Hunters spend $2.6 billion annually in Wisconsin
The Northwoods River News
May 29, 2015
By Ryan Matthews
Hunters spend $2.6 billion annually in Wisconsin, according to Hunting Works for Wisconsin, a National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) funded organization.
Hunting Works for Wisconsin held its second meeting in the Northwoods March 20 in Rhinelander; the first Northwoods meeting was held in Mercer in September 2014.
Hunting Works for Wisconsin is one of 10 state chapters and was started in June 2014. Program coordinator Nate Prouty said there are two more states that are looking to join.
Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dana DeMet welcomed the group to Rhinelander. The Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce is one of more than 140 partners of Hunting Works for Wisconsin. Businesses and organizations across the state can become partners for free.
DeMet said Rhinelander has a vested interest in hunting tourism as it affects the local economy. Last year, travelers spent $207 million in Oneida County, he said, a 5.4 percent growth rate over the previous year.
While there are myriad programs aimed at boosting interest in fishing, DeMet hopes to see more programs that target hunting and shooting sports.
“I think it’s important that we don’t start losing a segment of the population that we just always assumed we’d have,” DeMet said.
Those sentiments were echoed by others in attendance who expressed concern about the size of the local deer herd. Oneida County joined the rest of northern Wisconsin in recommending another bucks- only harvest in 2015. The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board met this week to discuss the quotas and permit levels recommended by County Deer Advisory Councils (CDAC). The board is expected to approve the zero quotas recommended by CDACs in the north.
Hunting continues to be a major economic engine for the state. According to Hunting Works for Wisconsin, 895,000 hunters spend more than $2.6 billion dollars in the state each year that supports an estimated 34,000 jobs that pay $1 billion in salaries.
Hunting Works for Wisconsin Co-Chair Tina Brunell said the organization is still focused on “getting the word out” and making people aware of the importance of hunting and shooting sports on the state economy. Brunell is also the executive director of the Mercer Area Chamber of Commerce.
Other states in the program include Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Utah.
The group is scheduled to hold its second annual statewide “meet and shoot” Sept. 21.
For more information on Hunting Works for Wisconsin and to learn how to get involved, visit