To Revive Hunting, States Turn To The Classroom
Although hunting — and consequently state revenue associated with hunting activities — is on the decline across the United States, many states are trying to booster interest in hunting by attracting new and younger people through various mechanisms.
Over the last three decades, hunting has been on the decline across the U.S. States are now trying to encourage new and younger people to engage in the activity to boost revenues from hunting permits.
For example, in West Virginia a bill was approved that will allow hunting education classes in all schools where at least 20 students express interest. This action is directed at reversing a 20% drop in hunting permits, or $1.5 million in state revenue, over the last decade.
Further, 17 states have passed laws to create apprentice hunting licenses to attract younger individuals. Michigan, Nebraska, South Carolina, and Utah have enacted laws since 1994 that remove or lower the minimum age requirements for hunters, while Louisiana, Montana, and Georgia have amended their constitutions to protect the right to hunt. More states are considering similar amendments.
Overall in the U.S., the number of those engaged in hunting has declined from 19.1 million in 1975 to 12.5 million in 2006, according to the federal Fish and Wildlife Service.