BY SHAIN GILLET
Clipper Sports Editor
SALT LAKE CITY – Last month at the State Capital building, Rep. Curtis Oda and several current and former chairs announced the launch of a program aiming to help further promote hunting in Utah.
Hunting Works For Utah is partnering with many local and state organizations in Utah to “highlight the major impact hunting has on Utah’s economy,” according to a press release from the company.
“We want to be able to show people that we provide hundreds of millions of dollars into Utah jobs,” said Adam Massey, executive director of the Vernal Chamber of Commerce and one of the co-chairs for the program. “Hunting provides about 12,700 jobs annually, equaling about $310 million in salaries. We are also not only trying to promote hunting, but other shooting sports in the state as well.”
Greg Sheehan, director for Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, said it is an exciting opportunity for the program to come along in the state, given the popularity of hunting in Utah grounds.
“We welcome it with open arms,” he said. “This will be a huge contribution to the state of Utah and we hope that it will bring in even more money every year toward the Utah economy.”
According to a recent study conducted by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, hunters spend approximately $550 million each year for hunting in Utah. That brings in $62.5 million in state and local tax revenue, according to the study report.
David Worwood, a co-chair and president for the Utah chapter of the National Wild Turkey Foundation, said small businesses have also benefitted from hunting season, and some have partnered with Hunting Works because of it.
“Hunters and Utah Small businesses have a mutually beneficial relationship,” he said. “I think it’s fantastic that this group exists to educate the public about the enormous, positive contribution hunters make to our economy.”
So far, the new program has 33 partners, including the Division of Wildlife Resources and the Mule Deer Foundation. The co-chairs hope to add more as the group continues to promote Hunting for Utah throughout the state.
“We have nearly 190,000 hunters hunt in Utah each year,” said Clay Perschon, a wildlife biologist and former wildlife resources employee. “The added value to the rural communities here is key for hunters when they hit the trails for the season.”
Hunting Works for Utah is one of the many chapters under the Hunting Works for America, which was started by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. So far, there are more than 700 partners involved. In creating its own chapter, Utah joins Pennsylvania, which launched in June, Arizona, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and North Dakota.
“Hunters can transform a community during the fall hunts,” said Roger Schneidervin, co-chair and former division employee. “We want to make sure we can promote this all across Utah.”
For more information, visit huntingworksforUT.com.