With 2012 wrapped up, the first year of Hunting Works for Missouri is officially in the books. The initiative, which exists to shed light on the positive economic impact hunters have on the economy of our state, has been a success.
News articles, television segments, radio spots and social media posts have been wide spread and played an important role in educating the public about the positive benefits hunters contribute to their local area. Hunters' dollars are spent on so much more than bows and guns. We buy gas, food, lodging, and so much more.
"Hunting supports some 24,000 jobs in Missouri and has an overall economic impact of $1 billion. This impact extends beyond sporting goods and outdoors stores. Businesses ranging from gas stations and convenience store to hotels and restaurants have their bottom lines positively impacted by hunting," said Tony Reiss, program manager.
Hunting Works for Missouri has over 70 partners representing a cross-section of Missouri's economy. I'm proud to be a chair of this great program along with Dan Mehan president of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Shannon Peisert whose family owns Rogers Sporting Goods in Liberty. As a hunter, it means a lot me to know people are informed of the positives we contribute to society. In the past it has been easy to speak to all the positive conservation initiatives hunters contribute to, but Hunting Works is the first real attempt to show economic benefits of hunting.
According to the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation and National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, 609,000 people hunt in Missouri each year. These folks spend a total of 9.7 million days hunting annually here in Missouri. We generate $96.8 million in local and state taxes annually. And annual spending by Missouri hunters is more than half of the cash receipts for cattle and soybeans, two of the state's valuable agricultural commodities.
As Hunting Works transitions into its second year, I hope the recognition of the program will continue to grow. The only way for this to happen is for more of you to join the fight. There are a number of ways you can do this, and best of all, they are all free.
If you own a company, or work for a boss who is bright enough to understand the positive economic impact of hunting is Missouri, then become a partner of Hunting Works. Your company will be listed on the "Our Partners" page of the web site and on select materials passed out to the public. As an individual you too can be a volunteer to help spread the message of Hunting Works, or you could sign up with a personal endorsement. All you have to do to get involved is visit www. huntingworksformo.com. And also, don't forget to join us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/HuntingWorksForMO. Almost 4,000 supporters already have.
See you down the trail...