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Economics 101: ‘Hunting Works for Oregon’

12/04/14 -- Stressing the major impact hunting and recreational shooting have on Oregon’s economy, a broad group of local and regional leaders representing sporting organizations, small businesses and retailers today announced the launch of Hunting Works For Oregon. The organization pointed to sportsmen and women as key drivers of in-state commerce, and vowed to be a unified voice in support of Oregon’s hunting and shooting heritage.

“As a small business owner, I can say from firsthand experience that I see a lot of traffic during hunting season, and a lot of it is wearing blaze orange, ” said Joe Davis, co-chair of Hunting Works For Oregon and owner of the Black Bear Diner in Madras, Oregon. “I became a co-chair so I could work with other stake holders to advocate for policies that support and protect our hunting heritage because hunting directly impacts my business and many others across the state.”

Hunting in Oregon is on an alarming downward trend and must be reversed. According to the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, each year 196,000 people hunt in Oregon, which is a 17 percent decrease since 2006. Even with this significant reduction, hunting is still an economic force in the state. These hunters spend over $238 million on lodging, food, gas and gear while paying over $27 million in state taxes.

Gary Lewis, co-chair of Hunting Works For Oregon, host of the weekly outdoor TV show Frontier Unlimited and columnist at MyOutdoorBuddy.com, applauded Hunting Works For Oregon for highlighting the economic benefits of hunting and shooting. “As a hunter myself, I would say that the guns and ammunition are probably the least expensive parts of hunting. Before I even get out in the field I have to purchase a license as well as appropriate gear. The day or weekend of my actual hunt I will be paying for gas and buying snacks for the trip or stopping at my favorite local restaurant. If I’m going on a more involved hunting expedition I may need to hire a guide. All of which says nothing about the money I spend all year practicing at the shooting range or working with a trainer to get my dog in top form. Clearly hunters are spending at businesses more diverse than just Sportsman’s Warehouse or Cabela’s.”

According to Hunting Works For Oregon this pattern of spending happens all over the state, with each hunter spending on average $1,215 per season to pursue their passion.

“I became a co-chair of Hunting Works For Oregon because I am very passionate about sportsmen’s issues, and I believe it’s our responsibility to preserve and protect the right to hunt, fish and trap for our future generations,” said State Representative Sal Esquivel, co-chair of the Oregon Sportsman’s Caucus and Hunting Works For Oregon. “Hunting and the shooting sports are an integral part of our state economy, when we are crafting legislation we need to consider how it will affect everyone in our state, including hunters and the businesses that depend on their spending.”

Roger J. Lee, executive director of EDCO (Economic Development for Central Oregon) and Hunting Works For Oregon co-chair added that, “The jobs and taxes generated by businesses manufacturing products, selling goods or providing services within the hunting industry are an important part of our local and regional economies across Oregon. Hunting is an integral element of the Oregon lifestyle, and dollars spent by hunters help sustain many communities. We’re extremely fortunate in Oregon to have some of the most beautiful and productive hunting country in the entire U.S. and people are naturally drawn to it, especially each fall and winter, which are still our shoulder seasons for visitors. We are also particularly fortunate to have a considerable number of manufacturers supplying the national and international hunting industry including: Nosler, Columbia River Knife & Tool, Leupold, Leatherman, Columbia Sportswear and dozens of small companies that call Oregon home.”

The newly formed Hunting Works For Oregon partnership has over 60 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.

“Our partners have an important message for everyone,” concluded Stan Steele the Chairman of the Board of the Oregon Outdoor Council and co-chair of Hunting Works For Oregon. “Hunting and the shooting sports provide an important economic boost to our state while simultaneously supporting thousands of jobs and conservation efforts through the Pittman-Robertson excise tax on equipment. Our downward trend in hunter numbers needs to be reversed because without hunters we would not have the robust conservation funds we do here in Oregon, not to mention all of the economic activity that we hunters provide.”

Hunting Works For Oregon will monitor public policy decisions and weigh in on hunting-related issues that impact Oregon jobs. Hunting Works For Oregon will serve as a vehicle to facilitate important public policy dialogue and to tell the story of how Oregon’s hunting heritage positively effects conservation and jobs throughout the state.

Hunting Works For Oregon is a local grassroots partnership of organizations focused on hunting and the economics derived from these activities. Hunting Works For Oregon 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 Oregon. For more information on Hunting Works For Oregon, please visit HUNTINGWORKSFOROR.com.

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