Hunting and fishing have been important parts of West Virginia’s culture and economy for decades, if not the entirety of the state’s existence. But the sad reality over the past decade is that participation in hunting and fishing has declined. We want to to reverse that trend.
That’s why we’re drafting a strategic plan to recruit new hunters and anglers, retain the ones we currently have and encourage people who haven’t hunted or fished in a few years to get back in the game. The plan will focus on a few areas of interest, such as hunting, angling, shooting sports, boating and wildlife viewing.
As a result of the decline in hunting and fishing participation, license sales have dropped, which has dramatically affected our agency’s ability to fund conservation programs critical to our state’s wildlife populations. That includes both game and non-game species. The only remedy for this problem is getting more people interested in hunting and fishing and purchasing a license.
The plan will be available for public comment until April 30. Once it’s closed, our staff will compile suggestions, make appropriate revisions and produce a final plan that will guide our efforts into the future.