NSSF Warns of Pandemic Side-Effect: Hunting Fever

Ammoland Inc. Posted on May 13, 2020 by Jim Grant

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- During the COVID-19 pandemic, it's easy to get antsy, anxious, and depressed while all cooped up inside. This is especially the case for outdoorsmen feeling the call of the wild. Thankfully, the folks at the NSSF have you covered with their guide to cabin fever. Check out the full piece below.

By Mark Oliva

The lockdowns to prevent the spread of coronavirus seem to be having some beneficial, if not unintended, side effects. More people are getting into the woods and finding out nature provides.

There’s evidence that more people are turning to hunt to put meat in the freezer, largely driven by concerns over protein shortages at the local grocery store. Hunting license sales are up. States are taking innovative approaches to help get new hunters into the woods and people are committing themselves to provide for their own needs to weather future events. There’s a role for experienced hunters to play, too. Novice, and sometimes reinvigorated hunters, are going to need some help.

The resurgence of hunting as a food supply method might seem intuitive to those who grew up or took up hunting even in recent years. Seasonally, there are at least one species to chase in just about every state. Spring hunting is marked by turkey hunting. Late summer welcomes doves, waterfowl, and early starts on deer and pronghorn. Some states have year-round open seasons on feral animals from hogs to axis deer, which is among the finest venison on four hooves.

For others, though, it took jarring news to turn them on to the fact that America’s food supply is vulnerable. Food suppliers are warning the chain from grower and supplier to the dinner table is, in some cases, nearing the breaking point. The alternative is literally roaming free on public lands.

Side Effects
Clean, fresh protein is there for the taking, and Americans are taking notice. Combination hunting and fishing licenses in Vermont increased this spring by 25 percent. They topped last year’s figures at this time by 3,187. Taken together with turkey, archery, and muzzleloader permits, that’s 7,241 additional hunters in the Green Mountain state so far this year. Next door, New York State Department of Environmental Conversation reported a 60 percent increase in turkey permit sales. Officials there said sales of licenses and permits are up “significantly.” It’s not just a northeast thing. Colorado Parks and Wildlife said annual big game draw applications were up by over 14,700. Those are for a chance to hunt in the fall. Tennessee’s license sales are already $1 million over last year and they just started. Minnesota is up by 15 percent and Indiana license sales increased 36.5 percent over last year.