Oklahoma Hunters and Anglers Spend $1 Billion a Year

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Oklahoma's 602,000 hunters and anglers are among the most prominent and influential of all demographic groups, spending more than $1 billion a year on hunting and fishing, according to a new report.

The report, "Hunting and Fishing: Bright Stars of the American Economy," was produced by the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation and spotlights the immense impact hunters and anglers have on the economy at the national and state level.

In Oklahoma, spending by hunters and anglers directly supports 20,000 jobs, which puts $534 million worth of paychecks into pockets of working residents around the state, and spending by sportsmen in pursuit of these outdoor activities generates $108 million in state and local taxes. These latest figures demonstrate that season after season, hunters and anglers are driving the economy from big businesses to rural towns, through booms and recessions.

Sportsmen support more jobs in Oklahoma than Baptist Medical Center, St. Francis Health System and St. John Medical System combined (20,000 jobs vs. 19,500).

Annual spending by Oklahoma sportsmen equals the combined revenues of Continental Resources, SandRidge Energy and Diamondback Energy Services, three of the fastest growing energy companies in the state.

Oklahoma sportsmen annually spend more than the combined cash receipts for hogs and wheat, two of the state's top agricultural commodities ($1 billion vs. $950 million).

Oklahoma sportsmen outnumber the populations of Tulsa, Norman and Lawton (602,000 vs. 574,000).

The economic stimulus of hunting and fishing equates to an astounding $2.8 million a day being pumped into the state's economy.

"Spending by sportsmen benefits not only the manufacturers of hunting and fishing-related products, but everything from local mom-and-pop businesses to wildlife conservation," said Doug Painter, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. "And because most hunting and fishing takes place in rural areas, much of the spending benefits less affluent parts of the state."

On the national level, 34 million sportsmen age 16 and older spent more than $76 billion in 2006, supporting 1.6 million jobs. If a single corporation grossed as much as hunters and anglers spend, it would be among America's 20 largest, ahead of Target, Costco and AT&T. And if all hunters and anglers had voted during the last presidential election, they would have equaled 31 percent of all votes cast. If all hunters and anglers living in Oklahoma voted, they would have equaled 63 percent of all votes cast in the state.

These statistics are impressive and, if anything, they underestimate the impact of sportsmen since they do not take into account the millions of hunters and anglers under 16 years of age or people who were not able to get out and hunt or fish in 2006. When sportsmen's spending is thought of in business terms and compared to other sectors of the economy, it is quite remarkable. From small rural towns scattered across our country's landscape to the bottom-line of Fortune 500 companies located in major cities, if you take away hunting and fishing, you take away the equivalent of a multi-billion dollar corporation.

The Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation produced the report with support from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, National Marine Manufacturers Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation and SCI - First For Hunters. The report uses the results from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation and statistics provided by the American Sportfishing Association and Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. The report, along with state facts, are available on the Web at sportmenslink.org.

For more information or questions, contact Melinda Gable at 202-302-4794 or melinda@sportsmenslink.org.

For more information about hunting, fishing and conservation in Oklahoma, log on to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's Web site at wildlifedepartment.com.