PITTSFIELD – November 21, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today promoted the economic and quality-oflife benefits of nature-based tourism and outdoor recreation during a visit to Pike County. The Governor also helped launch the Illinois firearm deer hunting season.
“Hunting, fishing and other forms of outdoor recreation help drive the Illinois economy and create jobs,” said Governor Quinn. “It is important that we remind everyone of the great opportunities here in Illinois for residents and visitors to hunt, fish and enjoy nature.”
Tens of thousands of deer hunters are in the field in West-Central Illinois and throughout the state this weekend for the first three days of the firearm deer season (November 20-22). Hunting provides an estimated $25 million annual economic benefit to Pike County alone.
Governor Quinn was joined by Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Director Marc Miller and Pike County Farm Bureau President Terry Rush at Blue River Farm near Pittsfield. Terry Rush and his wife Michele are fifth-generation farmers who manage the 4,000-acre farm for deer and turkey hunting.
“Working with Governor Quinn, landowners, the new Illinois Conservation Congress and other tourism and outdoor recreation advocates, we are actively promoting Illinois as a great place to spend time outdoors,” said Director Miller. “Nature-based tourism and recreation are good for everyone in Illinois.”
There are more than 1.1 million hunters and anglers in Illinois. The two sports provide a statewide economic impact of $2.1 billion annually and support more than 22,000 jobs.