Several sportsmen's groups crunched numbers from results of the 2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Survey on Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Associated Recreation and came up with some impressive increases for outdoors involvements.
This survey, which has been taken every five years since 1955, showed a 9 percent increase in hunters and an 11 percent rise in angler numbers. In 2011, about 37 million men and women aged 16 and older spent about $90 billion in pursuit of their sport, a number close to the entire population of California. That cost matches the global sales of Apple's iPad and iPhone in 2011.
While hunter numbers dropped during the previous two five-year surveys, hunters spent far more to enjoy their outings; the most recent survey has hunting equipment expenditures up 29 percent.
As for popularity of various sports, another survey group found more hits on the Ducks Unlimited app for waterfowl migrations than counts of NFL game data.
USFWS 2011 survey results are being released in phases, with final totals available in November and detailed state results sent out in early December. A State Overview Report can be viewed at library.fws.gov/Pubs/natsurvey2011-prelim-state.pdf.
Retriever challenge set
The Sixth Annual Southern Tier Outdoor Show in Bath Oct. 13 and 14 will feature the Annual Companion Retriever Hunting Challenge competition.
Jim Beverly of Oakfield, a 50-year veteran of dog training and waterfowl industry involvement, will coordinate the contest. All proceeds will be donated to the Wounded Warrior program.
Beverly will provide visitors with their dogs a half-hour training session and a seminar prior to the competition. Entrants will have three levels in which to compete; trophies will be awarded for all levels.
For rules and registration information, go to SouthernTierOutdoorShow.com. For more details, check with Beverly at 474-4661.
Not a Japanese movie monster or a crawling desert creature, hydrilla is a dominating invasive aquatic plant that arrived from India in the 1950s, was discarded as an aquarium plant in Florida freshwaters and has found its way north.
Hydrilla appeared extensively in Indiana by 2006 and has shown as far north as central Vermont. In New York State, it recently was discovered in limited areas of Long Island and around the Cayuga Lake inlet.
In mid-September a U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologist discovered identifiable samples of the plant growing in the North Tonawanda section of the Erie Canal.
These plants tend to envelop shoreline weed plots, growing to lengths of more than 25 feet and crowding out native aquatic growth.
Department of Environmental Conservation officials urge boaters to use DEC aquatic invasive species disposal stations whenever possible.
For more details on preventing this and other invasive species, go to dec.ny.gov/animals/48221.html.