Published October 18, 2010, 11:46 AM

Hunting advocates promote sport's impact and positive effects in North Dakota

BISMARCK — Hunting in North Dakota has a $278 million annual ripple effect on the state’s economy and supports nearly 3,000 jobs, hunting advocates say.

BISMARCK — Hunting in North Dakota has a $278 million annual ripple effect on the state’s economy and supports nearly 3,000 jobs, hunting advocates say.

A new organization called Hunting Works for North Dakota launched Monday to raise awareness about the sport’s impact on the state. North Dakota is the first state to announce the initiative backed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

Similar programs in Minnesota and Arizona will be announced later this week.

The goal is to provide a cohesive message about the positive effects of hunting, said Mark Thomas of the Connecticut-based foundation.

Supporters provided statistics showing 139,000 people hunt in North Dakota each year and spend $103 million.

The issue isn’t about hunters versus nonhunters or about killing animals, said Todd Jacobson, owner of the Sunlac Inn in Lakota and co-chairman of Hunting Works for North Dakota.

Advocates also stressed the initiative is not related to Measure 2, which would ban high-fence hunting in the state.

“It’s about how hunting affects us in North Dakota, period, economically speaking,” Jacobson said. “It’s as important as farming. It’s as important as the oil industry. It’s right up there (as) one of our top industries in the state.”

For more on this story, read Tuesday's Forum.

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