Governor’s One-Shot Turkey Hunt Means Business for Alabama

Turkey talk was sweet music for the state of Alabama and the Tuscaloosa area this week as the Second Annual Alabama Governor’s One-Shot Turkey Hunt called in an impressive group of visitors. Captains of business and industry, heads of large corporations, and influential outdoors media moguls accepted Governor Riley’s personal invitation to go turkey hunting in Alabama.

Among the 70 hunters were top corporate officials of Wal-Mart, Bass Pro Shops, and Academy Sports, as well as manufacturers of outdoor products like Mossy Oak Apparel, Lynch Calls, Leatherman Tool Group, O.F. Mossberg & Sons, and Quaker Boy Calls. ESPN Outdoors, Outdoor Life TV, USA Outback TV, television hosts of national outdoors programs and Alabama’s outdoor writers were also present, filming and preparing media coverage of the event. Many of them had never been hunting in Alabama before.

 “It’s a great economic opportunity and a great economic development tool,” said Governor Bob Riley.  “If you bring people to Alabama and you let them meet the people and let them have breakfast with people here and go hunting, they not only want to come back but they want to locate their businesses here.”

The direct economic impact of the three-day event on the Tuscaloosa area is estimated at $950,000. The potential economic boost for the state of Alabama is immeasurable, as these hunters experienced the true southern hospitality of their landowner hosts and the pursuit of eastern wild turkeys with the help of their local guides.

“It was just fantastic!” said John Mosley of the Alabama Development Office and a member of the committee which organized the event. “The hunt showcased the state wonderfully. We had 17 industry people here who hunted and had a great time. We had representatives from some companies which recently located here and are looking to expand later. We want them to consider Alabama for those expansion plans. This event allowed the governor to meet with some of these people and discuss the advantages of locating in Alabama.”

Governor Riley hosts the annual event for three important reasons: it is an innovative and effective way to promote industrial development in the financially strapped counties surrounding Tuscaloosa; hunting and fishing and other nature-based recreation contributes nearly $4 billion annually to Alabama’s economy; and because he personally enjoys hunting and fishing.