Hunting boosts the Michigan economy by $2.3 million annually, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. And Hunting Works for Michigan estimates 34,400 hunting jobs are created in the state.
Hunting Works for Michigan launched in Lansing last October and had its first meetings in northern Michigan last week. It’s part of the larger organization Hunting Works for America, which exists in 14 states. The Michigan group's main objective is to communicate hunting’s economic impact to Michigan residents and policy makers.
Most people aren't aware of the economic impact, Dan Eichinger, a co-chair of Hunting Works for Michigan and the executive director of Michigan United Conservation Clubs, told IPR.
"Even within the hunting community there isn't a great amount of awareness," says Eichinger.
Eichinger adds that all Michigan resident benefits from the hunting economy, particularly through conservation. Federal excise taxes on hunting equipment and state license fees both go towards natural resource conservation in the state.
"So if hunting goes away in Michigan, conservation goes away in Michigan too," says Eichinger.
On its website, the organization says it is the right time for Hunting Works to come to Michigan. It says as anti-hunting groups become more common in the state, people need information about hunting’s place in the Michigan economy.