A Denver Post article reports that hunting is down by about a third from the early 1980s. I quote rather liberally from the story, since it is simply regurgitating a public domain governmental report for the most part, with little analysis or elaboration. The population of Colorado is about 5,607,000, so there is about one hunting license issued to a resident per 13.6 residents of the state, mostly for elk and deer. This is still, however, above the national average of one hunter per 28.3 people. The decline in hunting rates is one of the main drivers in the declining percentage of the U.S. population that owns guns.From here.
The nation had 11.5 million hunters in 2016, down 2.2 million from 2011 and down about 6 million since the early 1980s, reports the National Survey of Hunting, Fishing, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation.
Follow the numbers, based on [Colorado Parks and Wildlife]’s latest data, from the 2016-17 fiscal year:
— 501,168: Hunting tags sold, not counting 85,071 “combination” licenses for small-game hunters and anglers.
— 1.1 million: Hunters and anglers in the state counted by CPW. Fishing license sales have increased over the past 25 years, but hunting has declined steadily even as Colorado’s population booms. “Substantial” rises in fishing licenses have offset revenue losses from hunting, the agency says.
— $70 million: Revenue CPW collects from license sales. That was about $45 million in 1990. But adjusting for inflation, revenue is down from three decades ago, the agency says. License revenue is in the same budget line as state park passes and “other fees,” a category that accounts for 56 percent of CPW funding. Salaries and benefits make up most agency expenses, accounting for 42 percent of its spending. Operating costs make up 25 percent, finance reports show.
— 22 million: Acres for public hunting in Colorado. These include 11 national forests, encompassing the state’s highest elevations and most diverse wildlife habitats. . . .
— 228,390: Tags sold for elk, by far the most hunted mammal in Colorado.
— 88,710: Elk, deer and pronghorn tags sold to non-residents. Out-of-staters also can put their names in the lottery for rarer licenses.
— 1 percent: Chance to have your name drawn to hunt Colorado’s more famous and elusive animals: bighorn sheep, moose and mountain goats.
— 11: Tags sold for desert sheep, the least sought among the state’s big game. The next lowest? The 202 licenses sold for mountain goats, followed by 301 for bighorn sheep and 350 for moose.
— 677: Mountain lions that can be harvested this season, which runs through March. Last fiscal year, 2,374 cat tags were sold over the counter.
— 7: Percent of success bear hunters had last year. CPW reported 1,264 harvested among the 18,109 who tried.
— 116,729: Small-game hunting tags sold. That includes for rabbits, bobcats, foxes, coyotes and waterfowl.
— 0: Tags sold for prairie chicken. The lesser prairie chicken is on the state’s endangered species list, and the greater prairie chicken can only be hunted in northeast Colorado, with a maximum of two per shooter.