Here They Are

It’s no picnic being sub-human on the food chain in this country. Too many people are out to get you, judging by a report from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Census Bureau. Among U.S. residents age 16 and up, 34.1 million fished and 13 million hunted in 2001. Twenty-five percent of men and 8 percent of women fished; 12 percent of men and 1 percent of women hunted. In the process, humans spent $35.6 billion to get fish, $20.6 billion to get non-aquatic beasts and $13.8 billion on items used for either sport. Recreational interest in fauna is not wholly predatory. The report says 66.1 million Americans engaged in wildlife watching last year, aided by $38.4 billion in expenditures. Of course, people spent time as well as cash on these pastimes. Anglers collectively devoted 467 million days last year to the pursuit of freshwater fish and 91 million days to catching the saltwater ilk. Hunters spent 153 million days shooting for big game, 60 million for small game,29 million for migratory birds and 19 million for various other creatures. While birds are the favorite prey of wildlife watchers (sought by 96 percent of them), mammals (82 percent) and even insects and spiders (33 percent) have their devotees as well.