Actual sales of Minnesota hunting and fishing licenses rose in recent years, but only fractionally, in significant variance with survey results of nationwide hunting and fishing participation announced Wednesday by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation found hunters nationwide increased by 9 percent while anglers grew by 11 percent, compared to results from a 2006 survey.
But the actual number of hunters in Minnesota rose only a fraction of 1 percent between 2006 and 2010, according to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources data.
In 2006, the number of certified paid hunters in the state was 578,244. In 2010 — the most recent year data are available — the number is 579,752, an increase of 1,508, or less than 1 percent.
During the same period, the number of certified paid anglers rose in Minnesota from 1,478,193 to 1,492,529, an increase of 14,336 or about 1 percent.
The total number of licenses, tags, permits and stamps actually sold by the DNR between 2006 and 2009 (the most recent available) actually declined for both hunting and fishing.
The certified numbers submitted by states to the Fish and Wildlife Service are used to determine the amount of federal fish and wildlife funds returned to the states.
The information released by Salazar, by comparison, is based on a national survey.