The report shocked me. As several of us looked it over, we agreed, the information couldn’t be right. So I asked Bill Swan, Director of Licensing for Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, to step out into the hall and go over it with me.
Turns out Bill’s report was correct. Less than 100,000 Maine residents buy a hunting or fishing license, or both, each year. That’s a pretty small base of sportsmen, especially considering there was a day when almost every Maine household held at least one hunter and angler.
The information came in a report Bill presented yesterday to the legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee, on a professional study of a proposal to expand lifetime licenses. The study found that only 70,000 residents purchased a hunting license in each of the last five years, and only 60,000 residents purchased a fishing license in each of the last five years.