The National Deer Association (NDA) recently completed Phase 1 of the Southeast Deer Partnership (SDP). The SDP was formed to highlight the benefits of hunting and the importance of deer hunters to wildlife management programs. The SDP is comprised of state and federal government agencies, non-government organizations (NGO) and private sector entities that have vested interest in the future of deer hunting, wildlife management and conservation.
“This study has been a heavy focus for our team here recently, and we are really excited to have hard data that will support our efforts moving into Phase 2 of the SDP,” said NDA’s Chief Conservation Officer, Kip Adams. “We had a good idea of what a lot of these numbers were projected to be, and our thorough research has not only reinstated, but exemplified the importance of our past and future efforts supporting NDA’s overall mission.”
Phase 1 of the project consisted of gathering, mining and analyzing all available data on the economic, social and conservation benefits of deer hunting in the southern U.S. The research consisted of extensive literature review, economic research and a general population survey.
This research confirmed that hunters are the cornerstone of wildlife management through the funding they provide, the advocacy they engage in and their ability to act as the most effective logistical agents of actual population management. The Southeast contains over 6.7 million paid hunting license holders who spend over $251 million annually on licenses, tags permits and stamps. This contributes to the roughly $8.8 billion spent annually by deer hunters in the Southeast, which includes a total multiplier effect of $15.8 billion.
With 80% of wildlife agencies funding coming from hunters and anglers, this allows these agencies to contribute greatly as well, offering over 9 million acres of huntable land in Alabama, North Carolina and Florida alone. Deer hunting in the Southeast supports 209,000 jobs, $5.5 billion in salaries and wages and $2.1 billion in local, state and federal taxes. Deer hunters contribute nearly 1 million pounds of venison to food programs, amounting to nearly four million high-quality meals.
Through the general population survey, NDA was able to able to administer 800 surveys equally distributed throughout each of the 15 states. This concluded an 82% approval rating in support of regulated deer hunting. 85% of participants voted eight or higher on a one to ten scale asking how important it is that deer are properly managed and conserved. 75% voted eight or higher on the same scale when asked how important deer are to the health of the ecosystem.
In Phase 2 of the SDP, professional marketing and public relations experts will take the facts and data gathered in Phase 1 and turn them into fact-based messaging through video, social media and print media that can be used by state wildlife agencies and other project partners. This portion of the SDP will be immediately followed by Phase 3, where the plans and materials developed in Phase 2 will be implemented.
Join NDA and support their mission today, or sign up for their free e-newsletter to receive the latest on deer hunting and management at DeerAssociation.com
About the National Deer Association
Formally launched on November 10, 2020, the National Deer Association is a non-profit deer conservation group that leads efforts to ensure the future of wild deer, wildlife habitat and hunting. Formed by combining the strengths of two long-serving, successful organizations, the National Deer Association has a combined 38 years of action that has changed deer management for the betterment of hunting and protected North America’s most vital and admired game species for future generations. Visit DeerAssociation.com or follow @deerassociation on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.