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Letter to ND legislators - Scheels All Sports

23297 Views 70 Replies 34 Participants Last post by  slanman
This is a letter written by Steve Scheel of Scheels All Sports to North Dakota legislators. (This letter does NOT reflect my personal views-H2OfowlND- in anyway. I am just passing on information that should be known)

December 2002
RE: Non-Resident Hunter Issue

I have been working with the managers of our 6 North Dakota stores, trying to get numbers that are close, and today we are confident that our Scheels stores in Bismarck, Minot, Grand Forks and Fargo do in excess of $2,500,000, annually with non-resident hunters and the guide and outfitters that supply them. As you can see, it is a huge amount this number grows each year. We feel the non-resident is 10-15% of our business in Minot, 15-20% of our business in Grand Forks and Fargo, and 30-40% of our hunting and related business in Bismarck. It is not unusual for a group of 4 non-residents to spend $2500 before the hunt, and $500 after the hunt on their way home.

Scheels employs over 700 people in North Dakota and we rely on this non-resident hunter for a significant portion of our business in the fall. I would urge you to support no further restrictions on the non-resident hunters. While we would like unlimited licenses, we can live with the limit of 30,000 on waterfowl and we can understand the early season for residents only, but would urge no further restrictions on the number of hunters or the periods when they are allowed to hunt. Nationally, there are fewer and fewer hunters and the demographics in North Dakota mean less resident hunters every year. We need the revenue from the non-residents just to hold us even.

There are a couple of other points on this issue:
1. The license fees could be more expensive by at least $50 a license. 50,000 @ $50 = $2,500,000 and this could be used for more habitat. It is a standing joke for many that the license costs less than the booze! These people fly in or drive in, in a $35,000 SUV and $5000 worth of gear. 98% would pay $50 more without blinking. The typical elk hunter pays $650 in Montana and these bird hunters like to hunt birds as much as the elk hunter likes to hunt elk. Raise the fee and plant more habitat.

2. It would sure help if they had to buy their licenses at a North Dakota retailer. More and more hunters buy their licenses online and this keeps them out of the store in some cases. They spend huge amounts when they get in our stores and they see all we have to offer. This would be a huge boost to retail business throughout the state. Computers would easily allow us to cut license sales off at a pre-determined limit.

Thanks for your time! The 700 North Dakota Scheels associates certainly hope there are no further restrictions on non-resident hunters who help pay their salaries. $2.5 million pays a whole lot of paychecks.

Most Sincerely,
Steve Scheel
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I would hate to guess how much money I have spent at Scheel's on everything from reloading supplies, hockey equipment, guns, shoes, X-landr blinds to Chapstick & jerky seasoning. My policy has been to shop them first, even though I hold a Cabela's Visa. Prior to moving to Nodak, I would hit the one in Sioux Falls whenever possible and that's where I got my Benelli :)

Now that I know that Scheel's policy is to support any natural resource policy that appears to help their bottom line (regardless of the impact it has on their resident hunter customer base), I will think twice about where I spend my money. The letter states that $2.5 million pays a lot of salaries. While I have no idea what their annual revenue is, $2.5 million must be a small percentage of their take or they wouldn't be able to afford the super-store they are putting up in Fargo. Gee, wonder where the rest of that revenue comes from . . . . :eyeroll:
Scheels knows that most people are not going to stop buying from them over this letter. There's a convenience factor in buying items right in your own backyard. It shouldn't stop people however, from letting them know they think they should look at the whole picture. I wonder how many of the NRs they are refering to are from MN or specifically Moorhead. After looking through expenditures to Scheels over the last 2 years, Sports shoes and Boots, Waders, Shells and Bullets, Hunting clothes, a blind and camo burlap, Rifle, shotguns, Decoys, Hunting Videos, Fishing, Ice Fising, Electronic caller, Sweatshirts, Socks, Binoculars, Ski's, Wakeboard, Kneeboard, Ropes, Water Tubes, Tennis Racket and balls, Golf Balls, and various gifts purchased for family, friends and farmers, Id like them to know I've contributed to their bottom line in the last two the tune of about $7000.00 (1 person). As a contradiction to one of my previous posts, maybe a trip or two to Cabelas or Walmart might be in order.
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Maybe someone should post a picture of Mr. Scheel's house and that will let you know how bad he is hurting and why we should continue the nr traffic to ND...he is no different than your average guide and outfitter, simply looking after his greedy way. Pad his own pocket at anyone and everyone's expense. You can decide if that is the kind of guy you want to be doing your business with.
Im shocked I grew up down the street from a scheels store and spent more money there than i want to admit and now I read this.I agree that a boycott is a waste of time and let every man make his own decision.I for one are done at scheels.What a shame.
It won't do any good unless you go in and tell them why.I know the manager at the Minot Scheels and I am going to print off the letter and take it with me the next time I go there.
I too agree, i don't even want to think about how much I have spent in Scheels. Mr. Scheels really ticked me off even when he took out that big add in the Forum about banning the damn lottery as well, no I read that letter on here I am done shopping there, now when I need any future hunting supplies I think I will spend the extra money and drive to GF and hit Cabelas, or use the catalog or go online. We are but a small percentage of vioces on here but I think if everyone else knew of this letter there would be a far bigger outcry and boycott on Scheels. Hope I am not alone on these feelings.
Steve's letter will have no effect on me shopping at Scheels. He's doing what he feels is best for HIS business. I'm guessing every business owner in the U.S. is doing the same. It's no different than Chris letting all of the whining and complaining continue on his website. I'm sure a lot of people are turned off by it and won't join for that reason. He may be losing potential paying members but that's his prerogative.
Chis that would be a letter to send to our elected officals along with the emails of support.

