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Maine maintains heritage through license sales; other states see drops

From the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife

-- Over the last 10 years, Maine has maintained hunting and fishing license sales while most other New England states have experienced significant declines in purchases.

Maine’s outdoors remain a destination for anglers and hunters, according to Wildlife Commissioner Roland Danny Martin. “The last 10 years have included tough economic times, when many people have tightened their belts. People still see Maine hunting and fishing licenses as a bargain, and are not cutting them from their budgets.”

From 1999-2009, Maine fishing license sales remained fairly consistent, up 0.19 percent. In 1999, 272,528 licenses were sold, and 273,038 were sold in 2009.

Among the New England states, only Vermont saw an increase in fishing license sales, up 20.80 percent. The other states experienced double-digit percentage drops: Connecticut: -15.91 percent; Massachusetts, -12.09 percent; New Hampshire, -15.54 percent, and Rhode Island, -26.92 percent.

For hunting license sales, Maine experienced a small percentage decline in sales, the smallest decline of any New England state, which all saw double-digit declines. Maine’s hunting license sales in the 10 year period were down 5.85 percent, from 207,004 in 1999 to 195,568 in 2009.

Other New England states have been hit harder. The declines are Connecticut: -26.10 percent; Massachusetts, -25.50 percent; New Hampshire, -28.25 percent; and Rhode Island, -28.97 percent.

Many states considered draws for outdoor enthusiasts, such as Colorado, Michigan, Montana, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming also experienced declines in sales. Only Montana had a slight uptick in fishing license sales. The numbers were compiled by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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