Research Shows Even California Has More Hunters Than Louisiana
A person really doesn't have to look hard or drive very far to enjoy one of the many free, public places that we have to hunt here in North Louisiana.
Those public Wildlife Management Areas have become increasingly attractive in the last few years due to sheer economics; it's just gotten so expensive to hunt that many have begun to refer to hunting as "the rich man's sport."
Costs Then And Now
Just five years ago, a bag of corn was $6.00; today that same bag will run about $11.50. The cost of fertilizer for deer food plots went from about $6 just five years ago to well over $20.00 present day. And these costs are in addition to increases in fuel prices and deer lease annual dues.
I tell my wife all the time how special she must feel when she's eating deer steak. With the price of that venison running about $100 per pound, she better feel special.
I can only assume that might be what is preventing more Louisiana residents from enjoying the great outdoors. They simply cannot afford it.
Some blame the reduction on the rise in the urbanization of our country, a lack of free time for hunters and limited access to hunting land.
Regardless of the reason, over the last few decades there has been a sharp reduction in the number of licensed hunters in the United States. License sales dropped from a peak of roughly 17 million in the 1980s to only 15 million in 2019, according to The Seattle Times.
Louisiana, the Sportsman's Paradise, has even seen a drastic reduction. At one time, young people here were taught to hunt and fish long before they mastered the alphabet. Apparently, that is no longer the case.
According to the numbers recently released by statista.com, the total number of hunting licenses, tags, permits, and stamps issued in Louisiana was no where near the top. In fact, only 26 states had numbers lower than the Bayou State.
The state of Wisconsin was tops in the country with over two times as many licenses sold than the second place finisher, Michigan. Also finishing much higher than Louisiana were the states of New York and California. Sad but true.
Even sadder is that Oregon, Washington and Colorado are rated higher than Louisiana, and don't they all smoke marijuana there?
Is It Just Economics That Has Decreased The Hunting Population?
I digress, but hopefully you find this erosion as concerning as I do. How do we remedy the issue and assure that the right to hunt will be around for years to come? It sounds rhetorical and possibly overused, but TAKE A KID HUNTING.
Show them how to hunt safely and effectively. Make it fun and repeat the process often!