If early season elk and deer permit applications are any indication, hunting participation in Montana remains strong and may even be more robust than in recent years.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks issued a recent news release announcing draw results for those who put in for 2021 special tags. In doing so, it stated hunters applied in record numbers including more than 82,384 residents and 16,650 nonresidents. That marks a 12.48 percent and 29.52 percent increase over last year, respectively.
That trend is a continuation from 2020 with increased hunting participation in Idaho, Washington, Michigan and many if not most other states across the nation. Recent research shows hunting participation experienced an eight percent increase by males in the first half of 2020 alone and a whopping 24 percent increase by females.
Looking at the bigger picture, due Covid-related concerns and a desire to create more of a connection with nature, Americans flocked to the outdoors. Yellowstone Park had 110 percent higher visitation in October 2020 than one year earlier. Colorado had 18.3 million visitors to its state parks in 2020, marking a 23 percent increase from 2019. Visitation to Pennsylvania state parks boomed by seven million and Great Smoky National Park had 2.3 million more visits between June and December than the ten-year average for the same time period.
(Photo source: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks)