• Last modified 1268 days ago (Dec. 30, 2020)


Surge in hunting licenses makes for busy season

An interest in outdoor sports amid stir-crazy residents has spurred an uptick in requests for hunting licenses that has been noticed by area permit agents.

“We got a lot of deer tags this year,” said Alex Dalke, who works at Hillsboro Hardware and is also an avid hunter.

“I’ve seen a lot more deer hunters. It just seems like it’s been up this year,” he said. “The opening day of deer season, the first day, there were a bunch of people driving around everywhere, people sitting everywhere, it’s getting hard to even find a spot.”

Isaac Hett, superintendent at Marion County Lake, said that he has seen more permit requests this year, but said he doesn’t have exact numbers.

Firearm season for deer is set to open as archery season closes this week.

Public hunting lands might seem a little more occupied because a lot of the land is now private, Hett said.

“I know a lot of hunters are hesitant to hunt public ground because so many are on it,” he said.

Most of the land around the county lake is private, he said.

Kevin McCoy, assistant lake manager at Marion County Reservoir, said his staff has seen more vehicles on land around the reservoir.

“It seems we have more hunting pressure than we have seen in the past,” he said. “At least it appears that way. We see a variety of vehicles.”

Dalke has hunted “pretty much all” his life and said many people are just looking for something to do amid a pandemic that has banned most other kinds of recreation.

In spring, sales of fishing gear took off, he said.

“Everyone was buying fishing poles and we could hardly keep them in stock,” he said. “It seems like all the outdoor activities are being done.”

Last modified Dec. 30, 2020