Recession? What recession? If you’re into $200 designer jeans, artisan hair products for men and cell phones as a lifestyle choice, you might be cutting back on your purchases. If you’re into guns, camo and ammo, you’re probably still dropping some coin. At least in Idaho, where I believe it is, in point of fact, illegal for men to wear $200 designer jeans, anyway…

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_Despite the recession, the sales of hunting supplies aren’t just on the rise, they’re skyrocketing. Deer season began for most of Idaho on Sunday. Hunters are again taking to the wilderness of the Gem State to bag the big game, but in fewer numbers. Idaho Fish and Game reports that when compared to this time last year, sales of deer tags are down about 10 percent. There was less of a decrease in elk tags, but they’re still down. However, tags bought by non-residents are dragging those numbers down, because sales to Idaho residents are actually up.
__That’s not the end of the good news. Jennifer Crofts with Cabela’s of Boise said their sales are great, which matches national figures that show that sales of hunting supplies are way up. The National Shooting Sports Foundation said that companies who make, distribute, or sell sporting firearms, ammunition, and supplies generated 45 percent more economic activity in 2009 than they did in 2008. So why is the hunting industry thriving in the recession? Maybe it’s because it’s a hobby that can actually help a family’s bottom line, by reducing the grocery bill. “It’s one that does provide food for the freezer, it provides food for all year long,” Crofts said. Or maybe, it’s just something people don’t want to give up when, during the recession, they’ve had to give up so much else.

“I think that during the recession one of the things that people don’t want to forget about is the hobbies and the things that they love,” Crofts said. “Hunting, fishing, camping, they’re all very family-oriented activities. And that’s one of the things that people stick to during tough times, is doing things with the family, participating in these activities outdoors.”_