Media Clips

Ariz. hunters’ spending put at $211M

Published on October 21, 2010 under Events

Doug Kreutz Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star | Thursday, October 21, 2010 12:00 am

Hunters boost Arizona’s economy by spending $211 million a year in the state, say leaders of a new group touting hunting’s economic impact.

“That’s a really big deal,” said Tom Britt, co-chairman of Hunting Works for Arizona.

Hunters “are the lifeblood of many individuals and small and large businesses across the state,” Britt said at a news conference Wednesday in the office of the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber is one of dozens of partners in the new group. The partners include hunting organizations, retailers, lodging operators and associations.

Gerald Perry, a Hunting Works spokesman and a former regional supervisor for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, said the $27 million spent annually on hunting and fishing licenses brings broad benefits.

Habitat protection projects paid for with license fees “benefit all animals” – including species that aren’t hunted, Perry said.

Britt said it was “purely coincidence” that the group was formed at a time when a hunting and fishing proposition is on the upcoming ballot.

Proposition 109 – which says that lawful hunting, fishing and harvesting of wildlife is a constitutional right – is widely supported by hunting groups.

“We, as a group, aren’t endorsing 109,” Britt said, noting that individual members of the group might well support the measure.

Efforts to reach the Sierra Club, which opposes the proposition, weren’t successful Wednesday.

Another opponent of the proposition, former state Game and Fish Commission Chairman Bob Hernbrode, said he didn’t know details of the new group. But he said he expects it will be focused on economic matters rather than on ballot measures.

By the numbers

• 148,000 – Number of people who hunt each year in Arizona.

• $211 million – The amount Arizona hunters spend annually on lodging, food, gas and gear.

• $27 million – Amount spent each year for hunting and fishing licenses in Arizona.

SOURCE: Hunting Works for Arizona