The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has seen an increase in hunting licenses recently, likely due to “Stay-At-Home” orders and unemployment from COVID-19. It's the first time license sales have been up in several years.
DNR Director Cameron Clark says hunting license sales have gone up by about 13,000 — especially for spring turkey hunts. He says combination hunting and fishing licenses are also up by about 1,800.
“With the 'Stay-At-Home' order and some people out of work, we figured more people had the time to get out and hunt,” Clark says.
Linnea Petercheff is with the DNR’s Fish and Wildlife division, which is funded through license sales. She says that money goes to everything from stocking fish to enforcing state wildlife laws.
“Through probably the good last 10 years or so we’ve seen a decline in both hunting and fishing license sales — and so for there to be an increase, that’s not a normal situation for us,” Petercheff says.
The DNR says fishing licenses have continued to drop, but that’s likely because the governor signed an executive order to extend state licenses set to expire until June 4.
Indiana Environmental reporting is supported by the Environmental Resilience Institute, an Indiana University Grand Challenge project developing Indiana-specific projections and informed responses to problems of environmental change.