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Bucks from bucks: WV hunters have half-billion-dollar impact on state’s economy (Daily Mail WV)

By JOHN McCOY

Charleston Gazette-Mail

People who hunt deer during West Virginia’s firearm season are required to wear at least 400 square inches of fluorescent orange clothing, a mandate that necessitates the purchase of specialized clothing. Managing a large inventory of hunting clothes keeps McFly Outdoors manager Sierra Cole busy.
(Gazette-Mail photo by John McCoy)

CHARLESTON, W.Va — West Virginians often associate hunters with a particular hue of fluorescent orange. Perhaps they should also associate them with a shade of green — the one found on dollar bills.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, hunters contribute $552 million a year to the Mountain State’s economy. That’s more than skiing ($250 million) and whitewater rafting ($248 million) combined.

“I view hunting in West Virginia as a tremendous economic engine,” said Paul Johansen, wildlife chief for the state Division of Natural Resources. “Hunters are responsible for $421 million in annual retail sales. Salaries and wages related to hunting total more than $153 million a year. Hunting creates and sustains more than 5,300 jobs, and it’s responsible for more than $35 million a year in state taxes.”

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