(WEAU) - While more deer hunters bought licenses this year versus last year, the DNR says hunting has been on a steady decline here and across the nation.
The DNR says there's more competition for people's free time and the biggest decline in hunting is happening in the 35 to 55 year old age range. The DNR says those hunters are weighing the costs versus benefits, is it worth their time?
The DNR says with the huge spike in bow hunters and increase in predators, there's more competition for the deer as well.
DNR Spokesman Ed Culhane says “the deer are being hunted all the time, so they're not stupid. They learn to pattern human movement so the deer being hunted today are harder to hunt.”
The DNR estimates by the year 2030, it could lose 1/3 of its hunters.