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WRC Seeks Volunteers to Count Turkeys

To participate, volunteers should use the online survey link on the Wildlife Commission’s website at “Individual surveys are reported either through an online portal or a survey postcard,” said Ryan Myers, a surveys and research analyst with the Commission. “We ask volunteers to provide accurate counts of all turkeys observed.”

After new volunteers submit observations, the Commission will automatically send a survey postcard the following year to provide an opportunity to participate again. Previous volunteer observers include members of the National Wild Turkey Federation — a valued partner of the Wildlife Commission in the reintroduction of the wild turkey in North Carolina. For more information or to participate in the wild turkey summer observation survey, contact Myers at 919-218-3376 or email

There is an old saying that “figures lie and liars figure”. But these figures don’t lie. National Shooting Sports Foundation’s (NSSF) “Hunting in America” and “Target Shooting in America” reports reveal the broad impact that spending by hunters and target shooters have on America’s economy. Now, responding to demand for a combined report, NSSF has issued “Economic Impact of Hunting and Target Shooting in America,” showing, among other significant statistics, that spending by America’s sportsmen and women results in a total impact of $110 billion annually to the U.S. economy.

“America’s hunters and target shooters create one giant economic engine whose hum can be felt throughout our country and by businesses of all sizes,” said Elizabeth Karasmeighan, NSSF Director, Legislative and Policy Research. The report contains some surprising findings and interesting comparisons. The more than 866,000 jobs supported by hunting and target shooting would rank as the seventh largest employer in the world, ahead of IBM or McDonald’s. And the $48 billion in retail sales exceed those of Fortune 100 Companies like Coca-Cola, Federal Express or Disney.

Given that taxes were on everyone’s mind recently, it’s notable that expenditures by hunters and target shooters result in combined state, local and federal taxes of more than $15 billion, an annual collection that would pay more than 336,000 firefighters. The report includes a state-by-state breakdown of the economic contributions from combined hunting and target shooting activities. Leading the pack is Texas whose hunters and shooters generate $5.1 billion in economic activity, followed by Michigan and New York at $4.6 billion and Wisconsin at $4.2 billion. Even tiny Rhode Island’s economy benefits to the tune of more than $109 million.

“These impressive economic numbers show that the popularity of target shooting and hunting are good for industry and good for America,” said NSSF President Steve Sanetti. The “Economic Impact of Hunting and Target Shooting in America” report, as well as the individual “Hunting in America” and “Target Shooting in America” reports, are available at”Hunting in America” was a joint effort of NSSF and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. The findings in both reports are based on spending activity from 2011.

So why are these figures and reports important? Next week on July 10th, as previously reported, the USFS in NC will be holding a public hearing to discuss wildlife habitat on the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests. Everyone always wants to talk in the mountains about the economic impact of hiking, mountain biking, and kayaking. But we now have the numbers to show the importance of wildlife habitat, which draws hunters, to our local economy. I plan on taking these reports with me to that meeting.

One last notice. This issue hits the newsstand on July 3rd. Remember that tomorrow, July 4th, is free fishing day in North Carolina. Hope you take advantage of the day and introduce someone to fishing. Also, the WRC has issued their permit hunt book for the coming year. If you plan on hunting Sandy Mush Game Lands for dove you better get your name in soon. The first week will be permit only, and there will only be 95 permits per day.

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