Hunting Works for Oregon
By Gregg Morris on December 4, 2014
On December 4 a group of local and regional leaders came together to speak on the economic benefits of hunting at a press conference announcing Hunting Works For Oregon. The press conference, held at Sportman’s Warehouse in north Bend, was meant to be highly informative, in both statistics and opinions, and was videotaped to be posted on the program’s YouTube channel.
Hunting Works For Oregon is the Oregon chapter of Hunting Works For America; a four-year-old initiative sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Sportsman’s Warehouse General Manager Dave Ferguson started the proceedings by welcoming fellow outdoor enthusiasts to the store and thanking them for helping to provide economic support. Local hunting legend Gary Lewis, of Frontier Television, acted as moderator of the proceedings and began by explaining the importance of the organization. Lewis then passed the microphone to fellow co-chair Stan Steele, president of the Oregon Outdoor Council. Steele passionately spoke of his lifelong love of the
outdoors and its traditional values. He brought up eight-year-old Madison Casey, Bend Chamber of Commerce President Tim Casey’ daughter, to illustrate hunting’s multi-generational reach.
Next, Lewis introduced Deschutes County Commissioner and EDCO board member Tony DeBone. DeBone, speaking on behalf of EDCO, mentioned the many economic benefits of hunting for businesses.
Rob Ramaker, manager of Greg’s Grill in the Old Mill, thanked Hunting Works For Oregon for their work and talked about how his restaurant has benefited from hunting in Central Oregon.
The press conference ended with Casey speaking of his family’s hunting and fishing tradition. He presented a plaque on behalf of the Chamber to Lewis for Hunting Works For Oregon. Lastly, he brought out the ceremonial ribbon that was cut by his daughter, Madison.
Each panelist, through personal stories and facts, provided support to the group’s mission to, “promote the strong economic partnership between the hunting and sport-shooting communities and Oregon’s state and local economies.”
“This is important because business is important in Oregon,” says twenty-year Central Oregonian Lewis. “We are trying to explain to people about the economic impact of hunters going out and doing what they do.”
“Hunting Works for Oregon is another great opportunity to connect with Oregonians about the positive benefits of hunting,” adds Steele.
According to Mike Knuth, National Field Director of Hunting Works of America, 196,000 people hunt in Oregon each year, with 15,000 visiting from out-of-state. They spend roughly $248 million dollars and pay $27 million in state and local taxes. Each hunter spends and average of $1200 on their sport each year. In addition, hunting supports 3700 jobs in Oregon.
“There is a chain of spending that occurs,” explains Knuth. “They spend money at hotels, gas stations, and restaurants, not just on guns and ammunition. They spend a lot of money and produce a lot of jobs.”
Hunting Works For Oregon is a local grassroots partnership meant to explain the role that hunting plays in Oregon’s economy and heritage. Oregon is the tenth state, and third this year, to create an organization of hunting advocates. Other states with chapters in Hunting Works For America include Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Utah, and Colorado. In total, Hunting Works for America includes over 700 businesses, organizations and associations representing tens of thousands of stakeholders.
“Hunting provides the majority of conservation dollars for our natural resources,” says Steele. “It’s a good heritage to pass along to future generations with major societal benefits.”
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the firearms industry’s trade association. Their mission is to, “promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports.” The forty-three year-old organization includes over 8,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers as members.
For more information on Hunting Works For Oregon, visit www.HUNTINGWORKSFOROR.com. For more information on the National Shooting Sports Foundation, visit www.nssf.org.