Ever wondered about the names of recreational vehicles (RVs)? I walked around the RV park where John and I are staying currently and I read names from rows of fifth wheels, motor homes and trailers. Cougar, Safari, Golden Falcon, Prowler, Wolf Pack, Canyon Trail, Bighorn, Elkridge, Wilderness. The references to wildlife go on and on.

Raptor Fifth Wheel.

Raptor Fifth Wheel.

It is no wonder really. The 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation revealed that over 90 million U.S. residents 16 years old and older participated in wildlife-related recreation. That is more than a third of all the people in the U.S. involved with wildlife in some type of recreational way.

In 2011 over 33 million people fished, nearly 14 million hunted, and nearly 72 million participated in at least one type of wildlife-watching in the United States. The report stated that there had been a three percent increase in activity from 2006.

How much money did all those people spend on hunting, fishing and wildlife watching? According to the report, almost $140 billion was spent in 2011 alone. That would be $140,000,000,000.

 

Pelicans

Pelicans

How much is $140 billion? That would be $140 thousand millions or $140 million thousands. Those are big bucks spent to do things with wild animals, fish and birds in a year.

Many of us get closer to wildlife by using our travel trailers and camping vans. We make trips to public parks and public lands and waterways with a wide range of gear – guns, fishing rods, cameras, binoculars and backpacking gear.

If you ask RVers, nearly all will tell you that they have observed firsthand some form of wildlife – whales, seals or dolphins, butterflies, snakes or turtles, ducks, geese, wild turkey, road runners or herons, deer, bears or coyotes. So it is natural for those vehicles that we use to get us closer to nature should have names that remind of our fondest endeavors maybe especially when they are parked in a crowded storage lot or on the same city lot as the house in which we live.