SPORTSMEN MORE than pay their own way.
When you measure their economic contributions, sportsmen pour $70 million into the local economy annually, with a whopping ripple effect of an estimated $173 billion.
This is based on a recent report sponsored by two organizations, the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation and the National Shooting Sports Foundation. American Sportsmen is an all-inclusive term for men and women who hunt and fish, and if they were a corporation, they would rank No. 11 on the Fortune 500 list, ahead of Coca-Cola, Microsoft and AT& T.
For more than 60 years, sportsmen have paid a self-imposed tax totaling more than $7.6 billion for the on-the-ground projects in every state that result in protecting our natural environment and our fish and wildlife for the enjoyment of all Americans.
They do this through a portion of the cost paid through the purchase of firearms, ammunition, rods, reels and tackle. Perhaps this might make those who condemn sportsmen for what they enjoy, think twice about "bad-mouthing" their chosen sport.
A recent study by Ducks Unlimited showed that a whopping 67 percent of Americans approve of hunting, even though only 7 percent of the population hunts each year.
WHILE ON the subject of hunting, a California Hunter Education Class will be held at Tioga High School in Groveland from 6-9 p.m., July 14-17. The class is required for all first-time hunters and for hunters who plan to go out of state. Many states are now requiring proof of hunter-safety education now. For more information or questions, call Carl Copeland at 962-5668 or Darrell Sharp at 962-5362.
THE KOKANEE fishing at New Melones still holds the spotlight, and there is always the possibility of picking up a big rainbow or brown while targeting kokes.
Gary Barbour of Bakersfield caught a 4.2-pound brown last week on a pink Apex lure as well as four kokanee. The kokes are hanging at 50 to 60 feet, on the average.