Florida’s other cash crop

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What generated more than $436 million in retail sales in Florida, employed 8,100 people statewide, and contributed more than $49 million in state and local taxes?

The answer: deer hunting in the Gunshine state during 2011.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry, has released a stellar report titled , Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation.

The report examines the economic impact hunting plays across the country, and there are state-by-state comparisons.

Like everything else NSSF does, the research and presentation are incredible.

Beyond their impact on businesses and local economies, sportsmen are the leaders in protecting wildlife and habitats, the report states. When license and stamp fees, excise taxes on hunting equipment and membership contributions to conservation organizations are combined, hunters contribute more than $1.6 billion annually to conservation.

“The major growth in spending by hunters is good news for businesses throughout the country, particularly small businesses in rural areas,” said NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti.

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About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1741 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.

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