CLEVELAND — Hunting season is right around the corner, and while applications for hunting licenses have dropped over the years, that’s not the case this year, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Hunting licenses are up 16% this year. ODNR said more people have been getting outdoors since the COVID-19 pandemic started.
In doing so, people have turned to outdoor activities like hiking, fishing and even bird watching.
More people have been snapping up fishing licenses this year, up about 6 % compared to a year ago.
The biggest increase is deer permits, a 25% from last year.
"We think that people have a little bit more time to commit to hunting,” said Jamey Emmert, a spokesperson for ODNR. “This is the opportunity, the doors have finally opened for a lot of folks in their mind that they can get outside now and do something they've been thinking about for a long time. There's also been a lot of conversation about self-sustenance and providing for oneself from the landscape."
Bow season for deer begins Saturday in Ohio, with gun season starting on Nov. 30.
ODNR said the spike isn’t in hunting and fishing, activities like paddleboarding and kayaking have seen as increase as well.