Business, sportsmen’s groups form Maine hunting advocacy partnership
A group of local leaders representing sporting organizations, businesses and retailers has announced a new partnership, Hunting Works For Maine, that will monitor public policy decisions and weigh in on hunting-related issues that may have an impact on jobs in the state, according to a news release from the group.
Hunting Works for Maine was formed to highlight the many benefits of hunting and shooting to Maine’s economy, noting that sportsmen and women are crucial drivers of in-state commerce, according to the release. Speakers at a press conference last week pledged a more unified voice in support of Maine’s hunting and shooting heritage through this new partnership.
“As an entrepreneur and a small business owner, I have experienced firsthand the impact of a busy hunting season,” said Belgrade-area Rep. Gary Hilliard, R-District 76, co-chair of Hunting Works for Maine and owner of several Subway franchises, among other businesses. “I am excited to be a co-chair because I love hunting but also because I want to meet and work with other stake holders, so together we can educate the people of Maine about the many benefits hunting and shooting bring to our economy.”
The release cited the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation statistic that each year 181,000 people hunt in Maine. “These hunters are a considerable economic force in
the state,” the release said. “Hunters spend about $102 million on lodging, gas and food while on hunting trips and spend over $60 million on equipment.”
Clay Tranten, a third generation owner of grocery stores, a convenience store, a gas station and a laundromat that serves hunters and more in Kingfield and Farmington and co-chairman of Hunting Works for Maine, said, “Like so many businesses across our state, hunters have been a big part of all of our stores, and we can count on them year after year. Our stores opened for business in 1955, and each year our family has known that we can depend on the dollars spent by those who come here to hunt. It’s important that the public hear stories like ours.”
The group has more than 50 partner organizations and will be adding dozens more in the weeks and months to come, the release said.
Hunting Works For Maine will monitor public policy decisions and weigh in on hunting-related issues that impact Maine jobs. Hunting Works For Maine will serve as a vehicle to facilitate important public policy dialogue and to tell the story of how Maine’s hunting heritage positively effects conservation and jobs throughout the state, according to the release.