In 2006, hunters generated $2.63 billion in retail sales for their sport in Texas, paying nearly $284 million in state and local taxes and supporting more than 44,119 jobs, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. That doesn't include the millions spent by birdwatchers, photographers and others who enjoy wildlife they don't kill.
A large chunk of money also goes to private landowners who sell hunting leases, providing revenue to farmers and ranchers, whose operations are being pinched by the same long drought that threatens the population of game animals.
This is a problem, obviously. But luckily Texas House candidate Tony Tinderholt has inspired Buzz to come up with a plan to harness Texans' love of sport and free enterprise, along with our basic nativism, in a way that everybody wins.More »