The annual Illinois Natural History Survey was recently released and shows the impact that waterfowl hunting has on the state. The survey was sent out a few years ago and contains information from the past two years.
According to data gathered from the survey, duck and goose hunting has created 2,556 jobs in the state and has generated more than $20 million in tax revenue. The survey said each duck or goose harvested in the state brings in $453.
Randy Smith of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said the waterfowl season is especially important for smaller areas of the state.
“Last weekend was the opening weekend in my hometown, Havana, along the Illinois River,” Smith said, “(It’s) a very small town, farming community right on the Illinois River. All of the gas stations were packed. All of the restaurants were packed in the morning.”
Smith said that in rural areas of the state, there aren’t very many times other than hunting season when the local economy receives a boost. Smith also said there aren’t very many wetland areas in the state, so hunters will travel to smaller communities where they can hunt.
The DNR helps compile questions for the survey, which is randomly sent out to 5,000 hunters throughout the state. Smith said it helps the DNR see where conservation areas are needed and where they can open up new areas for hunting. It also helps the DNR understand the financial impact hunting brings to some areas in the state.
The waterfowl hunting season opens at different times during the fall around the state and runs until late January.
–Illinois News Network