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Deer season drives economic gains

LANSING — Hunters across the state are taking part in Michigan’s firearm deer season, which started Nov. 15. Not only a time-honored tradition shared across many generations of Michiganders, this season also brings a significant boost in state revenue. Of all hunters in Michigan last year, over 600,000 of them – better than 90 percent – were deer hunters. This year, approximately half a million hunters are expected to take to the Michigan woods for the firearm deer season.

A recent study released by Michigan United Conservation Clubs estimates that hunting and fishing in Michigan generate $11.2 billion a year, with the state’s nearly 700,000 hunters contributing $8.9 billion – about 80 percent – of those critical dollars.

thumbnail image showing a female hunter in camo climbing into a tree stand; from the Pure Michigan hunting traditions video

“For many Michigan hunters, there’s no more important time of the year than the annual deer hunting season. It’s a treasured outdoor tradition that brings together family and friends, and, for many, helps to put food on the table. This hunting season also gives a sizable lift to local economies across the state,” said Daniel Eichinger, director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. “We wish every hunter this season a safe, enjoyable and successful hunt.”

This brief Pure Michigan video captures the importance of sharing the hunting tradition and the restorative power of spending time in nature.

According to TravelUSA research, leisure travel spending on hunting continues to bring important economic revenue to Michigan. Last year, travelers who participated in hunting as an activity contributed a direct spend of more than $73 million in the state. Those who participated in hunting or fishing had a direct spend of over $396 million.

“Hunting provides the perfect opportunity to get out and experience Michigan’s vast natural resources while contributing to the tremendous quality of life found here in our state,” said Jeff Mason, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “This time-honored tradition drives travel to Michigan as well as within the state, and that travel in turn generates economic impact for communities and businesses across Michigan.”

In 2018, Michigan saw 75,470 new customers for all hunting licenses combined, and Michigan continues to rank among the leading states for the number of paid hunting license holders. Firearm deer season was the biggest draw, with 483,341 of hunters participating in that season.

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