The Washington Times - January 12, 2009, 11:20AM

The surveying firm Southwick Associates, Inc. has discovered an earth-shaking truth: Hunters and anglers buy from companies that support wildlife and fisheries conservation.

Let us all cut loose with one big collective “Duh!”

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Couldn’t anyone have guessed as much? Did it require a professional survey to discover that we hunters and fishermen tend to gravitate toward companies and products known to be in our corner?

With a serious tone, the Southwick people said: “Large majorities of hunters and anglers say they are more likely to buy products from companies that support wildlife and fisheries conservation efforts.”

That’s like saying breakfast lovers are most likely to show up at the local I-Hop, Cracker Barrel or Bob Evans restaurants.

Duh!

Anyway, Southwick says during several surveys in 2008 — one for hunters, the other for anglers — the respondents were asked if they would be more or less likely to buy from companies that support them and 67 percent of the hunters (52 percent of the recreational fishermen) said that they are much more likely to buy products from such firms.

Only 7 percent of the hunters and 14 percent of the anglers said that they aren’t influenced by such things.

Shame on them.

By the way, the companies that are perceived as being supporters of wildlife conservation include Chevy Trucks, Ford, Budweiser, Polaris and Yamaha.

Under yet another heading of “Duh!” why is it that some producers of television commercials believe whoever watches their advertisements is stupid? Have you noticed the occasional commercial about an unrelated product that includes someone standing by a sea shore and holding a fishing rod with a spinning reel — then promptly turning the reel handle the wrong way and even holding the reel up, which is wrong when you use a spinning reel.

I come unglued when I see it. How hard can it be for the video producers, who obviously don’t know such things, to ask someone about the proper way to hold a rod with a spinning reel?

But, no, they’re perfectly happy to see the actor in the commercial coming across as a dolt.

Finally, what also unsettles me more than a little is the cable TV channels that schedule hunting and fishing shows. They already know that these outdoors shows don’t get great ratings compared to other programming, but will continue to tout them. Want to know why the ratings are nothing to write home about?

They’re usually shown on weekends when the majority of the potential viewership — hello! — is out hunting and fishing.

No one will ever accuse these “television executives” of being Einsteins, I’ll guarantee you that much.

- Gene Mueller