There are many groups in our country these days that would love to see America's great traditions of hunting and fishing go by the wayside--the sooner the better. However, sportsmen and women who participate in these activities are determined not to let that happen.
Among the many benefits the hunting and fishing industries provide to our great nation are their contributions to the country's financial bottom line. In these uncertain economic times, many people are not aware that expenditures made by hunters and fishermen pump a lot of money--a whole lot of money--into the country's economy. How much? Well, according to a recent press release by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (the trade association for the firearms industry), $90 billion--yes billion--per year. That's serious money!
According to the release, the $90 billion that sportsmen and women spent in 2011 is the same as the global sales of Apple's iPad™ and iPhone™ in the same year. And, according to Jeff Crane, president of the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, "Hunting and fishing have been, and clearly continue to be, important elements of our country's outdoor heritage and they are critically important to our nation's economy - particularly the small local economies that support quality hunting and fishing opportunities."
The release quotes Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio), Republican House Vice-Chair of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, as saying, "One of the statistics I learned today is that the $6 billion that hunters spent in 2011 on guns, ammunition and archery equipment is comparable to the sales of bicycles in the United States. This is particularly important because most of those gun and ammunition companies are based right here in this country meaning sportsmen's dollars support American jobs and American workers."
Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Republican Senate Vice-Chair of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, had this to say about the economic impact of sportsmen and women, according to the NSSF release: "In today's world, we are talking about economics and jobs--those are the main drivers in most policy discussions. It is so important to see how strong the sportsmen's community is and what they are doing to support the American economy so they have a voice in those discussions."
And let us not forget the critically important role sportsmen and women play in conserving fish and wildlife and their habitats, footing the bill for a vast amount of our country's wildlife conservation and management efforts.
Finally, please remember that tomorrow, Saturday, September 22, is National Hunting and Fishing Day. If you're able to do so, be sure to get out and participate in our great American traditions of hunting and fishing. For more information on National Hunting and Fishing Day, please click here.