Wisconsin Sportsmen, Retailers, and Business Leaders Join Forces on Hunting Economics Agenda
(Green Bay, WI) – A broad group of local and regional leaders representing Wisconsin sporting organizations, small businesses, lodging and retailers today announced the launch of the Hunting Works For Wisconsin partnership. Stressing the major impact hunting has on Wisconsin’s economy, the organization pointed to sportsmen and women as key drivers of in-state commerce.
“There are businesses all over Wisconsin that are benefitting from hunter spending, and the scope of those businesses is much wider than most people imagine. Restaurants, hardware stores, motels, gas stations, grocery stores–the list goes on and on,” said Hunting Works For Wisconsin co-chair and executive director of the Mercer Area Chamber of Commerce Tina Brunell. “As a chamber of commerce representative, I am committed to promoting our local businesses, and I see a wonderful opportunity to join forces with some new faces in Hunting Works For Wisconsin; that is why we signed on as partners.”
According to the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, each year 895,000 people hunt in Wisconsin. Wisconsin hunters spend $1.5 billion on hunting equipment and $358 million on trip-related expenses. All this spending results in a $4 billion dollar ripple effect on Wisconsin’s economy.
“Even for those years when job relocation forced me to be a non-resident, I always cherished returning for our family’s annual hunting adventures in Wisconsin,” said Mark LaBarbera, Hunting Works For Wisconsin co-chair and founder of the Outdoor Heritage Education Center. “The 131,000 non-resident license buyers agree that travel, lodging and other costs are a bargain compared to the life-long memories created. And now as a resident hunter again, traveling to other parts of Wisconsin to hunt, I’m happy to help local businesses. Hunting activity from both residents and non-residents is so valuable and it boosts our state’s tourism dollars. Hunting Works For Wisconsin helps share that truth.”
According to Hunting Works For Wisconsin, this pattern of spending happens all over the state, with each hunter spending on average $2,800 dollars per season to pursue their passion.
The newly formed Hunting Works For Wisconsin partnership has more than 70 partner organizations and will be adding dozens more in the weeks and months to come. The effort is being supported by sporting organizations such as the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
“Hunting Works For Wisconsin is a wonderful new way for the hunting and shooting communities to connect with Wisconsin businesses, legislators, and other stakeholders about these sporting activities, and to help educate them about why these activities are so important to our way of life in Wisconsin,” said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. “At the DNR, we constantly strive to educate our citizens about the benefits of recreating in our amazing natural settings. I look forward to working with the Hunting Works For Wisconsin partnership to get our messages out to a wide range of citizens.”
“Many people don’t realize the number of jobs hunting helps support, and it’s not just jobs at the local sporting goods store” said Brandon Scholz, president & CEO of the Wisconsin Grocers Association and co-chair of Hunting Works for Wisconsin. “Hunters stop at grocery stores all over Wisconsin to pick up supplies for their trips. In small towns especially the money that hunters bring to local businesses each season – throughout the year – can have a huge impact, which is why I am happy to be a co-chair of this wonderful new organization.”
The Hunting Works For Wisconsin partnership will monitor public policy decisions and weigh in on hunting-related issues that impact Wisconsin jobs. Hunting Works For Wisconsin will serve as a vehicle to facilitate important public policy dialogue and tell the story of how Wisconsin’s hunting heritage positively effects conservation and jobs throughout the state.
About the Hunting Works For Wisconsin Partnership
Hunting Works For Wisconsin is a local grassroots partnership of organizations focused on hunting and the economics derived from these activities. Members are advocates for public policy who support jobs and economic prosperity. As a grassroots organization, we explain the role that hunting and the shooting sports play in both the heritage and economic health of Wisconsin.
Hunting Works For Wisconsin was formed in part as a response to the growth of politically motivated, anti-hunting groups across America. Many anti-hunting groups try to limit hunting, drive up the costs of hunting and even ban hunting altogether. The actions of these groups are eroding our heritage and damaging state economies and local businesses that depend on hunters for their livelihoods. All this is occurring at a time when hunter numbers are declining and we are facing tough economic times.
For more information on Hunting Works For Wisconsin, please visit www.HUNTINGWORKSFORWI.com