When’s the last time you went out hunting or fishing?
According to statistics from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife, it’s probably been a while.
Kasie Joyner, an officer with the ODW, said hunting and fishing were important to the state’s economy. Joyner and other wildlife officials were part of the Oklahoma Wildlife Expo, held during the weekend of Sept. 27.
Joyner older Oklahomans were aging out of hunting and fishing and fewer youngsters were participating. She said outdoor activities have been “becoming a thing of the past” with hunting and fishing most prevalent in the generation known as the Baby Boomers, those born between 1947 and 1964
“More kids are going to college. They’re going away from the family farms. They’re going to get an education, and going and probably getting a job in the city,” she said. This has caused the number of younger hunters to drop these past couple years.
Joyner said the ODWC is solely funded on the sale of hunting and fishing licenses. “If no one buys licenses, the ODWC makes no money. If the ODWC makes no money, we have no one to protect Oklahoma’s beautiful outdoors,” she said.
Joyner said the agency also promotes non-hunting and fishing activities.
“We have wildlife viewing opportunities,” she said. “If someone is interested in just going and viewing the wildlife, we have places to go, and you can buy a conservation passport.”
A conversation passport gives Oklahomans access to go observe natural wildlife in select WildLife Management Areas. Just as all of the money from hunting and fishing licenses go to the funding of the ODWC, so does all of the money that comes from the conservation passports.
So, the next time you have second thoughts about enjoying a day outside, don’t!
Joyner said Oklahomans should relish the great outdoors. Furthermore, if you already have plans to go out, take someone who’s never been and educate them on something they may not know.