Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Waters & Woods: Despite Losses, W.Va. Hunting, Angling Rank High

This isn't a good trend to be showing, but at least there is a little silver lining. As far as my state of West Virginia, we are also declining, but we are not falling as quickly as others. There were only two areas where we dropped below the national average, dove hunting and waterfowl hunting, and the only problem I see those dropping below is I don't see the state having the best areas for these. While there are some areas for dove and waterfowl hunting, they are not as prevalent as other states. Maybe there is still hope for this trend to turn around.

Despite losses, W.Va. hunting, angling rank high

February 27, 2011 by John McCoy

In West Virginia, though, declines in hunter and angler participation have been relatively gradual. In fact, according to a recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Survey on hunting and fishing trends, the Mountain State’s participation rates remain among the nation’s highest.

Nationwide during the survey trend, the number of hunters fell 11 percent, from 14.1 million in 1991 to 12.1 million in 2006, the latest year for which complete statistics were available. Angler numbers fell at an even greater rate – 16 percent, from 35.5 million in 1991 to 29.2 million in 2006.

Researchers doing the survey compared the states’ trends against the national trends. The number of deer hunters in West Virginia, for example, declined at a slightly higher rate than the national average. So did the number of turkey hunters and rabbit hunters. Only in the area of squirrel hunting did the number of Mountain State participants decline at a lower rate than the national trend.

The number of West Virginians who participate in fishing declined far less than the national trend. In Bass angling, trout angling, catfish angling and “angling for anything,” state residents significantly bucked the national tendency.
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