The land of 10,000 lakes, Minnesota is known by most as an angler and hunter’s paradise. Boasting some of the nation’s top fishing and hunting activities, Minnesota‘s Department of Natural Resources is growing concerned with the ever-growing decline in participation among anglers and hunters in the North Star state.
While license sales in the state have remained relatively constant over the years, the DNR is concerned about the lack of growth despite rapid population increases in the state.
During the 1960’s and 1970’s, approximately 40 percent of the population of Minnesota above the age of 16 purchased a fishing license. Today that same number resides somewhere in the neighborhood of about 27 percent, while only 12 percent of residents in that age group hunt.
“In the 1960s and decades before, hunting and fishing was simply a part of people’s heritage, and it was a relatively low cost social activity that provided food for the table,” Jeff Ledermann, angler recruitment, retention and education supervisor with the DNR told KARE 11. “But times have changed.”
In light of these alarming findings, the DNR is planning a two-day conference from Friday, Aug. 26, to Saturday, Aug. 27 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center with hopes of increasing both engagement and recruitment of anglers and hunters.
The sessions, part of the state’s Explore Outdoors R3 programming, will include interactive presentations from key speakers, local experts and will feature breakout sessions as a way to voice concerns regarding the current state and future environment of hunting and fishing in Minnesota.
“Because hunting and fishing provide important social, economic and conservation benefits, many are concerned about the declines in participation,” Ledermann said. “That’s why we’re bringing experts and organizations together around boosting hunter and angler numbers.”
The two-day summit will be free of charge for those wishing to attend and, in addition to its educational elements, will include breakfast and lunch for attendees.
Image: Minnesota DNR