I listen to Eddy everyday[ office choice ]and a very thoughtful concerned listener ask him to do a open forum concerning all the hunting related bills that affect 1 out of 5 people. We need to gather some free air time if possible. I would hope you and Dan or Dick and a number of other MAJORITY posters would be able to participate.

Thank you for a truley uncensored site to share and discuss our views. I thinChis this would be a letter to send to our elected officals along with the emails of support. I listen to Eddy everyday[ office choice ]and a very thoughtful concerned listener ask him to do a open forum concerning all the hunting related bills that affect 1 out of 5 people. We need to gather some free air time if possible. I would hope you and Dan or Dick and a number of other MAJORITY posters would be able to participate.
k that the cost of membership is low in comparison to other expendatures we make in our outdoor pusuits. Those that are guests think about supporting the continuation of free uncensored speech.

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Chris, It appears that you didn't take the post the way I meant it. I didn't mean it as an insult, I meant it as a compliment. You own the site and can do whatever you want with it. It that ****** off people, so be it. As you said, it's impossible to keep everyone happy.

I don't always agree with everything that's posted, but I support your effort and desire. If I didn't, I wouldn't have joined.
Please post which stores these are. I am sure many like me will go out of our way to support these folks in return. I don't need anything so badly to support an establishment so antagonistic.

I'll bet these folks won't give me a chorus of forced/ fake "hello" when I walk in either. I'll bet it'll be genuine.

Capital Tool and Hardware in Mandan is one of the stores that we should support. Darren (the owner) has come to G&F meetings and others to voice his support for the residents of this state. He is one of the few that I have seen that has put his money where his mouth is. They also have a better selection of waterfowl hunting gear than scheels does and people there that know what there talking about.
I don't make many posts--but I had to respond to this topic.

I only live a block away and have spent thousnands of $ at scheel's over my 50 years of doing business with them.

Fleet Farm looks a lot closer today.

think we can get the red head to give all of us some time ?
The last gun I boughtwas a Beretta ou. I was going to buy one at Scheels. A friend of mine was looking for one also. We called Reeds sporting goods in walker Minn. Their price was 150 less than Scheels and they threw in a case of Fiocchi trap loads If your buying guns give Reeds a call. They are great people. I will buy no more big ticket items from Scheels. If I need a box of fish hooks I will go there. But no more big money spent there.
Yes jlang, I would go out of my way to frequent those stores.... I will do much more "shopping around" than before!!
Hey Grandpa,

