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Fewer Hunting Licenses Issued after Storm

Jackson 11/24/05
By Davis Brister
davis@wlbt.net 

State officials are not overly concerned. In fact, they say they expected it. Hunting and fishing license sales are down 18% in south Mississippi.

"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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