The firearm deer season opens Friday in Michigan, but there are fewer people planning to head out into the woods than in years past. The decline is partly due to more baby boomers aging out. Young adults, urbanites and others are also far less likely to participate in hunting.
Michigan had as many as 1.2 million hunters in the 1970s, 80s and into the 90s. But MLive.com reported Sunday that by 2018, less than 675,000 people had at least one hunting license in the state. Fishing also is on a downward trend. And officials with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources say the drops are impacting the state’s conservation efforts.
Hunting and fishing fees account for more than 90% of the state agency’s $42 million wildlife conservation budget.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.