Oregon's 550,000 hunters and anglers are among the most prominent and influential of all demographic groups, spending more than $1.1 billion a year on hunting and fishing, according to a new report.


The report, "Hunting and Fishing: Bright Stars of the American Economy - A force as big as all outdoors," spotlights the impact hunters and anglers have on the economy at the national and state level.


In Oregon, spending by hunters and anglers directly supports 19,500 jobs, which puts $573 million worth of paychecks into pockets of working residents around the state.


Of course, government coffers also benefit -- spending by sportsmen in pursuit of these outdoor activities generates $125 million in state and local taxes. These latest figures demonstrate that season after season hunters and anglers are driving the economy from big businesses to rural towns, through booms and recessions.


"Because sportsmen enjoy hunting or fishing alone or in small groups, they are overlooked as a constituency and as a substantial economic force," stated Jeff Crane, president of the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation. "When you compare spending by hunters and anglers to other sectors, their impact on the state's economy becomes more tangible."


Sportsmen support more jobs in Oregon than Harry & David, Intel, and Hewlett-Packard combined, three of the state's largest employers (19,500 jobs vs. 18,500).


Oregon sportsmen outnumber the population of Portland - the state's largest city (550,000 vs. 533,000).


The economic stimulus of hunting and fishing equates to an astounding $3 million a day being pumped into the state's economy.