National Gun Forum banner
1 - 2 of 2 Posts

Premium Member
1,547 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Texas is home to more hunters than any other state and barely trails Florida in number of anglers, according to the recently released preliminary results of the 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation.

So, with an estimated 1.1 million hunters and 2.5 million fishers facing an Aug. 31 expiration of their annual Texas hunting and fishing licenses, it's not surprising the 1,500 computer terminals hooked to the state's license system were smoking a couple of weeks ago.

"It was a very, very busy several days," Tom Newton with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's license section said of the days bracketed by the Labor Day Weekend.

Taking in $12 million
Over the five-day period Aug. 30-Sept. 3, Texans purchased a little more than 385,000 hunting and fishing licenses, pumping about $12 million into TPWD accounts used exclusively for wildlife and fisheries programs.

Aug. 31 — the day old licenses expired and the day before the start of dove hunting season in most of the state — saw more than 136,000 licenses and other documents (public hunting permits, special-use stamps, etc.) purchased.

"That's the biggest single day (of license sales) we've ever had," Newton said.

Texans spent about $4.6 million on hunting and fishing licenses that day, Newton said.

And at the peak of sales, Texans were buying almost 250 licenses every minute — more than 14,000 an hour.

The flood of license purchases was a trial by fire for the new license issuance software and hardware TPWD implemented ahead of the new license year.

New system solid
All Texas license outlets — TPWD offices and more than 1,000 private businesses selling hunting and fishing licenses — received new computer terminals and printers running the new license issuance software over the past couple of months.

While the new system performed well in tests and with low-volume license sales, TPWD officials were not certain how it would perform under the crush of business around Sept. 1.

"We were very pleased with how the new equipment worked," Newton said. "It came through just fine."

The only hiccups were instances where license terminals used dial-up connections instead of the much faster and more stable DSL or other high-speed data transmission.

License issuance through some of the dial-up terminals was considerably slow.

"There were some cases where dial-up connections slowed things down. But, overall, it went very well," Newton said.

Numbers down nationwide
Participation in hunting and fishing in Texas, as judged through license sales, is bucking what appears to be a nationwide trend.

Preliminary data from the 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation indicate the number of active anglers in the nation declined by 15 percent between 1996 and 2006. The number of active hunters, nationwide, dropped by 10 percent, according to study results.

The national survey is an in-depth study conducted each five years since 1955 by the U.S. Bureau of Census and overseen by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The 2006 survey involved interviews with 85,000 households across the country.

In Texas, the number of hunters and anglers has remained fairly stable over the past decade, rising and dropping by single-digit percentage points but trending slightly upward.

Ahead of last year's pace
This past year, TPWD issued a record 3.2 million hunting and fishing licenses.

And the state seems on a road to improve those numbers this license year.

"Last year was our best year," Newton said. "So far this year, we're about 2 percent ahead of where we were at this time a year ago."

Texans purchased about $88 million in hunting and fishing licenses during the just-ended 2006-07 license year.

Through Sept. 10, hunters and anglers have purchased $28 million worth of 2007-08 licenses and other hunting/fishing-related permits, Newton said.

"We typically do about 30 percent of our annual license business in the first 30 days (of the new license year)," Newton said.

License sales are just part of the huge economic impact hunting and fishing have on the Texas economy.

The 2006 federal survey figured Texans spent $3.22 billion on direct expenditures related to recreational fishing and $2.30 billion on hunting.
1 - 2 of 2 Posts