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Guest Column: Hunting boosts economy - Mesabi Daily News: Opinion

Guest Column: Hunting boosts economy

Ripple effect adds up to $1.4 billion; hunters are also helping to support wildlife conservation

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Posted: Saturday, September 29, 2012 9:45 pm

When the topic of hunting comes to mind, many people think of blaze orange, deer stands, or maybe your favorite bird dog. They remember enjoying spending time with friends and family, taking part in an annual tradition, or else starting a tradition of their own.

What they may not consider are the benefits of hunting to Minnesota’s economy and habitat.

As an industry, hunting is important business in Minnesota. Each year, the average Minnesota hunter spends nearly $800 on hunting trips, supplies and equipment.

This money is crucial to businesses in small towns around the state. When hunters travel to find the best game, they purchase meals at local restaurants, stay at local hotels and purchase hunting gear from area retailers.

Many small businesses count on this each year, even hiring additional staff to meet the demand. Overall, hunting supports more than 14,400 jobs in Minnesota and generates $365 million in salaries and wages. Without hunting business, many small town economies would suffer.

The effects of hunting don’t end with the outfitter or the purchase of equipment, though. The ripple effect from hunting in Minnesota is more than $1.4 billion.

The numbers show hunting is an important part of Minnesota’s economy. At the same time, hunting is about more than just the dollars. Each year hunters in Minnesota help support wildlife conservation.

Seventy-five years ago, many game populations were dangerously low and hunting seasons were highly restricted around the country. Hunters and conservationists urged Congress to act so they passed the Pittman-Robertson Act, an 11 percent excise tax collected on all hunting related equipment: bows, guns, ammunition, and other hunting gear. This money is returned to the states each year to be used for habitat conservation, wildlife management and hunter education. Minnesota will receive over $11 million this year alone.

And that continues the cycle.

By buying the necessary licenses, stamps and other fees, hunters help pay to conserve Minnesota’s natural resources for generations to come. At the same time, they support jobs in towns large and small throughout the state.

Like many things, there’s more to hunting than immediately meets the eye. Folks who don’t hunt themselves may not realize how hunting helps local economies throughout our state, or how it contributes to habitat conservation. That’s why I am part of Hunting Works for Minnesota, a partnership of businesses and hunting organizations that is working to educate Minnesotans about why hunting is so important. Hunting isn’t just a fun past time, it works for Minnesota’s economy.

Mark Johnson

Executive Director

Minnesota Deer Hunters


Welcome to the discussion.


  • saunders posted at 8:10 am on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    saunders Posts: 84

    Actually, bear meat is tasty, but very greasy. Trying to find a meat cutter willing to take one in is a chore, since the fat in the meat really fills up the meat saws, cutting blocks and hamburger grinders. But otherwise, it tastes very good. Successful hunters are usually very willing to share a couple of packages for you to try. Do it, you'll be surprised.

  • hard rock miner posted at 12:03 pm on Mon, Oct 1, 2012.

    hard rock miner Posts: 292

    I agree with Mr. Johnson that hunting is good for our economy. I do however have an issue with what type of person would bait and kill a bear. A wonderful creature that dances and plays. My deer and bird hunting husband loves wild game, but says bear is unfit for human consumption. Everyone knows that no one outside of S.E. asia eats dog, so what kind of "hunter" is going to go kill a wolf for fun? I am hoping the lawsuit is successful to postpone and then cancel the murder and torture (trapping) of wolves. I also hope that baiting of bears is soon found to be tremendously unfair and UNSPORTSMANLIKE.


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