LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)— Michigan’s hunting and fishing license sales in 2021 shows Michiganders interest in outdoor activities.

According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, 641,588 people purchased hunting licenses, and 1.13 million people bought fishing licenses in 2021 through Nov. 30.

“We are excited to see that hunting and fishing license sales kept pace with — and in some cases even surpassed — 2020 numbers,” said Nick Buggia, chair of the Michigan Wildlife Council. “The more people who enjoy hunting and fishing in Michigan, the better it is for our entire state.”

Conservationists say the upward trend could mean positive news for managing the state’s wildlife, natural resources, and better the economy.

The Michigan DNR stated hunting license purchases increased by 1.6% compared to the amount bought in 2019. The department also said fishing license purchases increased by 5.9% from the 1.07 million that were bought in 2019.

“The key takeaways in 2021 were the return of older hunters and anglers to the state’s woods and waters and a surge in out-of-state visitors seeking a unique Michigan experience with friends and family,” said Dustin Isenhoff, DNR marketing specialist.

Hunters and anglers aged 65 and older purchased 107,107 hunting licenses and 204,726 fishing licenses in 2021:

Out-of-state visitors purchased 32,334 hunting licenses and 215,700 fishing licenses in 2021:

  • Hunting license purchases were up 10.3% from 2020 and up 21.6% from 2019.
  • Fishing license purchases were up 11.4% from 2020 and up 11.7% from 2019.

The number of women purchasing hunting and fishing licenses also grew in 2021 compared to 2019:

  • 68,253 women-held hunting license purchases were up 6.7% from 2019.
  • 244,347 women-held fishing license purchases were up 11.4% from 2019.

In Michigan, hunting and fishing continue to impact the economy. The two combined activities bring in $11.2 billion and provide an estimated 171,000 jobs annually, according to a 2019 study released by the Michigan United Conservation Clubs and its partner with Michigan State University.

“Whether you hunt, fish, or enjoy other activities like bird-watching, hiking, camping, or canoeing, Michigan’s forests, parks, water, and beaches connect all of us,” Buggia said. “Hunters and anglers are the driving force that helps preserve our precious Michigan outdoors for everyone to enjoy.”