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June 12, 2013

Hunting Works for America Expands to Include Pennsylvania


Hunting Works for PennsylvaniaEach year in November, like some of you, I travel back to my home state of Pennsylvania to spend a week in deer camp. It’s a tradition that my father taught me and his father taught him. It’s a week spent hunting, but just as importantly it’s a week spent with loved ones reconnecting and telling old stories. It’s because of those traditions that I’m proud to announce that we’ve launched a new Hunting Works for America chapter in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania joins the growing program that already includes Arizona, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and North Dakota.

Back in 2010 we launched Hunting Works for America as way to bring the hunting and shooting communities into an alliance with the business community and the workers who depend on hunters to put cash in the till. Ever since its launch, it’s been a huge success. We’ve been warmly received by businesses, organizations and associations, big and small, and are now partnering with them across every state that we’ve launched.

Through Hunting Works we’re getting our message out that hunters spend money, and lots of it! This unique program educates the public and sends a strong signal to others that hunters are key drivers to their livelihoods and – a lot of the time – the livelihood of their communities. As hunters, we support the businesses that support our sport. Hunting Works for Pennsylvania is one way that hunters and businesses can support each other.

As hunters, most of us also understand that the money we spend on licenses and tags funds conservation. Pittman-Robertson dollars (the 11 percent excise tax we pay on hunting equipment) are used to conserve and restore habitat, which benefits game and non-game species of wildlife and everyone who loves the outdoors.

As I knew they would, Pennsylvania businesses and organizations across the state have eagerly signed up to be a part of Hunting Works for Pennsylvania, with many identifying involvement as a no-brainer. Pennsylvania business owners of all kinds have said that they see firsthand the impact that hunters have on their bottom line and the good that hunters do for the economy. I’ll use my November trip as an example. From the time I cross into PA and head towards Cameron County I’m contributing to the local economy by buying lunch and gas at local stations, buying groceries, supporting local charitable organizations and sportsmen’s clubs, dining out and purchasing last minute items at the local sporting goods store, and the list goes on.

I’ll say it again; hunters spend money and lots of it. In fact in Pennsylvania alone hunters spend $986 million a year. This translates into 15,000 Pennsylvania jobs, $529 million in salaries and wages and an economic ripple effect of $1.6 billion in Pennsylvania. This kind of economic story is not unique – it’s true for every state and the economic benefits of hunting and the shooting sports can be seen in towns and cities across the country.

Hunting Works for America continues to be a huge success. We have over 700 partners representing a multitude of industries and tens of thousands of individuals and members. Our partners in this program monitor public policy decisions and weigh in on hunting related issues that impact the economy and jobs derived from the sport. State chapters also tell the story of how America’s hunting heritage is good for conservation, jobs and the economy across the United States.

Becoming a partner is free. So if you haven’t already please visit www.HuntingWorksForPA.com for more information on becoming a partner and supporting the message of conservation, prosperity and jobs.

Chris Dolnack is senior vice president and chief marketing officer for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Follow him on Twitter at @ChrisDolnack