A surge in outdoor activities during the pandemic has led to a rise in hunting license sales.
Not only that, but fishing license sales and boating registrations are up, too, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
In Pittsburgh, park use increased 135% this summer. Fishing license sales jumped by 20% and boating registrations went up 50%. Hunting license sales rose 4.82%.
Game Commission director Steve Smith told the Post-Gazette that hunting license sales have historically risen along with unemployment numbers. But he noted that they’ve expanded hunting opportunities this year, with Sunday hunting and an extended archery deer season. That may also help explain the spike in interest.
Before Covid-19 hit, hunting license sales had been on the decline nationwide. But this year, license sales are up in many states.
Pennsylvania has seen a 10% increase in archery sales, a 19% rise in doe tag purchases and a 29% leap in duck stamp sales. Elk lottery applications climbed by 29%, the Post-Gazette reported.
Game Commission officials voiced concern about the effects of that increased participation. They worried hunters may crowd eachother out, and they offered a few words of advice.
“For hunters on public land, [more hunters] could make it more important to have multiple spots lined up so you’re able to call an audible if plans change because someone else is in the spot you planned to hunt,” Pennsylvania Game Commission spokesman Travis Lau said. “Now is a great time to get out and scout food sources to put a strategy together for the season. Line up your spots and you should have plenty of opportunity.”