My turn: Hunters help California economy

By From page A4 | May 08, 2013

Anti-hunters and animal-rights groups have already cost the taxpayers of California almost half a million dollars per year in lost revenue to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife through the expected lost sales of bear hunting license due to passage of SB 1221 that outlawed the use of dogs for hunting them.

And the burden on California taxpayers can be expected to soar if our elected politicians don’t wake up and realize the benefits provided by hunters in this state. In fact, in California alone, hunting added $2 million to the state’s economy in 2011 alone, according to a “Sportsmen’s Activity Report” provided by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).

State and local taxes taken in by California from all hunting activities in 2011 amounted to $153 million! That’s a lot of money to try and make up on the backs of California residents. Salaries and wages paid out because of hunting amounted to $758.5 million, and 20,640 jobs depended on hunting.

Deer hunting alone brought in $46.5 million in state and local taxes and $50 million in federal taxes. Migratory bird hunting brought in $36.8 million in state and local taxes, and $42.5 million in federal taxes.

If hunting were stopped in California, how would those lost revenues be made up? Certainly not by the anti-hunting, animal-rights groups, who only line their own pockets with funds, and file lawsuits. Those revenues would have to be made up by every other taxpayer in California.

And the lost money is only part of the picture. A huge percentage of the wild land mass and marshland in California is owned by hunters, and maintained by hunters in its natural state for the benefit of wildlife and waterfowl. Those lands would be sold if hunters could no longer use them, and probably be lost to farms, ranches or development.

People in California, and especially our elected lawmakers, need to be aware of the huge loss in revenue and habitat that would occur should more curbs be put on the hunters in California. The impact would be far-reaching, and cost every other taxpayer in the state.

Bill Karr is editor of Western Outdoors News.

Bill Karr

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