Hunting license sales fall 3.1% in 2022, back to pre-pandemic levels

Washington D.C. – assistants to 88he The North American Conference on Natural Resources and Wildlife, which concluded last week in St. Louis, took a first look at the results of the Sale of Hunting Licenses 2021 – 2022 report documenting a 3.1% decline in hunting license sales in 2022.

“We continue to track hunting license sales as an indicator of participation, and our results indicate that the impacts of COVID on getting people outdoors may be diminishing,” said Council Director of Research and Partnerships Swanny Evans. , while addressing the Hunting and Shooting Sports Committee in St. Louis. “Hunting license sales are returning to pre-pandemic levels.”

The study was a follow-up to Council to Advance Hunting and Shooting Sports studies from the past two years that documented a 4.9% increase in hunting license sales from 2019 to 2020 (also known as the COVID-Bump) and a 1.9% decrease the following year from 2020 to 2021. To continue to monitor sales trends in the wake of the impact of the pandemic, the Board reviewed this study in early 2023 to identify ongoing changes and emerging trends in hunter license purchase fees.

In collaboration with Southwick Associates, the Council collected monthly resident and non-resident hunting license sales data from 46 state wildlife agencies to quantify and compare sales from 2022 to 2021. Among the 46 reporting states:

  • Overall, hunting license sales decreased approximately 3.1% in 2022 compared to 2021. Coincidentally, resident and non-resident license sales also decreased 3.1%.
  • Only six of 46 states saw an overall increase in the number of licenses sold in 2022 compared to 2021.
  • License sales were down across the board in each of the four geographic regions (Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, and West), with percentages ranging from -2.4 to -4.8%.
  • The only months that saw overall increases in license sales, and slight ones, were February and September.
  • The increase in non-resident license sales seen in 2021 receded in three of the four geographic regions, with the only increase seen in the Northeast.

He Sale of Hunting Licenses 2021 – 2022 The report, which provides the most representative data on the current state of hunting license sales nationally and regionally, can be accessed on the Council’s website, license-sales-2021-2022.