Maine Sportsmen, Retailers, and Business Leaders Join Forces on Hunting Economics Agenda
Maine Partnership to Highlight Economics of Hunting
(Augusta, ME) – A group of local and regional leaders representing sporting organizations, small businesses and retailers announced a new partnership called Hunting Works For Maine today.
The group formed to highlight the many benefits of hunting and shooting to Maine’s economy, noting that sportsmen and women are crucial drivers of in-state commerce. Speakers at the press conference pledged a more unified voice in support of Maine’s hunting and shooting heritage through this new partnership.
“As an entrepreneur and a small business owner, I have experienced firsthand the impact of a busy hunting season,” said Rep. Gary Hilliard, co-chair of Hunting Works For Maine and owner of several Subway franchises, among other businesses. “I am excited to be a co-chair because I love hunting but also because I want to meet and work with other stake holders, so together we can educate the people of Maine about the many benefits hunting and shooting bring to our economy.”
According to the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, each year 181,000 people hunt in Maine. These hunters are a considerable economic force in the state. Hunters spend about $102 million on lodging, gas and food while on hunting trips and spend over $60 million on equipment.
One beneficiary of the annual outpouring of hunter dollars that pour into Maine each and every fall is Clay Tranten, a third generation owner of grocery stores, a convenience store, a gas station and a laundromat that serves hunters and more in Kingfield and Farmington, Maine.
“I’m thrilled to be co-chair of Hunting Works for Maine,” Tranten said. “Like so many businesses across our state, hunters have been a big part of all of our stores, and we can count on them year after year. Our stores opened for business in 1955, and each year our family has known that we can depend on the dollars spent by those who come here to hunt. It’s important that the public hear stories like ours.”
According to Hunting Works For Maine, hunters aren’t just supporting sporting goods stores and gas stations; they are also spending money at hotels and motels for overnights and at local restaurants and cafes before and after their day in the field. This pattern of spending happens all over the state, with an average of $1,100 being spent by individual hunters each year.
These facts have not been missed by one of Maine’s most prominent outdoor journalists.
“As a passionate hunter and outdoorsman, I am very pleased to be a co-chair of this new group,” said Paul Reynolds, Hunting Works For Maine co-chair and founder and editor of the Northwoods Sporting Journal. “I could go on at length about the locally owned businesses I have visited over my many years of hunting, but I think what I am most proud of as a hunter is knowing my license fees and equipment taxes go to conserving and improving our wildlife.”
The newly formed Hunting Works For Maine partnership has over 50 partner organizations and will be adding dozens more in the weeks and months to come. The effort is supported by sporting organizations such as the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
“Our partners have an important message for everyone,” concluded Rep. Peter Lyford, co-chair of Hunting Works For Maine. “Hunters and target shooters have an important role to play in our state and local economies. They also support wildlife and habitat conservation efforts through the Pittman-Robertson excise tax on equipment. I am so excited to be a part of Hunting Works For Maine because hunters and shooters really have a huge impact on the businesses and wildlife of Maine.”
“It’s a great relationship that benefits all Mainers,” added David Trahan, executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine (SAM). “Hunter dollars help businesses all over our state, and they also fund the conservation programs that maintain the incredible natural resources that ensure people come back year after year. SAM is proud to be a partner to Hunting Works For Maine because this success story needs to be told.”
Hunting Works For Maine will monitor public policy decisions and weigh in on hunting-related issues that impact Maine jobs. Hunting Works For Maine will serve as a vehicle to facilitate important public policy dialogue and to tell the story of how Maine’s hunting heritage positively effects conservation and jobs throughout the state.