COLUMBUS – Forget blaze orange. Green, as in dollars, is the color of hunting. Or at least it should be according to a group of business leaders who gathered last month in Columbus to announce the formation of Hunting Works For Ohio, a local, grassroots partnership of organizations that aims to tell the story of the important connection between Ohio’s hunting community and the economy at large.
“On average, hunters spend $850 million a year in Ohio, with $320 million on trip-related expenses, and $274 million on equipment,” said Melinda Huntley, executive director of the Ohio Travel Association and a co-chair of Hunting Works For Ohio. “That’s real money, and we want to get that message out there.”
Nearly 50 organizations have signed on to be part of the free initiative. Members are advocates for public policy that supports jobs and economic prosperity. As a grassroots organization, members promote the role that hunting and the shooting sports play in both the heritage and economic health of Ohio.
“Hunting specifically supports tens of thousands of jobs throughout Ohio,” said fellow co-chair Ron Schuller, president of Fin Feather Fur Outfitters, who was also on hand at the launch of Hunting Works For Ohio at the Ohio Statehouse on Aug. 20. “Whether at a hotel, resort, grocery store, gas station or countless other businesses, you’ll find employees working who are being supported by the hunting and shooting economy. This hunter-led spending translates into $490 million in salaries and wages.”
Citing reports from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and other organizations, Hunting Works For Ohio states that the overall economic impact of hunting in Ohio tops $1.4 billion annually. However, the support of Ohio outdoorsmen doesn’t end there.
“Even beyond the staggering support for our economy, hunters routinely give of their time, talents and treasure in support of the great outdoors. Game and non-game alike flourish because of the contributions of hunters,” said Beth Ellis, a co-chair, farmer and owner of Cherrybend Pheasant Farm.
“Hunters generate $97 million in state and local taxes and happily pay excise taxes on their equipment through the Pittman-Robertson Act all in support of the great outdoors,” explained co-chair Tom Vorisek, owner of Vorisek Financial Corporation and a former member of the Ohio Wildlife Council.
“We have 553,000 people who hunt in Ohio each year. They’re spending their hard-earned money at businesses across the state,” said Andy Good, co-chair and executive director of the Hocking Hills Chamber of Commerce. “Telling the story of their importance to our economic health is one small way that we in the business community can give back to a group of Ohioans who have done so much for our state in terms of ecological and economic health.”
There is no cost for joining Hunting Works For Ohio. More information can be found on their website: www.huntingworksforoh.com.
Submitted by Hunting Works For Ohio.