By John Crooks
I think that I’d be pretty safe in saying that hunting is a pretty popular pastime in Pennsylvania. Few people would dispute that. With nearly 1 million hunters heading afield each year in this state alone, it’s pretty easy to see a ripple effect between hunting expenditures and area economies.
It is estimated that each hunter spends at least $1,200 in hunting-related activities each year. That amounts to 15,000 Crawford County hunters spending $1,200 each on hunting expenses for $18 million per year!
Over the years it’s certainly been no secret that I’ve always promoted hunting and our Second Amendment firearms ownership rights. I have also written extensively about the added benefits that sportsmen and women, fishermen and hunters add to local communities. In addition to providing top-notch recreational and outdoor experiences for themselves and their families, hunters also provide food for their family and millions of dollars in needed revenues for the communities in which they live. Putting things in a dollar prospective, hunters and hunting add $1.6 billion dollars to Pennsylvania’s economy each year.
Ever wonder about the huge monetary gain that hunters provide the communities in which they live? Last week I had the opportunity to attend a meeting sponsored by the Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region and “Hunting Works for Pennsylvania.” This meeting was lead by Rob Sexton, who represented a group of businesses called “Hunting Works for Pennsylvania” If you never heard of Hunting Works For Pennsylvania, you’re not alone as this was the first that I’d heard about them too.
As I soon learned, HWFPA was organized to show how hunting impacts state and local economies as well as tourism. Each year across the country, hunters spend billions of dollars on firearms, ammunition, lodging, restaurants, food, convenience stores and gasoline, which give state and county economies a significant monetary boost. One of HWFPA’s goals is to get businesses to join their organization free of charge and then post signs at their business to welcoming hunters.
In these days of anti-hunting and anti-gun legislations from some of our lawmakers, it is comforting to find an organization whose goals are to promote hunting, shooting and local and state economies.
Businesses, sportsman’s groups and organizations wishing more information on the Hunting Works for Pennsylvania can visit huntingworksforpa.com.
The following is what HWFPA is and what it hopes to achieve:
Mission: Hunting Works for Pennsylvania exists to promote the strong economic partnership between the hunting and shooting communities and the local economy of Pennsylvania.
Who We Are: Our membership consists of businesses representing a cross-section of the Pennsylvania economy. These include sporting retailers big and small, restaurant owners, hotel, motel and resort operators, gas stations and convenience owners, hunting and shooting organizations, chambers of commerce and of course all the taxpayers of Pennsylvania (hunters and non-hunters alike) who benefit economically and aesthetically from the license fees, taxes and jobs the hunting and shooting industry provides both directly and indirectly.
What We Do: HWFPA advocates for public policy that supports jobs and economic prosperity. As a grassroots organization, we help tell the story of the role hunting and shooting sports play in both the heritage and economic health of Pennsylvania.
What we believe: Our partners have a story to tell about the important economic chain involving hunting and shooting sports that support many jobs, both rural and urban, across the state of Pennsylvania. We believe that communication is important. Hunters and shooters face an ever increasing number of challenges today. Public policy decisions that impact hunting and shooting ultimately impact Pennsylvania jobs. Hunting Works For Pennsylvania serves as a vehicle to facilitate this important public policy dialogue and to tell the story about preservation and conservation and jobs.