Why Is Louisiana Not Even in Top 15 of States With Most Hunters?
It was just last week when you might have read the article I wrote concerning the many free, public places that we have to hunt here in North Louisiana.
Those public Wildlife Management Areas have become increasingly attractive in the last few years due to sheer economics; it's just gotten so expensive to hunt that many have begun to refer to hunting as "the rich man's sport."
Costs Then And Now
Just five years ago, a bag of corn was $6.00; today that same bag will run about $11.00. The cost of fertilizer for deer food plots went from about $6 just five years ago to well over $20.00 present day. And these costs are in addition to increases in fuel prices and deer lease annual dues.
I tell my wife all the time how special she must feel when she's eating deer steak. With the price of that venison running about $100 per pound, she better feel special.
Is It Just Economics That Has Decreased The Hunting Population?
I can only assume that might be what is preventing more Louisiana residents from enjoying the great outdoors. They simply cannot afford it.
Some blame the reduction on the rise in the urbanization of our country, a lack of free time for hunters and limited access to hunting land.
Regardless of the reason, over the last few decades there has been a sharp reduction in the number of licensed hunters in the United States. License sales dropped from a peak of roughly 17 million in the 1980s to only 15 million in 2019, according to The Seattle Times.
Louisiana, the Sportsman's Paradise, has even seen a drastic reduction. At one time, young people here were taught to hunt and fish before they had even heard of the ABC's. Apparently, that is no longer the case.
Stacker recently compiled a list of the states with the most registered hunters using 2020 data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. States are ranked by percent of residents with hunting licenses, and Louisiana wasn't even in the Top 15.
In fact, we just barely made the Top 20, finishing in 19th place. Just take a look at the official rankings, and pay close attention to which states are actually doing better than us. It's a little scary.