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MnDNR searching for hunters and anglers

Hunters walk toward an area where they hope to find some deernorth of Moorhead in a 2009 file photo. Dave Wallis / The Forum

Minnesotans are not hunting and fishing in the numbers they used to, and a report says new approaches are needed to address the decline.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance just released a report with information that bothers anglers and hunters.

“Minnesota is in the enviable position of having hunting and angling participation rates double the national average,” Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr said. “Yet challenges are ahead. That’s because young Minnesotans aren’t hunting and fishing at the levels of previous generations, longtime baby boom hunters and anglers are destined to drop out, and future population growth will be driven largely by ethnic cultures that do not have long-held Minnesota-based hunting and fishing traditions.”

Hunters and anglers spend $3.3 billion in the state each year.

The report showed that about 28 percent of Minnesotans 16 and older fish and 12 percent hunt. Since 2000, Minnesota has experienced a 12 percent decline in hunting and fishing as the state population has grown from 4.9 million to 5.3 million.

The report concluded that it is good to support hunters and anglers because they provide the state with money and support environmental causes.

C.B. Bylander, outreach chief for DNR’s Fish and Wildlife Division, said the council’s work was valuable. “The outdoors community recognizes the need to design and deliver more effective public and private sector recruitment and retention programs. By reviewing research and collectively applying this knowledge we can improve.”

Don Davis works for Forum News Service.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.