Facts and figures can be a hunter’s best ammunition in the battle against anti-hunting groups. We won’t change the minds of entrenched anti-hunters, yet most Americans have a positive or at least a neutral attitude toward hunting, and if you know your facts, you can swing the uncommitted or uninformed into our camp. Invest a few minutes perusing “Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation” and you’ll be surprised, maybe amazed, at the economic impact sportsmen have on the economy and wildlife in general. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has released this major new report, which documents the importance of hunting activities to the U.S. economy. NSSF is the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting, and shooting sports industry.

South Dakota Deer 09 120Produced by Southwick Associates, the report provides detailed information on 40-plus categories of U.S. hunting-related expenditures, which grew 55 percent since 2006, as well as state-by-state statistics for the number of hunters, retail sales, taxes, and jobs. The report notes an overall nine-percent increase in hunting participation between 2006 and 2011. The money spent by hunters in 2011 resulted in an additional $87 billion for our nation’s economy and supported more than 680,000 jobs nationally.

Beyond their impact on businesses and local economies, sportsmen are the leaders in protecting wildlife and habitats. When you combine license and stamp fees, excise taxes on hunting equipment, and membership contributions to conservation organizations, hunters contribute more than $1.6 billion annually to conservation. We urge you to check out the full report.