Popularity of Hunting and Fishing On the Rise

The numbers are in from the Fish and Wildlife service, and hunting and fishing are on the rise all over, and officials say that trend is showing up in Kentucky.

Officials say the biggest reason is new programs across the state.

"Urban fishing program, we call it fishing in neighborhoods, where we have a focused effort at lakes that are in urban areas. It attracts people to fishing that really had not had the opportunity to do so," said Mark Marraccini, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Dept. Spokesman.

Tom Baker is an avid hunter, but has also worked for years to help preserve wildlife in Kentucky, including getting elk back into the Commonwealth.

"We've brought back the elk in Kentucky to not the same kind of numbers when Daniel Boone came here, but closer than any time in history since Daniel Boone's been in Kentucky," said Baker.

While the popularity may be growing, that trend could die down if a constitutional initiative doesn't pass on Election day.

The initiative would make hunting and fishing a right in Kentucky, not just a privilege.

"I personally am in agreement with that. I'm not 100 percent sure how much of an effect this will be, because I still think that all the game laws, and all of the regulations still need to be in place," said Baker.

While most expect it to pass, even if it doesn't, officials don't expect much of a change.

"I don't see an immediate impact to the way we hunt and fish in Kentucky today at all. I think this amendment is just long range foresight," said Marracini.

It's that foresight, that hunters say will help in the future.

There is another report on hunting and fishing to be released next month.

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