For many, blaze orange is synonymous with hunting. Uttering those two words immediately evokes images of sportsmen and sportswomen emerging from their trucks, with shotgun in hand and four-legged hunting companions in tow as they step foot into a field for a day of pheasant hunting. Or climbing into their tree stand and waiting patiently for the perfect shot. And when the day is done, you can enter any restaurant or café throughout America and see blaze orange hats speckles the sea of patrons as they share stories from their day of hunting.

And while blaze orange remains the quintessential color of hunting, many communities, hunters, conservation groups and businesses are associating green, as in dollar bills, as a strong contender of the true color of hunting. This comes as more and more individuals, hunters and non-hunters alike, realize that hunting is an economic powerhouse in all corners of the country.

Telling the story of the economic impact of hunting is the mission of Hunting Works For America. With chapters in 19 states, the program partners with local business, chambers of commerce, convention and visitors bureaus, conservation groups and others to share the positive, and often untold, story of the impact hunting has on state and local economies.

Time honored tradition benefits North Dakota’s economy

Hunting is more than just a time-honored tradition in North Dakota, it’s part of North Dakota’s heritage.  It also provides an economic boom to the entire state of North Dakota, which often goes unnoticed.

Hunting Works For North Dakota launched in the fall of 2010 as the first ever chapter of the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s sponsored program Hunting Works For America.  Fast forward nearly 10 years later and Hunting Works For America has expanded to 19 state chapters that span from coast to coast.

Hunting in North Dakota is world class, and it isn’t a secret.  The 82,000 people who hunt in North Dakota each year spend $148 million.  That spending supports over 2,200 jobs, both rural and urban, across the state.  “The influx of hunter spending each fall boosts small-town businesses and helps retailers weather the slow patch from summer to Christmas,” said Mike Rud, a co-chair of Hunting Works For North Dakota and executivedirector of the North Dakota Petroleum Marketers Association and North Dakota Retailers Association.  “I see firsthand the economic benefits hunting brings to every corner of the state.  Small businesses employ North Dakotans and drive North Dakota’s economic growth.  Each fall, our hotels, restaurants, gas station and other small businesses see a boost thanks to hunting season. Some of our small towns rely on this increased traffic each year for their survival to the next.”

To learn more about Hunting Works For North Dakota and it’s 114 partners, visit: www.huntingworksfornd.com

Hunting in the land of 10,000 lakes? Midwest hospitality makes Minnesota hunting nice

Each year, hunters of all ages come to Minnesota because they know it’s one of the best spots for their favorite past time. Hunter spending positively effects Minnesota’s economy as well. The average hunter will spend $1,500 each year at local restaurants, retailers, hotels, gas stations and other outfitters. Many of these small businesses partner with Hunting Works For Minnesota because they recognize the great impact that hunting has on Minnesota’s economy.

“Hunter spending in Minnesota provides a huge boost to our state and local economies,” said Bruce Nustad, president of the Minnesota Retailers Association and Hunting Works For Minnesota co-chair. “Partners of Hunting Works For Minnesota work hard to keep hunters coming back every year. We believe that Minnesotans need to know how important hunting is for our state. Every year I see first-hand all of the good that hunter spending does for our small businesses and communities. Hunter spending supports over 12,400 jobs in Minnesota and generates $417 million in salaries and wages.”

Minnesota’s 477,000 hunters spend $733 million a year in pursuit of their sport. The overall economic ripple effect of hunting in Minnesota is $1.3 billion.

Find out more about Hunting Works For Minnesota and its 344 partners, visit: www.huntingworksformn.com.

In South Dakota roosters may rule, but cash is king

South Dakota is home to some of the best pheasant hunting in the world. Each fall, hunters from across the globe descend on the state for few days of great hunting and first class hospitality.

For many, the first stop is Sioux Falls, and leaders in this city of nearly 200,000 people roll out the orange carpet as they welcome hunters to South Dakota. On hand at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport each year is the Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau. As a partner of Hunting Works For South Dakota, they know how important hunter dollars are to the whole economy of South Dakota.

