Utah sees record fishing and hunting license sales during pandemic

Local News

Courtesy: DWR

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – With spring and warmer temperatures around the corner, Utahns and visitors will be flooding to the outdoors for recreation.

According to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, DWR, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Utah State Parks and other land management agencies saw a significant increase in their number of visitors.

Many people who escaped outdoors were able to enjoy hunting and fishing. The DWR says they even saw a record year for hunting and fishing license sales. 

According to officials with the DWR, from March 2020 to February 2021, the DWR sold 222,124 combination licenses (which allow the holder to legally fish and hunt in the state of Utah), compared to 183,358 from March 2019 to February 2020.

A total of 417,883 fishing licenses were sold during the 2020-21 timeframe, an increase of more than 100,000 licenses from the year before. And 68,265 hunting licenses were sold, up from the previous year’s 50,551 hunting licenses. 

There was also an increase in the number of people who bought fishing or hunting licenses for the first time, the DWR shares. They say 167,000 licenses were sold to first-time customers, compared to 121,000 in 2019, with July being the busiest month for total license sales.

“We love to see more people discover and enjoy Utah’s outstanding fishing. While some wildlife species require hunters to obtain permits through a drawing, fishing only requires a license that you can easily buy online, creating unlimited fishing opportunities for Utahns,” DWR Wildlife Licensing Coordinator Phil Gray says. “Everyone who wants to can go fishing any time of the year, and there are plenty of incredible areas and opportunities for Utahns to create lasting memories while fishing in our beautiful state.” 

“License dollars are used by the DWR to carry out the division’s mission to conserve and protect the wildlife of Utah,” Gray said. “So any time you buy a fishing or hunting license, you are helping conserve wildlife in Utah. That funding is used for projects like improving habitat for our various fish and wildlife species in the state, so that everyone can continue enjoying them for years to come.”

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