Drug Trafficking Hurts Mexican Hunting Operations

As drug violence continues in Mexico, some American hunters are choosing to stay home.

From the story in USA Today:

It was a fabulous day for duck hunting, quiet and peaceful except for the occasional bang of a shotgun in a marsh near the Mexican town of Los Mochis. Then Mexico's drug war intruded. A police helicopter roared in over the mangroves, scattering the ducks and hovering over the American hunters trying not to be seen in their blinds. Suspected drug traffickers had killed six people, execution-style with bullets to the head, near the marsh the night before. Now police were searching for a possible seventh body that may have been dumped in the water. "Oh, that's not good for business," guide David Warner said as the helicopter clattered away over the marsh.

Across Mexico, drug violence is putting a damper on efforts to attract American hunters, a form of tourism that ranchers and the government have been trying to encourage in recent years as a way of bringing jobs to rural parts of the country. Hunting outfitters say U.S. travel warnings, along with news reports about shootouts and massacres in Mexico, have driven down business by 60% or more this year. Each hunter typically pays $2,000 to $5,000 for a three-day hunting trip, so it's a big loss.

Given a chance to hunt or fish Mexico this year, would you go or stay home?