Hunter Numbers Continue Steady Decline
The steady decline in the number of people who hunt has been a regular story off and on for years. NPR has a detailed AP story up that takes a look at the numbers and some of the ramifications if the number of hunters continues to shrink.
Hunting generates billions in retail sales and pumps hundreds of millions of dollars into government conservation efforts annually through license sales and federal taxes on firearms and ammunition sales.
But fewer hunters return to the sport each year. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates 33 states saw declines in hunting license sales over the last two decades. The sharpest drop was in Massachusetts, which has seen a 50 percent falloff in hunting license sales during that time.
Millions of Americans still hunt, of course, and some states have seen increases in license sales over the last 20 years. But the overarching decline has outdoor advocates worried.