When thousands of pheasant hunters wade into cattails and grasslands for the Minnesota pheasant opener that begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, they will be contributing to the economic health of the state’s economy.
More than a half-million Minnesotans and nonresidents hunt in Minnesota each year. Collectively they spend an estimated $725 million per year, according to the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. “Minnesota ranks ninth in the nation for resident hunter numbers,” said C.B. Bylander, outreach chief for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Fish and Wildlife Division. “This strong tradition of hunting has long helped fuel local economies throughout the farmland and forested portions of the state.”
According the 2011 national survey direct expenditures by hunters in Minnesota include:
- $400 million on equipment such as guns, ammunition and special clothes.
- $235 million on trip related expenses such as food, lodging and transportation. •
- $90 million on other expenses such as land leasing, hunting land ownership, magazines, etc.
Bylander said the average amount spent per hunter in 2011 was $1,412, up from $889 in 2006 when the previous survey was taken. Direct retail sales related to upland bird hunting totaled about $121 million. When combined with angling, Minnesota hunters and anglers support nearly 48,000 Minnesota jobs.
Bylander said about 84,000 people hunted pheasants in Minnesota last year.