on a % basis, but we did sell 964,158 hunting licenses last year.
7.21.2006 4:47pm