Cheyenne (RELEASE) – More people are exploring the outdoors in Wyoming through hunting and fishing according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department 2016 license sale data. Wyoming has seen increases in the number of hunters and anglers for over a decade, and the increases were not dampened by reductions in hunting licenses over the years nor the 2016 population decline of deer in western Wyoming.
“It doesn’t take much more than a scenic fishing trip or your first big game hunt to fall in love with Wyoming’s outdoors. We’re glad to offer diverse hunting and fishing opportunities to residents and visitors and thank everyone who contributes to managing all wildlife by hunting and fishing,” said Scott Talbott, director of Game and Fish.
The 2016 numbers show that 18% of Wyoming residents purchased a daily or annual fishing license. Hunting isn’t far behind-13.5% of residents bought a hunting license. These numbers exclude residents with lifetime licenses. Interest for non-residents to hunt and fish in Wyoming also remains strong. While the number of license availability has decreased for non-residents, the number of applications only continues to grow.
Increases are good news for the future of hunting and fishing heritage in Wyoming, too. Youth resident hunting and fishing licenses sales saw a bump, and in the past three years there was a 17% increase of hunter education students. This means a new generation of hunters and anglers.
To support new sportspeople, Game and Fish hosts and partners on hundreds of events each year. These include camps, workshops, and even Facebook Live events, all in an effort to give more people hands-on skills and clear information. Some highlights this summer include a Game and Fish hosted three-day camp for women interested in the outdoors, Becoming an Outdoor-Woman, and summer camps throughout the state for youth to learn about conservation.
“We want new hunters and anglers to have knowledge and confidence, whether that is knowing how to tie on a fly, the regulations or gaining access to prime hunting and fishing spots,” said Kathryn Boswell, Game and Fish hunter and angler participation coordinator. “Programs all over the state are teaching new skills and answering questions, and the website is continually updated with new resources.”
Game and Fish is planning more activities that prospective, novice or seasoned hunters and anglers can attend over the next year. To stay up to date, visit the Game and Fish website or the Facebook page.