For those of us who hunt, that heritage is a very important part of our lives. I hunted for 56 years with my Dad, an amazing privilege that I still think and write about often.
But that’s not what Hunting Works for Maine is focused on. They want you to know that hunting is a major contributor to our economy including local diners, gas stations, motels, guides, sporting camps, and other businesses all over Maine. Hunting is still critically important to rural Maine.
Now in its second year here, Hunting Works for Maine is led by national consultant Rob Sexton, who has helped build a coalition of businesses and organizations to educate the public about the value of hunting. Today the coalition will brief members of the legislature’s Inland Fish and Wildlife Committee on the latest hunting statistics.
In a written report that Rob shared with me before the briefing, he reported, “Using a grassroots strategy to spread the word, Hunting Works for Maine has already grown to more than 100 members in just eighteen months! In addition to organizations like the Maine Professional Guides Association, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and the Maine Wildlife Conservation Council, members include business associations including the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, several local chambers of commerce, tourism associations and other businesses such as hotels, restaurants and many others.”
You can find the entire list and more information at www.huntingworksforme.com. Here’s more of Rob’s important report.
“Led by four volunteer co-chairs, Hunting Works for Maine was launched in Augusta in July of 2015. It has held two annual meetings for members in Skowhegan, visited with media and businesses across Maine, and held regional meetings for businesses in Augusta, Millinocket, and Scarborough. Co-chairs included Subway Franchisee Representative Gary Hilliard, Scotts Turf Franchisee Representative Peter Lyford, Northwoods Sporting Journal publisher Paul Reynolds, and local grocer and retailer Clay Tranten.
“Hunting is responsible for a total of $363 million to Maine’s economy annually. This includes $120 million in salaries and wages and 4,000 jobs.”
Now, that is impressive, and really great news!