HOUGHTON — This Friday will be the start of firearm deer hunting season here in Michigan, which usually is a big event in our state. However, the numbers show the amount of male hunters are decreasing, and others are increasing.
The Greatest Generation may have been the last big group of active hunters. This is according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. There are fewer hunters in Michigan and it’s been directly correlated to the Boomer Generation getting older. They hunt less and their sons are not picking up the habit at the same pace.
The study looks at hunting license sales from the past 15 years and found Boomers hunted at higher rates than current generations, but those numbers decline as boomers pass away. The one group that is increasing throughout the state, however, is women. That’s according to a Michigan Tech professor.
“Especially those born since, kind of, the mid-1980’s have been much more likely to participate in hunting,” said Richelle Winkler, a Sociologist at Michigan Tech.
Bow hunting or deer hunting, more women have been doing it since the early 80’s. As of 2017 there were more than 66-thousand female hunters, a four percent increase from a decade earlier.
No matter who is taking up the slack, it’s a trend the state will gladly follow and encourage since so much is funded by the purchase of hunting licenses.
Hunting and fishing licenses generate about $62 million a year for wildlife and natural resources conservation projects in Michigan, with more than $40 million coming from hunting license sales. Michigan remains one of the top states in the nation for hunting license purchases.