The Nevada Department of Wildlife reported a 12% increase in hunting license sales and a 25% increase in fishing license sales, for 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As Nevada’s local businesses and outlets for recreation closed or accepted a limited number of guests following strict guidelines in place due to COVID-19, more Nevadans turned to nature and wildlife for peace, healing and relaxation, said Tony Wasley, director of the Nevada Department of Wildlife during a statewide media briefing by the Governor’s Task Force on Monday.
This is unusually good business, Wasley said, adding that 2021 is already forecasted to be profitable for the department just five-weeks into the year. NDOW is 20% ahead of last year’s numbers during the same timeframe in terms of fishing and hunting license sales.
Hikers, birdwatchers, campers, hunters and anglers have been visiting Nevada’s beautiful natural sites driving up sales of outdoor equipment like kayaks, binoculars and fishing supplies, so much so that sales outpaced inventory and manufacturing capacity for equipment.
This is good news for multiple reasons, officials said.
The sales of equipment for outdoor sports directly contributes to the local economy and helps the state overall as Nevada experienced a historic budget shortfall during 2020 with the onset of COVID-19 pandemic.
Also, it benefits Nevada’s conservation efforts, as hunting and fishing licensing remain the primary source of funding for wildlife conservation.
Conservation investments generate 15 to 33 jobs per million dollars and an economic return of $2.40 for every $1 invested, according to an analysis of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Witnessing the unusually high volume of people turning to nature, the department introduced the #ResponsibleRecreation campaign to promote masking, handwashing and social distancing measures to ensure that people were enjoying themselves in a safe and responsible manner.
Sudhiti (Shu) Naskar is a multimedia journalist and researcher who has years of experience covering international issues. In the role of a journalist, she has covered gender, culture, society, environment, and economy. Her works have appeared on BBC, The National, The Wall Street Journal, Marie Claire, Reno Gazette-Journal, Caravan and more. Her interests lie in the intersection of art, politics, social justice, education, tech, and culture. She took a sabbatical from media to attend graduate school at the University of Nevada Reno in 2017. In this period, she has won awards, represented her school at an international conference and successfully defended her thesis on political disinformation at the Reynolds School of Journalism where she earned her Master’s in Media Innovation.