Here at NSSF we eat, sleep and breathe hunting and the shooting sports. To most of us the fall hunting season has us feeling like kids at Christmas. For me this represents the best of times spent with loved ones and cherished friends. This same kind of excitement was shared by a group of folks that assembled today at the headquarters of the Michigan State Chamber of Commerce in Lansing, Michigan, to help launch our second new Hunting Works For America state chapter in as many months.
The press conference today marked the kickoff of our 14th state chapter! This launch marked a first for any of our state chapters in that the program had already attracted 100-plus partners prior to our official launch! This is a true testament to the types of support hunters get in the Great Lakes State!
To me and hundreds of thousands of hunters, Michigan is a sportsman’s paradise and a true powerhouse when it comes to hunters, their enthusiasm for the sport, their impact on local economies and their contributions to wildlife in general. Michigan sees over half a million hunters every year and that’s a lot when you consider that’s nearly 4 percent of all U.S. hunters. Hunters spend a lot of money on their sport in the retail sector as well on equipment and travel expenses, over $2 billion to be exact and this ranks Michigan hunters number two in the nation! This spending supports not just numerous businesses, but also conservation. There are some truly beautiful places to hunt in Michigan and the money hunters spend on licenses, tags, and equipment excise taxes pays to keep the state wild and beautiful. While many people enjoy our outdoor spaces for free, it’s hunters who are more often than not footing the bill to conserve them.
In addition, the hunters in Michigan pay over $280 million in state and local taxes. And, last but maybe most important, the sport of hunting contributes over 34,000 jobs and over $1.2 billion in salaries and wages. Looking at these numbers its clear hunting works in Michigan.
We are committed to supporting hunters in Michigan and across the nation so that every last American understands the important contributions they make to our country. Hunters support local businesses, especially those in smaller, more rural communities.
I welcome the hunters and shooters of Michigan to our Hunting Works For America family. We work with every chapter to make sure that the stories and contributions of America’s hunters are highlighted in order to make sure hunters have the respect they deserve.
Hunting Works For Michigan will be a wonderful addition to the Hunting Works For America family and we look forward to working with the hunters in that truly beautiful state.