Hunting Works For Minnesota. No, really it does.

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$733 million dollars.

Think about that for a minute.

That’s a whole lotta does-er, dough.

That’s how much hunters spend annually in Minnesota.  Along with $93 million dollars in taxes.

For those trying to argue against what hunters (and fishermen) contribute, all they should need to hear is the huge impact outdoorsmen have on the economy.  And of course, the environment-but that’s a whole ‘nother story.

For now, we’re going to talk about becoming spokesmen for what we enjoy doing.  I’ve noticed that most sportsmen are fairly modest when it comes to promoting their sport.  Whether they don’t want other people to find out their honey hole or maybe they’re trying to keep the money they spend a secret from their significant others, it’s clear that spreading the message sometimes is left in the field.

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Jim Rauscher from Joe’s Sporting Goods

That’s where Hunting Works for Minnesota comes in.  Their job is to tell the world how much hunters contribute to the state’s bottom line.  Tourism dollars, gear, gasoline and everything that goes with it.

They say the average hunters spends $1,500 a year.  I, uh…(cough) ahem, may have spent a little more than that already and most seasons haven’t started.

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The total ripple effect hunters have is 1.3 Billion.  I’ll wait while you pick yourself back up out of your chair.  Unless you’re like me and spent more than the average-then you probably didn’t bat an eye at that number.

The Pittman-Robertson Act from 1937 is an excise tax on hunting gear,(like ammunition), and generates millions of dollars for wildlife and it’s habitat, bringing notable animals and birds such as white-tailed deer, turkeys and wood ducks back from the brink of extinction.    Last year, $16 million dollars were raised in Minnesota alone, up from $11 million the prior year.

Bruce Nustad
Bruce Nustad

There are a number of influential people involved from Ron Schara, Jim Rauscher (Joe’s Sporting Goods), Mark Johnson (Executive Director Minnesota Deer Hunters Association) to Cal Brink (ED, Marshall Area COC) and Bruce Nustad (President of MN Retailers Association).

Rauscher and Nustad both spoke at an event held yesterday at the Minnesota Horse and Hunt club to tout the effect hunters have and explain what Hunting Works for MN is all about.

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Senators Bill Ingebrigtsen and David Hahn also spoke about what it means to have the ear of politicians regarding the benefit hunters bring, along with DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr.

Sen. David Hahn
Sen. David Hahn

Afterwards, it was off to shoot some clays!  The team from Joe’s cleaned up at the event, while our squad consisting of Jason Markkula from Beer For Wildlife, Ryan Trask from 3Plains and PJ from Rodriguez Embroidery, finished in a respectable amount of time.  Notice I said our “time” was respectable, not necessarily our score!

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DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr

It was a great afternoon to be out and the weather was about perfect.  A good pre-duck opener tune up and a chance to tout the impact we have on the State’s economy.

Here are some pictures from the clay shoot at the MN Horse and Hunt Club:

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Winner of the “most improved” shooter award, Rochelle!
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Team: MN Beer for embroidered websites. L-R: Trask, Markkula, PJ, Amundson

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To learn more about Hunting Works for MInnesota, click here. 

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