Sportsmen say the higher hunting and fishing gear prices are worth it

MT. STERLING, Ky. (WTVQ) – Spring turkey hunting season is just around the corner, a good reminder for all hunters to get a valid hunting license. While hunting and fishing are popular pastimes in Kentucky, there is also a major economic impact.

Many people see the price tags around them rising, to include items like ammunition needed for hunting. Some athletes say the higher costs are still worth it.

“There’s nothing more fun than sitting in a deer stand, watching the sun come up, and observing the animals,” says lifelong hunter Everett Lasley.

The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Department estimates that in 2020 nearly 350,000 Kentuckians participated in the hunt, bringing in about $1.5 billion.

“We sometimes have to take the time to explain to customers that our prices have also gone up and that there is more demand than supply in most cases,” says Michael Snedegar, owner of Shade Tree Hunting & Pawn.

For Lasley, hunting is something he grew up on. He says that in a year, on average, he can spend about $5,000 on licenses, equipment and renting hunting grounds from private owners.

“Hunting and fishing prices have increased tremendously over the years,” says Lasley. “Guns, ammo, rods and reels, crank baits, spinner baits, whatever you buy, everything is more expensive these days.”

Hunters do not have to rent land during hunting seasons. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife owns public lands that people can use. According to Fish and Wildlife, more than a third of licensed hunters in 2020 took advantage of public lands, bringing in about $182 per acre.

“Here in Kentucky we are blessed with a beautiful state and a lot of people have those interests and there are a lot of landowners that we appreciate who understand our interests and are willing to let us hunt and fish and all that ,” says Snedegar.

To learn more about the economic impacts of hunting and fishing on Kentucky, click the link HERE. For more information on how to apply for a hunting or fishing license, visit the KY Fish and Wildlife website HERE.