By Davis Brister
State officials are not overly concerned. In fact, they say they
expected it. Hunting and fishing license sales are down 18% in south
"The six coastal counties and also our non-resident base in
Louisiana is down several thousand." Department of Wildlife,
Fisheries, and Parks spokesman Jim Walker believes hunters will come
back but admits it's hard dealing with the loss in revenue. "When
people don't hunt and fish, everybody suffers. The general fund
suffers, our agency suffers, businesses from the guy who sells the
four wheel truck to the mom and pop store that sells sausage and
biscuits, everybody suffers when people aren't able to hunt and fish."
"We're not paranoid that Katrina's the end of all existence."
Wildlife chief Larry Castle says historically larger game populations
will bring hunters out in full force. If they do come back, there will
be obstacles, particularly with deer. "There's going to be a few more
access problems for hunters that the deer are going to find to their
advantage this year. They're going to have more areas where they could
escape hunters. They're going to have more tops down, more trees down.
Hunters aren't going to be able to see deer as easily."
Still, Walker and Castle say they'll work tirelessly to get people
back. It not only helps their budget, they say it does so much more.
"Hunting and fishing is not only a sport, it's good therapy."
Licenses range in price. The all-game hunting and fishing license
costs $17 and the sportsman's licenses cost $31.
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