Opening Day Delivers Tradition, Economic Gains to Michigan

Release Date: 
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
LANSING, Mich. – As hunters across the state head to deer camp, deer blinds or a tree-stand, Opening Day in Michigan brings with it not only generations worth of traditions, but also significant economic impact in the state.Buck standing in snowy woods
Firearm season for deer generates hunting’s largest economic impact on the state with more than 90 percent of Michigan hunters pursuing deer each year, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Approximately half a million hunters in Michigan are expected to participate in this year’s firearm season for deer.
Annually, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates hunting in Michigan generates more than $2.3 billion in economic impact in the state, including expenses related to food and lodging and $1.3 billion spent on equipment. A new report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates the average hunter spends $2,237 each year.
“Hunting provides an excellent opportunity for residents and visitors alike to experience Michigan’s vast natural resources and participate in an important tradition for our state,” commented Jeff Mason, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “Throughout the year, but especially over the next few weeks, hunting drives travel within Michigan and attracts sportsmen and women to this great state, generating economic impact for our communities and businesses.”
Leisure travel spending on hunting increased again in 2016, according to data from D.K. Shifflet. In 2016, $124.3 million was spent on leisure travel specific to hunting in Michigan, up from $123.8 million in 2015. Combined hunting and fishing leisure travel spending was up 7.2 percent in 2016 with $364.5 million spent on hunting and fishing-motivated leisure travel.
“For many Michigan hunters, there’s no more important time of the year than the annual deer hunting season. It’s a rich outdoor tradition that is shared across generations of family and friends, and one that supports local economies across the state,” said Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Keith Creagh. “We wish every hunter this season a safe, enjoyable and successful hunt.”
In 2016, Michigan saw 81,119 new customers for all hunting licenses combined and Michigan continues to be one of the top states in the nation for paid-hunting license holders. Both hunter satisfaction and hunter success rates continued trends last year and again increased from 2015 to 2016.
For more information on opportunities to hunt in Michigan as well as to purchase a license visit or
About the Michigan Economic Development Corporation:
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community and talent development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy.  For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit  For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
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Editor’s Note: Watch the Pure Michigan Hunting Traditions video on YouTube at

Media Contact: Michelle Grinnell, 517-241-0251, [email protected]