GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. This weekend marks the beginning of the 2014 hunting season and first-time hunters are bringing in extra dollars for businesses.
"If you don't get new hunters, your sport is going to die," said Jerry Stehman, owner of Jerry's Outdoor Sports.
It can cost a new hunter a minimum of $500 for all the proper hunting gear when starting from scratch, Stehman said.
From there, hunters typically spend about $1,800 every year between equipment, food and travel costs.
"For me as a business man, sure, I love to see new hunters. It's business and stuff," Stehman said. "But the important part about hunting to me is family, comradery, building those relationships."
Hunting licenses cost money as well, which actually provide the majority of Colorado Parks and Wildlife's funds.
CPW has free education classes available to make sure the first hunting experience is a positive one.
"There's a lot of people that want to hunt, but they don't have a mentor," said Mike Porras, of Colorado Parks of Wildlife. "If they don't have a mentor, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is stepping in with our hunter outreach program and offering classes like this to give them some information, so they can go out and have a successful hunt."
The classes go beyond the hunter education course necessary to buy a license by going into depth with specific animals or types of hunting such as elk, upland game bird or fly fishing.
To register for classes, go to the following link: http://www.register-ed.com/programs/colorado/118-colorado-outreach
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