Hunting and fishing means big bucks for South Dakota

Just because the sun is setting on another boating season doesn't mean there won't be opportunities to get out during the winter months.

PIERRE, S.D. — According to a recent study, direct spending on hunting and fishing in South Dakota between October 2015 and October 2016 was more than $954 million. By comparison, the total value the state’s wheat crop as estimated by the USDA was about $440 million.

The Capital Journal reported that fishing accounted for a little more than $271.3 million in direct spending around the state, while hunters spent just shy of $683 million in the state. The study, conducted by Southwick Associates for about $48,000, broke the spending down by region and by spending categories. The two main spending categories for both hunting and fishing were trip and equipment spending.

Fishing trip-related spending in the state was divided into two regions; the Missouri River and the rest of the state. Along the Missouri, anglers spent more than $47.3 million on such things as lodging, food, fuel and liquor. Residents spent roughly $25.7 million on trip expenses, while nonresidents spent a little more than $21.6 million.

In the rest of the state, resident anglers spent around $56.3 million while nonresident anglers spent a little more than $30.6 million on trip expenses for a total of close to $87 million. In all, anglers spent more than $134.3 million on trip expenses in South Dakota, the Southwick Associates study found.

Equipment related spending for fishing was broken down between the East and West river regions of the state. Residents spent $37.6 million on such things as rods, reels, lines and boats in West River South Dakota. Meanwhile, on the eastern side of the state, anglers spent roughly $89.7 million. The statewide total for resident spending on equipment came to around $127.4 million.

Statewide, nonresident spending on fishing equipment came to around $9.5 million.

The Southwick Associates study broke spending on hunting in South Dakota into three regions; the Black Hills, East River and West River. The study also broke down how much money was spent on hunting different categories of game as well as trip-related and equipment expenses.

Trip-related and equipment spending by South Dakota Residents in the East River region came to almost $257 million. In the West River region spending topped $52.4 million and in the Black Hills, residents spent almost $63 million. Statewide, resident spending topped $372 million.

Nonresidents, meanwhile, spent a total of $310.7 million on hunting in the state. In the Black Hills nonresidents spent a tad more than $26 million. In the West River region, nonresidents spent close to $56 million and in the eastern half of the state nonresidents spent more than $228.5 million.

Unsurprising is the fact that pheasants drew the largest amount of hunting spending, according to the Southwick Associates study. Nonresidents spent roughly $172.2 million on pheasant hunting, while residents spent a little more than $112 million. Most of the spending, about $236 million occurred East River, while West River saw about $51 million.

Deer hunting drew the second highest amount of hunter spending, garnering $160.3 million worth of direct spending. Residents, in this case, were the big spenders. They spent $112.4 million. Nonresidents spent $47.8 million on deer hunting.

East River saw $101.7 million of the deer hunting-related spending, West River garnered $20.2 million worth of spending and the Black Hills saw $38.2 million spent on deer hunting.

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