Springfield, Missouri (February 26, 2008)--According to a report by the Congressional Sportsman’s Foundation if the $76 billion sportsmen spend nationally on hunting and fishing were the gross domestic product of a country, sportsmen as a nation would rank 57 out of 181 countries. Clearly, the economic impact of sportsmen is a force to be reckoned with.
In fact, in many states, sportsmen spend more money, support more jobs and pay more taxes than most industries and attractions in the state. For example, Florida sportsmen support more jobs than Disney World, and the annual spending by Florida anglers is three times greater than the cash receipts from the state’s orange crop. That spending results in some 85,000 jobs, $2.5 billion paid in salaries and wages, $608 million in Federal taxes, and $484 million in state and local taxes.
In Texas, sportsmen support twice the jobs as Dell Computer Corporation, Lockheed Martin, Electronic Data Systems, and Dow Chemical Company combined (106,000 jobs vs 49,000). Annual spending by Texas sportsmen is greater than the combined cash receipts from the state’s cotton, greenhouse/nursery, broilers, dairy and corn production, ($6.6 billion vs. $6.1 billion).
These are big numbers. And there’s a way to help build on this already huge economic impact – and help children – by supporting the Anglers’ Legacy program. Anglers’ Legacy, which is a program created by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Alliance, asks anglers to share their knowledge and expertise by taking a novice fishing in the next year. Every new person who takes up fishing funnels an average of $268 into their community each year.
During the Bass Pro Shops Spring Fishing Classic (Feb. 29 through March 16), adults can stop by Bass Pro Shops and sign up to take the pledge. By doing so, it will help build a legacy for tomorrow, create a positive impact in the life of a child and benefit the local economy.
Another program that will benefit both adults and children is the Bass Pro Shops Reel Trade-In on March 6-9. Customers can bring in their old reels to donate and they’ll receive a discount on their new reel purchase. The old reels are then donated to a not-for-profit group designated by the store whose mission is to supply disadvantaged children with gear for fishing.
Statistics are from the Congressional Sportsman’s Foundation report “Hunting and Fishing: Bright Stars of the American Economy ~ A force as big as all outdoors.” It can be accessed online at www.sportsmenslink.org.