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Fewer Hunters in the US, but Higher Hunting License Sales?

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  • Fewer Hunters in the US, but Higher Hunting License Sales?

    Many of us have heard in hunting circles that the number of hunters now, relative to the ’70s and ’80s, is down quite a bit. Maybe it’s because we are a more wired or “techy” society and fewer of the upcoming generation are willing to venture into the outdoors. No one is sure of the reason, but it’s peculiar that hunting license sales are going up at the same time. Seems like an oxymoron, right? Well, there is an explanation for all of this.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is tasked with documenting license sales across the United States. This accounts for hunting, fishing, and similar outdoor recreational statistics. They have continually reported that hunters are, in fact, down in numbers. Also, hunting licenses are going up. So what gives?

    For states to receive Federal funding, they need to exhibit a need for it. How can that need be displayed to the US Fish and Wildlife Service? Through the number of hunting licenses sold. If hunters are down, how have states gotten more licenses sold to the remaining hunters?… By coupling licenses.

    In the past, when a sportsman/sportswoman bought licenses it was à la carte. Meaning, you would buy your disciplines or activities in an itemized fashion. If you want a trout license, you buy a trout license. If you want a spring turkey license, you buy a spring turkey license.

    Now many states are coupling activities so it shows a “hunting license sale” regardless of whether that person went hunting or not. You can buy a variation of a sportsman/sportswoman license for mere dollars over a more-specific fishing license. With that sportsman license you can hunt small game, fish, and/or hunt something like whitetail deer. It’s almost the theory of buying in bulk. As a diehard fisherman, maybe you will go hunting, maybe you won’t. But that coupled license is so cheap, why not buy it?

    For that very reason, many states can pad their hunting license sales to get more Federal funding when in the recent past they were getting overlooked. Is this ethical? That is up for debate since the statistics are not entirely reflective of people going hunting, but it is all in the name of getting funding to support conservation projects.

    The optimist in me believes this methodology could be causing more good than bad. It is drawing funds to states for conservation projects, and it could be bringing more fishermen and different outdoor enthusiasts to the fold of hunting.

    What do you think?


    https://www.alloutdoor.com/2019/06/0...license-sales/












































    Its been repeatedly reported that there are less hunters in the US, but more hunting license sales are occurring, so what gives?
    I carry a firearm because a cop is too heavy and takes too many breaks.

    Montani Semper Liberi - (Mountaineers Are Always Free)

  • #2
    Those "Federal Dollars" are part of the Pittman Robertson act, which was created to fund conservation projects based on revenue from the excise tax it created based on an individual states contributions through sales of outdoor (hunting/fishing) equipment. Because license sales is the revenue those states us to generate the matching funds necessary to complete these projects, the scenario described above is helping states capitalize on funds that have been languishing in the "Federal coffers" sometimes for decades. Very strict rules for tapping into these funds. To answer the question at the end of the above article... I believe this is a "good thing"
    Hence it is, that democracies have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. James Madison, Federalist Paper No 10

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Aaron View Post
      Those "Federal Dollars" are part of the Pittman Robertson act, which was created to fund conservation projects based on revenue from the excise tax it created based on an individual states contributions through sales of outdoor (hunting/fishing) equipment. Because license sales is the revenue those states us to generate the matching funds necessary to complete these projects, the scenario described above is helping states capitalize on funds that have been languishing in the "Federal coffers" sometimes for decades. Very strict rules for tapping into these funds. To answer the question at the end of the above article... I believe this is a "good thing"
      As much as I love the outdoors and have helped in conservation myself over the last 40 years and understand why the Pittman Roberson Act is s good tool to be used, this is scam and dishonest in how these funds are attained. And, it gives the wrong impression and non legit numbers on what is needed to boost more new hunters to the outdoors. We would be pissed if another agency used inflated numbers to gain access to federal funds that they did not deserve and it happens all the time. I’d argue 50% if not more the DNR does shouldn’t being doing. Building nests for turtles for example. Nature takes care of her own. We don’t need to be spending billions on things wildlife does for itself. It’s ridiculous. They look for ways to waste money.

      And we wonder why there is never any money for anything else that is truly needed to be addressed.
      I carry a firearm because a cop is too heavy and takes too many breaks.

      Montani Semper Liberi - (Mountaineers Are Always Free)

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