Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Virginia's Hunters and Anglers Have a Significant Impact on the Economy

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Virginia's 857,000 hunters and anglers are among the most prominent and influential of all demographic groups, spending more than $1.3 billion a year on hunting and fishing, according to a new report.

The new report, "Hunting and Fishing: Bright Stars of the American Economy ~ A force as big as all outdoors," spotlights the immense impact hunters and anglers have on the economy at the national and state level.

In Virginia, spending by hunters and anglers directly supports 24,000 jobs, which puts $683 million worth of paychecks into pockets of working residents around the state. Of course, government coffers also benefit -- spending by sportsmen in pursuit of these outdoor activities generates $128 million in state and local taxes. These latest figures demonstrate that season after season hunters and anglers are driving the economy from big businesses to rural towns, through booms and recessions.

"Because sportsmen enjoy hunting or fishing alone or in small groups, they are overlooked as a constituency and as a substantial economic force," stated Jeff Crane, president of the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation. "When you compare spending by hunters and anglers to other sectors, their impact on the state's economy becomes more tangible."

* Sportsmen support more jobs in Virginia than Northrop Grumman in Newport News and Virginia Tech University combined (24,000 jobs vs. 23,000).
* Annual spending by Virginia sportsmen is more than the combined revenues of Southside Oil, Uppy's Convenience Stores, Apex Systems, and Lumber Liquidators - the state's four fastest growing companies grossing over $100 million ($1.3 billion vs. $932 million).
* Sportsmen spend more in Virginia than the combined cash receipts from broilers, cattle and dairy products - the state's top three agricultural commodities ($1.3 billion vs. $1.2 billion).
* Virginia sportsmen annually spend $175 million on outboard boats and engines to get out on the water and around the marshes for fishing and hunting.
* Virginia sportsmen could fill both Richmond International Raceway and Martinsville Speedway nearly 5 times (857,000 vs. 177,000).
* The economic stimulus of hunting and fishing equates to an astounding $3.6 million a day being pumped into the state's economy.

"Spending by sportsmen benefits not only the manufacturers of hunting and fishing related products, but everything from local mom and pop businesses to wildlife conservation," noted Doug Painter, president of National Shooting Sports Foundation. "And because most hunting and fishing takes place in rural areas, much of the spending benefits less affluent parts of the state."

On the national level, 34 million sportsmen age 16 and older spent more than $76 billion in 2006, supporting 1.6 million jobs. If a single corporation grossed as much as hunters and anglers spend, it would be among America's 20 largest, ahead of Target, Costco and AT&T. And if all hunters and anglers had voted during the last presidential election, they would have equaled 31 percent of all votes cast. If all hunters and anglers living in Virginia voted, they would have equaled 38 percent of all votes cast in the state.

These statistics are impressive and, if anything, they underestimate the impact of sportsmen since they do not take into account the millions of hunters and anglers under 16 years of age or people who were not able to get out and hunt or fish in 2006. When sportsmen's spending is thought of in business terms and compared to other sectors of the economy, it is quite remarkable. From small rural towns scattered across our country's landscape to the bottom-line of Fortune 500 companies located in major cities, if you take away hunting and fishing you take away the equivalent of a multi-billion dollar corporation.

"It is a fairly simple equation – hunters and anglers mean jobs in states and local communities that have made the effort to maintain their hunting and fishing opportunities," said Crane. "The economic impacts that sportsmen have on state economies should be a wake-up call to state governments to welcome and encourage hunting and fishing in their state."

The report, "Hunting and Fishing: Bright Stars of the American Economy ~ A force as big as all outdoors," was produced by the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation with support from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, National Marine Manufacturers Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation and SCI - First For Hunters. The report uses the results from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation and statistics provided by the American Sportfishing Association and Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

The report: "Hunting and Fishing: Bright Stars of the American Economy ~ A force as big as all outdoors" along with STATE FACTS are available on the Web at and

For more information or questions contact: Melinda Gable 202-302-4794 or at


About CSF
CSF is the most respected and trusted hunting and fishing organization in the political arena. With support from every major hunting and fishing organization, CSF is the leader in promoting sportsmen's issues with elected officials. CSF works directly with the bi-partisan, bi-cameral Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus in the U.S. Congress, as well as affiliated state sportsmen's caucuses in state legislatures around the country.

About NSSF
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the shooting, hunting and firearms industry whose purpose is to provide trusted leadership in addressing industry challenges. NSSF concentrates efforts on measurably advancing participation in and understanding of hunting and the shooting sports; reaffirming and strengthening their members' commitment to the safe and responsible use of their products; and promoting a political climate supportive of America's traditional firearms rights.

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