This week many hunters across Michigan are preparing to fan out across the state as regular firearm hunting season begins November 15. According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, more than 700,000 hunters in Michigan spent $2.3 billion on trip-related expenses and equipment in 2011, the last year for which data are available.

Across the United States, in 2016, there were nearly 15.5 million hunters. Today’s market size shows the total amount these hunters spent on trip-related expenses (58.7%) and gear, accessories, and vehicles (41.3%). According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, hunting in the United States directly supports nearly 195,000 jobs and $7.4 billion in salaries and wages. Hunting also generates nearly $3.5 billion in Federal, state and local taxes annually.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2016
Market size: $27.4 billion
Source: The Outdoor Recreation Economy, Outdoor Industry Association, April 2017, page 18 available online here; Outdoor Participation Report 2017, Outdoor Foundation, August 7, 2017, page 37 available online here; “About the DNR,” Michigan Department of Natural Resources, 2017 available online here.
Original source: National Shooting Sports Foundation
Image source: JamesDeMers, “Hunter-deer-hunting-rifle-67002,” Pixabay, November 23, 2012 available online here.

Great Lakes’ Fishing

After the Caspian Sea, the Great Lakes are the largest expanse of fresh water on Earth. The five lakes that lie on the border of the United States and Canada are, in order of size, Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

Today’s market size is the size of the sports fishing industry on the Great Lakes.

Geographic reference: United States and Canada
Year: 2010
Market size: $7 billion
Source: Eric Sharp,”Dollars and Sense,” Detroit Free Press, Sunday, February 5, 2012, page 3C.
Posted on February 11, 2012


Caviar is one of those luxury items that has not seen a great decline during the recession and financial crisis that started in 2007 and 2008. In fact, demand for caviar has been strong and since overfishing in the Caspian Sea has left the sturgeon species depleted in that region, farms are emerging around the world to produce caviar and meet the strong demand.

In the 1970s, an estimated 550 tons of caviar were produced annually around the world. This caviar came primarily from wild sturgeon. Forty years later, production comes primarily from farm-raised sturgeon and while production is down sharply from the highs of the 1970s, it is expected to continue rising into the foreseeable future.

Today’s market size is the estimated total world production of caviar in 2010.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2010
Market size: 250 tons with a wholesale price in the range of $500 to $600 per pound.
Source: Raphael Minder, “Caviar Migrates Beyond The Caspian Region,” The New York Times, December 17, 2011, page B3.
Original source: Patrick Williot
Posted on December 17, 2011

Deer Breeding Market

Deer Crossing Sign

A recent crackdown on smuggling operations in Texas has shed light on a market about which many of us are probably entirely unaware. In fact, for an urban dweller, reading about the illegal smuggling of deer and deer breeding operations is a little like reading a science fiction story. It turns out that many hunters, and particularly big game hunters, are willing to pay a very high price for a deer with trophy size antlers. Since the native deer of Texas have more diminutive antlers than do the white-tail deer found further north, the illegal smuggling of big antlered deer exists in Texas. Transporting white-tail deer into Texas is restricted to help protect the native deer species from diseases not found in their herds. However, the breeding of deer with white-tail deer sperm is legal in Texas but it is very expensive. Thus, the illegal importing of white-tail deer has become a lucrative, black market in Texas.

Today’s market size is the estimated value of the legal deer breeding business in the United States.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2007
Market size: $650 million
Source: Cindy Horswell, “Authorities Target Texas Deer Smugglers,” South Texas Outdoors, October 19, 2011, available online here.
Original source: Texas A&M University
Posted on October 16, 2011