Hunting and shooting contribute more to the economy than you’d think

I’m at the Outdoor Writers Association of America conference, and since I’m not home to record shows, I figured I’d toot my own horn a bit. Today’s show earned second place at the conference for the Hunting and Shooting Sports category.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation keeps track of a lot of data related to guns and shooting. But they recently announced a very surprising figure about what target shooting brings to Wyoming. That figure? Seventy-one million, twenty-nine thousand, five hundred-twenty dollars. Yes, seventy-one Million. With an M. Pardon me for saying this, but … Boom.

And there are at least 840 jobs supported by target shooting in the Cowboy State. That’s pretty incredible. Nationally, target shooting results in about twenty-three billion dollars that goes into the economy, and it supports more than a hundred eighty-five thousand jobs. Add hunting to the equation, and the benefit to the national economy is more than a hundred and ten billion dollars and 866,000 jobs.

Rifle shooters are the biggest contributors, followed by handgun shooters, then shotgunners. The smallest percentage comes from muzzleloaders, but as far as I can tell, the study didn’t include archery at all. In a state like Wyoming, there’s probably a pretty big chunk of more money that comes from archers.

I know I’ve contributed my share, but I certainly wouldn’t mind throwing more onto the pile. I would, if I didn’t have to worry about limits on the amount of ammo I could buy at one time. Interestingly enough, the stats show that ammunition sales account for only about 12 percent of the 23 billion spent on shooting across the country. You’d think the ammo manufacturers would start cranking up their production to meet the demand.

I plan to pump even more money into the economy this week. I went out to the backyard range over the weekend and used up a good chunk of my ammo, so I’ll need to replenish my supply. I figure it’s my duty as a consumer.