News Home Mississippi Business Health National Politics Science WorlBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 24 Nov 2010 10:11am |
Friday marks the start of duck hunting season in Mississippi. Hunting the birds is a much bigger business than you might expect. MPB Jeffrey Hess reports that the season is a huge economic boost for the state.
Deer season is already underway and the start of duck season signals the full swing of fall hunting.
Duck Season alone brings in as much as 200-million dollars a year to Mississippi, according to Ed Penny with the Department Wildlife. He says much of that goes into areas that sorely need the economic activity.
"We get a lot of out of state traffic in rural areas like the Mississippi delta which are important...which are the primary waterfowl hunting areas in the state. And that's a pretty big income stream for them," Penny said.
Stores that sell guns, ammo and other hunting gear also count on hunting season as a regular source of income.
Sutherland's Hardware sits on I-80 in Pearl and sales a range of hunting supplies. Store manager Chuck Ellis considers hunters reliable shoppers even when other parts of his business slides.
"We've got a lot of the hunting stuff, deer stands and that. And a lot of the hunters will still spend the money on hunting but they will ratchet back on a lot of the building supplies," Ellis said.
A few miles away at a Bass Pro Shop, families cram the parking lot and crowd into the big box store.
Keith Kinnard was browsing the aisles with his teenage son and daughter. He considers teaching them to hunt an important family tradition.
"It’s just helping them learn about safety and what you can do and can't do. You don't just shoot something for the heck of it. You shoot something to put food on the table," Kinnard said.
Every year Kinnard buys new supplies for his family. Although he is reluctant to put a total number on it, his son laughs and says his dad spends a lot.
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