Michigan Seeing Rise in Hunting, Fishing During Coronavirus Pandemic

09 14 20 Mi Hunting Boom Coming Pkg 7

The coronavirus pandemic lead to many people picking up new activates or revisiting old ones.

In Michigan, the DNR says they’ve seen a rise in the number of people heading outdoors to fish and hunt.

It’s a trend the DNR says they first noticed with the spring turkey season, more hunters, including first time hunters and those who may have been away from hunting for years.

“Something people really have been able to do, and will continue to be able to do, is be outside and enjoy hunting and enjoy being outdoors recreating and so we hope that will continue this fall,” said Rachel Leightner, Wildlife Outreach Coordinator.

The DNR says they’ve seen an increase in license sales for every season that’s happened since the pandemic started. FPS Archery and Firearms in Cadillac says they’re seeing more first time and returning hunters than usual.

“Most of it’s been people who have either have done it previously and haven’t had the time now who are getting back into it, or we’ve gotten a lot of newcomers this year, just starting to pick it up, looking to get into bow hunting again,” said owner Mitchell McEachern.

Local deer processors are also looking ahead to what could be a busy season.

“A number of the major butcher shops that do beef and pigs are backed up well into February and to March, and they are making their decisions right now whether they’re going to stop beef and pork for a couple weeks or for a couple months and do deer,” said Colin Kelly, Owner of Kelly’s Deer Processing in Big Rapids.

And an increase in license sales can have long term benefits for conservation efforts.

“It’s difficult to say with certainty how those funds will be spent, but we do know we’ll have an increase in money for conservation due to the increase in licenses being sold this year,” said Leightner.

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