Economic Impact of Hunting and Fishing
Justin Gaull, with the West Virginia Small Business Development Center, says outdoor recreation is a huge economic boost to the state "It's both hunting and fishing and it's a year round economic benefit to the state, particularly some of the smaller businesses around West Virginia, people are coming in out of state to go hunting and fishing. Fishing is more year round than hunting, which is mostly the fall season."
Fishing is big, in fact, nearly 400 thousand people fish in the state, spending a whopping 6.9 million days collectively out on the water every year. Hunting is big too, with more than a quarter million hunters in West Virginia every year. In fact, deer season is the black friday of small businesses around the state.
"It's their bread and butter around that time. A lot of smaller businesses around West Virginia really depend on fall hunting season for a big boost in their yearly income. Lodging entities and guide outfitters, it covers nearly 16,000 employers throughout the state and over 95 percent of WV businesses are small businesses." says Gaull.
But there's nothing small about the total economic impact of hunting and fishing in West Virginia. Recent studies show hunting and fishing bring in around 750 million dollars a year in economic benefits to the state and interest continues to grow.
"West Virginia has the 7th highest participation rate of any state, all the other states are west of the Mississippi River, so that's quite an accomplishment." say Gaull.
And when you consider about 25 percent of the people hunting here are from out of state, you can see just how important it is to both protect our fish and wildlife populations while making it enjoyable for folks to do a little hunting and fishing.
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