Elk NetworkReport: Hunting License Sales Up 5 Percent in 2020

General | April 5, 2021

A new report indicates hunting license sales increased by five percent from 2019 to 2020. A collaborative effort by the Council to Advance Hunting and Shooting Sports (CAHSS) and Southwick Associates, researchers collected monthly resident and nonresident hunting license information from more than 40 state wildlife agencies.

Other findings include an increase in resident hunting license sales by 5.4 percent and a nonresident increase of 1.6 percent. Additionally, 35 of 40 states saw an overall increase in the number of sales from 2019 to 2020 with license sales up across the board in the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest and West, although at different levels.

“While 2020 license sales were up overall, sales decreased in November 2020 compared to 2019, suggesting the pandemic may have encouraged many hunters to purchase earlier than normal,” said Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates. “This indicates that, in addition to 2020’s first-time hunters, our regular hunters participated more often, which will be critical to research further as we move forward,”

The reported increase bodes well for conservation funding which relies on revenue generated by hunting licenses and fees as well as excise taxes on guns, ammunition and archery equipment.

“While more research is needed to determine motivations behind increased hunting license purchases in 2020, the overall increase is positive news for the conservation and R3 communities,” said Steven Leath, CAHSS executive director and a life member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. “The COVID-19 cohort of hunters is a plus for conservation in this country and we will work hard to connect with them and retain them as active participants in the hunting lifestyle. In the coming year, the Council will continue to work with the broader hunting community to expand and improve recruitment, retention, and reactivation efforts to ensure a stronger future for hunting.”

Go here to view the report.

(Photo source: Idaho Department of Fish and Game)