It's nice to know that some things never change. Unless in this case, it is something that did change, but maybe it changed for the better. 

If there is a stereotype about Montanans, it's that we love the outdoors. We love hiking, we love fishing, we love hunting--and all these things fall into the category of leisure activities.  

I remember we used to joke that no one in Montana worked on Fridays (or maybe we joked that it seemed like no one in Montana had a job). Our evidence was the businesses that closed on Fridays or that youl couldn't seem to schedule an appointment on Fridays. If you wondered where anyone was during the summer, they were at the lake and if you were curious where they were during the winter they were on the mountain. 

Montanans like their leisure activities, and a recent study shows there was an increase in how much Montanans like to recreate.  

Montana's Rise in Leisure Activity looked at leisure activity across the country and compared data from a week in January in 2023 and the same week in January the year before. As a country, our leisure activities increased by 28%.  But Montana had a big enough increase that it landed in the top 10 for the whole country. 

READ MORE: Montana's Cost of Living Difference Between 1912 and 2024

Again, this study looked at activities like, “hiking, camping, fishing, boating, golfing, hunting, or even simply enjoying nature's beauty.” All of these are activities Montanans practice in abundance but we managed to recreate even more from 2022 to 2023.  

Montanan showed a 39% increase in leisure activities. That may seem like a lot, but the #1 state to show a rise was South Dakota, and they showed an increase of 280%.  

There are a couple of reasons that lists as to why there might be an increase:  

  • More remote work means more opportunities to get outside 
  • Wanting an escape after the limitations of the COVID-19 pandemic 

Do you think you are recreating more than you used to? Tell us about it on our app

States with the most registered hunters

Stacker analyzed data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine which states have the most registered hunters. Read on to see how your state ranks on Stacker’s list.

Gallery Credit: Meagan Drillinger

Best Groups for Montana Foraging and Mushroom Hunting

If you love gathering fresh and wild edibles, these are the best online resources to learn the basics or share your expertise. Foraging is a labor of love for special food, and it requires important knowledge along with lots of patience. Check these out!

Gallery Credit: mwolfe

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