Ready, Aim, Fire – Hunting Season is Underway
The 2018 Colorado Hunting Season officially got underway last Saturday, Aug. 25 with the opening of archery season. And while the thick of the season – rifle season – doesn’t start for another month, sportsmen and women have already been spotted (or not?) around town in their camouflage get-ups.
Hunters are good for the economy. They not only purchase hunting gear, trucks, ATVs and boats; they also fill their gas tanks and coolers. They stay at motels and resorts. They buy hunting clothes and those goofy hunting hats with sayings like, “If the Lead Don’t Fly, the Meat Don’t Fry.”
According to the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, 259,000 people hunt in Colorado each year. The group’s data states that hunters spend $221 million a year, on trip-related expenses in Colorado and $185 million on hunting equipment. It says a typical hunter spends $1,800 a year on hunting-related activities.
While other places in the state might not appreciate the hunters’ tourism dollars, Saguache County is keenly aware of it. And maybe that’s because there is a large population of San Luis Valley hunters and fishermen, who recognize that wildlife recreation is an important component of the local economy.
Hunters also pay a truckload of special excise taxes, in the form of licenses, fees and equipment. In turn, those funds are earmarked for wildlife and habitat conservation.
And in Saguache County, hunting has strong generational ties, with grandpas and granddaughters taking to the trail together, to stock the family’s freezer with fresh game for the winter. Many families rely on their Fall harvest to get them through until Spring!
Another benefit of hunting that should not be under-rated, is that it is good for body, mind and soul. As the world seems to spin faster and faster – even for alpine dwellers – hunting provides a healthy escape. It offers relaxation and affords quality time with family and friends, many times out of range of cell service or internet connection.
So, as the bright orange vests begin their annual migration into the Colorado high country, be sure to make them feel welcome, with a friendly elk bugle.