Looking for a bright spot in Missouri's economic picture?
The upcoming spring turkey season will pump tens of millions of dollars into the state economy, just as it does every year.
Last year, Missourians spent more than $1.5 million on spring turkey hunting permits.
More important to Missouri's economic well-being, out-of-state hunters shelled out nearly $1.4 million for Missouri spring turkey hunting permits.
The fall season added another $235,447 to 2009 turkey permit sales.
The economic impact of turkey hunting, both spring and fall, goes far beyond permit sales, however. Turkey hunters spend more than $125 million each year on travel, food, lodging and hunting equipment, including everything from shotguns and ammunition to turkey calls and camouflage clothing.
In all, the economic impact of this spending is more than $248 million annually and supports more than 2,300 jobs.
Economic estimates using information from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service show that turkey hunting expenditures generate nearly $5 million in state sales taxes and another $2 million in state income tax revenues annually.
These contributions to the Missouri economy are especially welcome when state revenues lag and force cuts to important services.
Conservation of the wild turkey has made Missouri one of the nation's top turkey hunting destinations. This enriches both the lives of those who hunt and the Missouri economy.
If you are interested in wild turkeys in Missouri, visit our turkey pages.
The figures on hunter expenditures are based on information from the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, which has been conducted about every five years since 1955.