As hunters seek to fill their freezers in western Colorado, their trips give a much-needed boost to the local economy.
According to the Aspen Times, hunters gobbled up 127,600 elk licenses statewide in 2018 with more than half of those, 75,500, in northwest Colorado alone. Hunters will buy food, gasoline and other supplies during their time afield. They will also stay in motels, eat in restaurants and spend money for other needs and wants. Beyond that, hunters also generate vital funding for conservation efforts.
“Hunters and anglers play a major role in sustaining Colorado’s natural resources through their willingness to pay for conservation through the purchase of hunting and fishing licenses,” said Bob Broscheid, Colorado Parks and Wildlife director, told the Aspen Times.
Research from the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (see infographic) indicates hunters and anglers combined to spend $3.5 billion in a single year in Colorado. Unfortunately, hunter numbers are down and that could lead to a difficult future for wildlife managers.
“We cannot predict the future but are planning for it. Colorado faces a growing number of challenges as we see unprecedented population growth, urban sprawl, habitat loss, continued debates over water use and a growing segment of citizens who are not connected to nature and its care.”
(Photo source: Thomas M. Myers)