A small group of business owners and public officials in central Alabama are hoping to make the state's Black Belt region a top spot nationally for hunting and fishing.
The deer camps, fishing lodges and bird preserves are joining together to draw hunters and anglers who typically head for Arkansas, South Dakota and Montana.
Already, hunters and anglers spend about $1 billion in Alabama, but less than 30 percent of them are from out-of-state. In South Dakota, out-of-staters account for half of the hunting and fishing traffic.
It could be a windfall for the Black Belt, which is named for its dark, rich soil. The region has been struggling with economic development and has 25 percent unemployment in at least one county.
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