Elk NetworkHunting, Fishing Participation Surges in Washington

General | January 28, 2021

In yet another indication that more people took advantage of COVID-19 circumstances to enjoy the outdoors, Washington reports it sold 12,000 more hunting licenses and 45,000 more fishing licenses in 2020 than 2019. That equates a 40 percent increase in new hunters and 16 percent in new anglers.

“We knew early on as long as we were able to eventually get the outdoors open again and get people back out, on the hunting side, most of the numbers would likely rebound,” Ed Gardner, wildlife program director with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), told the Daily Chronicle. “Having new hunters seems like, are we putting more pressure on the resource? But the reality is that we’ve been losing hunters over time. People stop hunting over a certain age and they keep buying licenses.”

The increase in participation provided much-needed review for WDFW as it is responsible for managing fish and wildlife populations, and funding conservation work in the state of Washington.

(Photo source: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)