Sportsmen say higher hunting, fishing gear prices worth it

MT. STERLING, Ky. (WTVQ) – Spring turkey-hunting season is right around the corner, a good reminder for any hunters to get a valid hunting license. While hunting and fishing are popular pastimes in Kentucky, there’s also a major economic impact.

A lot of people are seeing the price tags around them going up, to include items like ammo needed for hunting. Some sportsmen say the higher costs are still worth it.

“There’s nothing more fun than sitting in a deer stand, watching the sun come up and watching the animals,” says Everett Lasley, lifelong hunter.

The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Department estimates in 2020, nearly 350,000 Kentuckians participated in hunting, bringing in around $1.5 billion.

“We have to take the time to explain to customers sometimes that our prices have gone up too and there’s more of a demand than there is a supply in most cases,” says Michael Snedegar, owner of Shade Tree Hunting & Pawn.

For Lasley, hunting is something he’s grown up doing. He says in a year, on average, he can spend about $5,000 on licensing, equipment and leasing hunting land from private owners.

“The hunting and fishing prices have gone up tremendously over the years,” says Lasley. “The guns, the ammo, the rods and reels, the crank baits, spinner baits, anything you buy, everything is more expensive these days.”

Hunters don’t have to lease land during the hunting seasons. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife has public land people can use. According to Fish and Wildlife, over a third of licensed hunters in 2020 took advantage of public land, bringing in around $182 per acre.

“Here in Kentucky, we’re blessed to have a beautiful state and a lot of people have those interests and there’s a lot of land owners out there that we appreciate that understand our interests and are willing to let us hunt and fish and stuff,” says Snedegar.

To learn more about the economic impacts hunting and fishing has on Kentucky, click on the link HERE. For more information on how to apply for a hunting or fishing license, visit the KY Fish and Wildlife website HERE.

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