“Tourism is an important part of South Dakota’s economy and hunting tourism a vital part of tourism offerings in the state. South Dakota hunters spend $338 million a year on trip-related expenditures,” said Teri Schmidt, executive director of the Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau and Hunting Works For South Dakota co-chair. “Hunter spending in South Dakota supports over 11,000 jobs and over $300 million salaries and wages. We’re happy to partner with Hunting Works For South Dakota to share how important hunting is for the state.”

South Dakota’s 270,000 hunters spend about $723 million a year in pursuit of their sport, including $115 million on hunting equipment. The overall economic impact of hunting in South Dakota is $972 million.

Find out more about Hunting Works For South Dakota at www.huntignworksforsd.com.

Iowans embrace their hunting heritage

Like many states in the Midwest, Iowa embraces a blend of urban and rural businesses contributing to Iowa’s bottom line and the overall economic health of the state. And like many states in the Midwest, Iowans love the great outdoors. Knowing this, it’s no surprise that hunting is a big part of Iowa’s economy.

Iowans openly celebrate their hunting heritage and welcome the positive economic activity derived from the sport. In fact, hunting supports nearly 7,000 jobs in the state – both urban and rural. The spending by Iowa’s 250,000 hunters translates to more than $227 million in in salaries and wages. And hunters spend nearly $450 million a year in pursuit of the sport.

Hunter spending benefits more than just the restaurants, hotels, lodges, gas stations and retailers frequented by Iowa’s sportsmen and sportswomen. In fact, hunters generate $47.8 million in taxes each year for the state. Much of this tax revenue funds Iowa’s conservation efforts and benefits game and non-game species and habitat throughout the state.

Whether it’s jobs and wages or conservation funding, hunting works for Iowa in many ways. To find out more about Hunting Works For Iowa and to join its partnership, visit www.huntingworksforia.com

Illinois at the forefront of a growing movement of new hunters

Illinois, which is home to 512,000 hunters annually, has seen a surge of new hunters over the last few years. Those hunters create an overall economic impact of $2.2 billion which creates 18,000 jobs for the state’s workforce.

Hunting Works For Illinois partner, Learn to Hunt, is one of the driving forces behind overall growth in hunting.

Learn to Hunt is a hunter recruitment program that provides educational workshops aimed at teaching adults to hunt deer, turkey, small game, upland birds, and waterfowl. The team at Learn to Hunt, has devised a new scientific and data strategy in identifying and recruiting new hunters.

Learn to Hunt, hiring two specialists, devised several two-day workshops to engage directly with new hunters followed by concerted efforts to recruit, retain, and reengage those who have shown an interest in their hunting workshops. The team used a multi-pronged promotional strategy that targeted potential hunters based on interests such as nature lovers, target shooters, social enthusiasts, and locavores/foodies.

These new strategies paid off and between 2017 and 2018, over 150 hunters participated in the workshops across the state. Considering each Illinois hunter spends an average of $2,400 a year that growth alone is equivalent to over $350,000 in new spending. Hunting drives local economies and the partners of Hunting Works For Illinois are leading the way.

To find out more Hunting Works For Illinois and its partners, visit www.huntingworksforil.com

About The Author

Midwest Hunting & Fishing

Midwest Hunting and Fishing magazine is a bi-monthly magazine providing relevant and timely content to our readers throughout the Midwest through our high-quality print and digital magazine. Fisherman and hunters alike find MHF there one stop shop to find the latest news and information on the hottest trends, fishing and hunting reports, destinations and quality content only found in MHF issues. We bring real-time outdoor news to our readers and viewers through our many digital formats such as this website, social media channels and our bi-weekly e-newsletter. To stay up to do date with all things Outdoors subscribe to our e-newsletter and follow along on our Facebook and Instagram pages.