Drop in Wisconsin deer licenses raises funding concerns

File photo (WLUK/Scott Hurley)

MADISON (AP) -- A new report by the Wisconsin Policy Forum says the number of deer hunting licenses sold in Wisconsin has dropped, raising concerns about funding for the state's conservation efforts.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that data from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources show that the state sold about 824,500 deer licenses in 2017, about 50,400 fewer than 1999.

Wisconsin Policy Forum research director Jason Stein says the state relies on funds from license sales to support conservation work.

Keith Warnke leads recruitment for the state DNR. He says the decline in the number of hunters is strongly tied to the aging of the baby boomer generation.

Conservation groups say improving recruitment is just part of the solution. They're also pushing for an increase in fees and seeking alternative revenue sources.

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