It’s that time of year again. The time when hunters reflect on the past season. Maybe reminiscing about the time spent with family and friends, the missed opportunities to connect on birds or deer, and for some, it’s time to thank our creator for blessing us with a successful season and putting great wildgame on the table and in the freezer.
Because I spend a great deal of time outdoors in the fall and have the privilege of serving on the Iowa Natural Resources Commission, November is, hands down, one of my favorite months of the year. Ducks and geese are migrating, the bucks are rutting, and bird-dogs all over Iowa are searching for the elusive ringneck pheasant.
As the executive director of the Iowa Retail Federation, my focus is on encouraging and strengthening the business climate across Iowa. Most in our state care deeply about the success of Iowa’s business community, and for many of our retail businesses, success is derived from the sport of hunting.
Most of us know that hunting is an extremely important part of Iowa’s heritage but what a lot of people don’t understand is that hunting and the shooting sports generate more than $350 million each year in the Iowa economy.
Outdoor enthusiasts and business groups on Wednesday announced the formation of a new organization to promote hunting in Iowa, hoping to reverse years of declining interest in the activity.
“Each year, nearly 50,000 visitors come to Iowa to hunt, which is a huge number,” says Libbey Patton, tourism director for Clear Lake. “They spend an average of five days in our state and spend nearly $170 each day on lodging, meals, gas, equipment and supplies.”