[mou] about wildlife funding in Minnesota

Andrew D. Bicek bice0004 at umn.edu
Wed Oct 3 14:04:43 EDT 2007

Richard Wood said:


"It seems to me that there are more birders than hunters and it is time for
us to ante up."


That statement didn't sound right to me, so I checked (google search: mn
fishing licenses sold/ mn hunting licenses sold).  From the MN DNR website,
in the year 2002, I looked at the number of hunting and fishing licenses
sold, assuming that anyone who bought a license is considered a fisherperson
or a hunter.  The results are below in round numbers:



931,895 resident fishing licenses sold, with 192,000 being husband and wife
combos.  So the number of resident fishing licenses sold is about 1 million.
In addition to this are about 250,000 non-resident fishing licenses sold.



About 460,000 firearms and archery deer licences, 300,000 small game
licenses, 120,000 duck stamps, and 100,000 pheasant stamps.  You must have a
duck or pheasant stamp to hunt those species, in addition to a small game


Thus, the total is about 2 million licenses sold.when compared to our
population, is roughly 40% if each person only bought one license which is
probably unlikely since many people hunt and fish and there would be
overlap.  So for an argument let's say that somewhere between 20-40% of the
MN population hunts and or fishes.  Now, show me where we have anything like
that number of birders???  What is the membership of the MOU, a few
thousand?  Sure many people enjoy viewing nature, actually who doesn't?  But
would those people call themselves birders?  I doubt it.


Let me put it this way. When I tell my friends I'm going birding, they say
"your doing what?".  I never get that response when I say I'm going hunting
or fishing, often when I say I'm going hunting or fishing I get the response
"me too, where are you going?".  I know this is anecdotal, but the hunting
and fishing numbers back it up. 


So let's not kid ourselves, many people may enjoy viewing wildlife, but are
they dedicated enough to buy a license?  I would guess that MOU members or
audubon society members etc may be, but that is about it. The average person
would probably laugh at the thought of buying a stamp to look at birds.


Andy Bicek

Elk River, MN




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