Hunting Benefits are Far-Reaching
The Bismarck Tribune
November 8, 2011
As many of us know, the hunting season is an important time for Devils Lake – not only for our local residents who enjoy the sport, but for many folks who visit our community.
Enjoying the outdoors is the No. 1 reason people visit our state, according to the North Dakota Tourism Department, and we certainly see our share of visitors every fall.
Because of hunting’s popularity, Devils Lake businesses are happy to see the season come. Business and hunting may not seem related to most people, but they are, in fact, tightly intertwined.
It is part of the Devils Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau’s mission to protect and encourage this relationship in our city and region. That includes recognizing the factors that keep their businesses running. Hunting is one of the industries keeping our businesses alive, and it deserves our recognition.
Hunting and fishing in North Dakota generate approximately $500 million for the state annually, according to the state Game and Fish Department. That’s big money for our small communities. The millions of dollars spent by hunters each year on hunting and hunting trip expenses are spent at North Dakota businesses.
Obviously, sporting goods stores and outfitters are directly targeted at hunters and benefit from their spending, but so do many other businesses. Hunters don’t just require gear, equipment and supplies; they also require tools, food and refreshments, gas and overnight accommodations. As a result, many different business types benefit from the hunting industry.
Few other industries in North Dakota, if any, generate the same widespread revenue in such high-dollar amounts for so many North Dakota businesses. Now is the time to recognize the importance of hunting to our heritage, our quality of life and our economy.
As a member and co-chairman of the Hunting Works for North Dakota partnership, we believe that the message of the economic benefits of hunting is important enough to deserve North Dakotans’ attention, both here in Devils Lake and across the state.
(Suzie Baisch is the executive director of the Devils Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau and a co-chairman of Hunting Works for North Dakota.)