I kinda doubt that we'll get any time with red...feel free to give it a shot though!!!
Old Hunter, Fleet is even cheeper and just about as good a selection of fish hooks. :lol:
It is too bad that some of you don't at least respect Mr. Scheels opinion. He is actually more on your side than alot of people are. His organization actually wants no limits but will compromise on the 30,000. I don't agree with that but I sure am not going to take my ball and go home because he doesn't agree with me!!!!!!!!
He makes a good point about our lessening population base and the need to replace those hunters. Those of you who are going to go out of state or to catalogs for your purchaes because of this letter, don't understand the real world. Those who have threatened to go out of state ( not those who have said they will shop elsewhere in the state ) should really think about what you are saying. If you actually take your dollars out of state you are going to help lower the available sales tax dollars to the state of ND. This will be very counterproductive and hurt your state.
I know for a fact that Scheels does donate thousands and thousands of real dollars to all the sportsmen and women of ND. They are a huge contibutor to the resource of our state and should not be criticized for this at all. Please check your facts on this donation point before commenting any further. Oh, and remeber, they also donate to mostly YOUTH activities and this is one of the arguments I hear most about this issue is the YOUTH. So be careful to call names ect. Hear his and others opinions and state yours. This is America and we can all agree or disagree but by no means should we trash each other over an opinion.
Why has no one come up with a cure for the $80,000,000 in lost sales we will lose if there is a cap on NR's? That equates to $4,000,000 in lost sales tax revenue to the state!!!! Where will the replacement dollars come from? Sounds like with a cap we will have to pay higher taxes and thus less spendable dollars for our recreations. Might want to re-think the cap issue?????????????? Or is it an access issue as stated earlier from Vermont.
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That is exactly your problem econ 101, as your name indicates, you are more concerned about $$$ than actually protecting the resource. How are we going to make up that money by limiting non-res? By insuring the non-residents will come back year after year and in the long run, you and your money grubbing industry will actually be better off. I know that is asking a lot of you to try to actually look into the future instead of making sure your pocket is as full as possible today.
Econ, I'll actually take a little different approach than Frosty to try and answer your question.

First, where did you get your figure of loosing $80,000,000? If memory serves, the economic impact from expenditures by all nonresident waterfowlers isn't even close to that number? But more important, HPC wouldn't put a road-block up at the border - something like 75-80% of the nonresidents would have hunted this year under HPC. The people pushing hard against caps often paint this issue as black and white, as if reasonable caps will somehow keep ALL nonresidents and ALL of their economic impact out.

And something that hasn't been mentioned much - some in waterfowl commerce (especially up in your area, Econ) complained last year that our licensing system caused a lower functional cap than the actual cap, on the theory that a large percentage of nonresident pheasant hunters bought waterfowl stamps "just in case" they ran into a duck in Hettinger county. I personally don't think that was much of an issue, but it sure was portrayed as one by some last fall. By virtue of splitting the licenses under 1358, commerce can be better assured they will have only true waterfowl hunters buying waterfowl tags. So if the others were right, and I was wrong, commerce will get an automatic bump because the cap number will be filled only by true waterfowlers, not by some who are really only pheasant hunting and just buy a throw-in waterfowl tag for $10. If they're right, we'd have a significant percentage more nonresident waterfowlers with the same number of waterfowl licenses.

Even with this adjustment, yes, HPC will in some years mean less licenses sold than could have been (afterall, that's the point), and a corresponding loss in several millions of dollars of seasonal economic impact. But, at the risk of triggering your standard "pick up your toys and go home" comment, lots of us would not be in ND right now if not because of the quality hunting that existed up to a few short years ago. If ND can no longer keep and draw thousands (even a few thousand) people (remember, not just hunters, but their families too) that have traded more money, better weather, more cultural activities or whatever else to be close to quality hunting, how will that impact the ND economy?

Don't think we'll ever convince you of the fact that many of us wrestled and continue to wrestle with tough decisions on where to live, and that the ND outdoors tipped and will tip the balance. And, if you don't accept that, you'll never fully understand the full value of the hunting asset to ND, and the need to balance fall dollars with year-round dollars. Just as it makes no sense to keep all nonresidents out, it makes no sense to think you can let them all in without consequences to year-round expenditures.

The heritage arguments alone are strong, but even from an economic analysis, there needs to be some balance to get the most out of one of ND's most valuable assets. Not whiney, greedy, juvenile or immature, just fact.

By the way, I don't hold Steve's letter against him. He's got his views on the issue, and mine are a little different. I agree, not the least bit good for ND if ND's send money out of state (also no good for ND to maximize fall dollars at the expense of year-round dollars). Steve's letter won't cause me to send money out of state that I would otherwise spend at his store.
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