If you’re reading this article, I’m going to assume that you don’t need me to tell you how important hunting and fishing are to the United States economy. You know that these two industries provide jobs for millions of Americans, not only in terms of revenue but also because they generate a vast amount of tax revenue. What those who may not be familiar with these two industries may not know is just how much one activity can have an effect on the economy. Hunting and fishing season opens and closes at different times every year due to varying global weather patterns, so it’s important for businesses all over the country to adjust their schedules accordingly. Can deer see in the dark?
1. Tax Revenue
When you think about it, hunting and fishing don’t stop just because the season is closed for the year. Wild game isn’t going to go bad on a shelf, and fish don’t suddenly become bad-tasting because it’s the off-season. If a business has a surplus of wild game or any other food item that’s currently in season, they have to figure out what they’re going to do with it. They have to decide whether or not they’re going to eat it themselves or sell it at market rates in order to make money. Selling and buying at market rates are both forms of taxes that help fund state and local governments. As a matter of fact, the rise of the hunting and fishing economy has helped many areas to rebound from their own economic struggles. In the late 1980s, for example, Pennsylvania’s traditional industries were suffering terribly. Its steel mills were all closed down and unemployment was rapidly rising. When the state legalized bear hunting for the first time in its history, it was able to experience an economic boom that lasted several years. It’s important to note that much of this tax revenue comes from items sold at market rates rather than items being sold by businesses with excess supply because seasonal hunting activities are as popular as they are due in large part to regulated markets where you can’t just go out and kill anything you want whenever you feel like it.
Tourism is a huge industry, and it can benefit greatly from hunting and fishing activities. Here in Pennsylvania, hunters looking to kill anything from deer to wild hogs are flocking from other states to take part in regulated hunting seasons. This influx of people creates a demand for goods and services that’s easy for local businesses to supply. The same goes for fishermen who make their way down here from all over the country to fish during the Atlantic Cod season. It makes sense that these tourists wouldn’t want to spend their money on food supplies or luxury items if they can buy them much cheaper where they’re going.
3. Retail Sales
When hunters and fishermen make their way down here, they leave the bulk of their goods up north. Sure, they might buy some food and supplies when they get here, but it’s nothing compared to the amount of stuff they have to pack in when they’re coming down here to take part in a regulated hunting or fishing season. As a result, these people are packing their cars with goods that they’re going to sell at a profit. In many cases, these people buy out of state because it’s much cheaper to do so. The same concept applies when fishermen bring fresh fish and seafood into Pennsylvania from other regions. It makes sense for them to do this because Pennsylvania’s regulations can make fishing difficult due to the onerous licensing procedures that are required for even recreational fisherman. When you kill a lot of fish, you create a surplus and have to figure out what to do with it. The same goes for hunters who need to purchase licenses that are good for the whole year instead of just one or two specific hunting seasons.
The money that these people bring in from their sales at market rates isn’t just going into the pockets of the local businesses they were originally going to shop at. State officials say that they receive anywhere from 15% to 60% of those taxes when they’re paid within state lines. This money is then funneled directly back into state and local coffers. As a result, these tax benefits are felt even by people who don’t hunt or fish.
5. Other Benefits
Businesses aren’t the only ones who see an increase in revenue during hunting and fishing season. The sportsmen themselves do as well. When you hit the woods with your favorite bow or gun and kill something, it’s more than just something to eat on the dinner table. It’s also valuable training that can help to build skills that translate into a job down the road. When you’re working a part-time job at a grocery store and trying to get used to working under pressure while dealing with lots of different people and situations, it’s easy to mess up if you’re not careful.