Bozeman businesses see boost in hunting popularity - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Bozeman businesses see boost in hunting popularity

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From outfitters to game processors, Bozeman businesses that make a living from hunting have seen a big spike in business in the last few years.

By the end of the last hunting season, Fish, Wildlife and Parks sold a record-breaking 49,109 hunting licenses, up from 39,000 in 2006. Eighteen percent were to non-residents.

Zach McCarthy, a technician with Extreme Archery Performance, says the interest in the sport of bowhunting has brought them more business all year long in range shooting as well as hunting.

"It's a nice time of year, it's fun," McCarthy says. "Elk are typically a little bit more cooperative and more interactive this time of year, and it doubles your season, too."

For Buzz Jones, who's owned and operated Yellowstone Processing for almost two decades, archery season is making up more of his business than it has in the past.

"Archery season is a big impact on our business," Jones says. "Around 20 percent is during archery season for us. It's a good shot in the arm for us."

The increase in bowhunters is reflecting Montana's huge growth in outdoor industries. A report by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis shows a 7 percent growth in all of Montana's industries combined since 2006.

In the same amount of time, Montana's outdoor industry grew by 35 percent. 

The downside - more competition for hunters out in the field looking for a big buck.

But both McCarthy and Jones welcome newcomers to the sport.

"You can't be mad at people for wanting to go out there and be sportsmen and help out, try to kill things for themselves."

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