Sportsmen's activities have significant impact on economy
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- When it comes to the economy, Kansas' 425,000 hunters and anglers are among the most prominent and influential of all demographic groups, spending more than $607 million a year on hunting and fishing, according to a new report. The report, Hunting and Fishing: Bright Stars of the American Economy -- A Force As Big As All Outdoors, spotlights the immense impact hunters and anglers have on the economy at the national and state level.

In Kansas, spending by hunters and anglers directly supports 11,400 jobs, amounting to $300 million in paychecks. Spending by sportsmen in pursuit of these outdoor activities also generates $61 million in state and local taxes. These latest figures demonstrate that season after season, hunters and anglers are driving the economy from big businesses to rural towns.

"Because sportsmen enjoy hunting or fishing alone or in small groups, they are overlooked as a constituency and as a substantial economic force," says Jeff Crane, president of the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation. "When you compare spending by hunters and anglers to other sectors, their impact on the state's economy becomes more tangible."

In addition to the above figures, the following are just a few more illustrations of the impact of hunting and fishing on the Kansas economy:

  • annual spending by Kansas sportsmen is more than the cash receipts for soybeans, one of the state's top agricultural commodities ($607 million vs. $550 million);
  • Kansas sportsmen outnumber the population of Wichita, the state's largest city (425,000 vs. 355,000);
  • sportsmen in Kansas could fill Kansas Speedway five times (425,000 vs. 82,000); and
  • the economic stimulus of hunting and fishing equates to an astounding $1.6 million a day being pumped into the state's economy.

"Spending by sportsmen benefits not only the manufacturers of hunting and fishing related products, but everything from local mom and pop businesses to wildlife conservation," notes Doug Painter, president of National Shooting Sports Foundation. "And because most hunting and fishing takes place in rural areas, much of the spending benefits less affluent parts of the state."

On the national level, 34 million sportsmen age 16 and older spent more than $76 billion in 2006, supporting 1.6 million jobs. If a single corporation grossed as much as hunters and anglers spend, it would be among America's 20 largest, ahead of Target, Costco, and AT&T. And if all hunters and anglers had voted during the last presidential election, they would have equaled 31 percent of all votes cast. If all hunters and anglers living in Kansas voted, they would have equaled 55 percent of all votes cast in the state.

"It is a fairly simple equation – hunters and anglers mean jobs in states and local communities that have made the effort to maintain their hunting and fishing opportunities," Crane adds. "The economic impacts that sportsmen have on state economies should be a wake-up call to state governments to welcome and encourage hunting and fishing in their state."

Hunting and Fishing: Bright Stars of the American Economy , was produced by the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation with support from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, National Marine Manufacturers Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and Safari Club International. The report uses the results from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation and statistics provided by the American Sportfishing Association and Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

The report is available on the internet at www.sportsmenslink.org and www.nssf.org. For more information or questions, phone Melinda Gable 202-302-4794 or email Melinda@sportsmenslink.org.