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September 26, 2017

Hunting Works For America Expands Yet Again and Adds Railroad to Partner Ranks in Land of Lincoln


By Chris Dolnack, NSSF Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer

Hunting Works For IllinoisThis is an exciting year for our Hunting Works For America program. Not only did we expand the program to New York, but today we launched Hunting Works For Illinois in Springfield. And our expansion isn’t finished just yet.

Even though the Big Apple and the Windy City don’t conjure up images of hunters crouched in deer stands or bright orange vests, hunting plays a major role in both the economic and environmental health of both New York and Illinois. Growing up in the Northeast and spending years in the industry, I can tell you these are two unbelievable hunting states with rich hunting heritages. Outside and inside of those aforementioned cities, hunters are spending thousands on their sport and then fanning out and supporting local businesses across each state.

Among the ranks of our 2,600 partners nationally, you’ll find dozens of chambers of commerce, convention and visitors bureaus, sporting goods stores of all sizes, conservation organizations, hotels, restaurants, mom and pop shops, guides and the list goes on and on. Illinois expands this diversity by including the first ever railroad to our membership (while playing Monopoly as a kid, I was always sure to have at least one railroad in my property portfolio). As one of the largest carriers of goods in the country, we’re proud and excited to have BNSF Railway join Hunting Works for Illinois.

As with all of our Hunting Works for America chapters we are excited to be working with our Illinois partners to increase the awareness of how hunting impacts the state. In places like Illinois and New York, where the divide between urban and rural is more pronounced than in other states, it is critical that hunters have a voice to advocate for their sport because we are so very important in so many ways. For example, in the Land of Lincoln, the average hunter spends about $2,600 a year on their own hunting expenses. All together Illinois hunters spend over $273 million on trips and over $235 million on equipment. Annually hunters spend $1.3 billion in the state of Illinois. Hunters cannot afford to get lost in the shuffle because we support the local businesses and the conservation efforts that make each state unique. And hunters are the lifeblood of many businesses and jobs throughout these states.

I am excited to welcome the sportsmen and sportswomen of Illinois to the Hunting Works for America program!