Why So Many New Yorkers Are Applying for Hunting License

New Yorkers are bored. They can’t go to Broadway plays. They can’t attend festivals or events. Andrew Cuomo has the whole state on lockdown – and anyone who goes in and out from a growing list of other states is mandated to quarantine. It’s leading to residents getting so frustrated that they’re getting hunting licenses.

Throughout New York, people are looking for ways to enjoy the outdoors – and that means getting hunting licenses. The number of licenses issued has more than doubled over last year.

So, people are grabbing their hunting licenses so they can hit the forests and reserves to hunt deer, wild turkey, and other animals.

Is that all, though? Right now, maybe.

It’s very possible that New Yorkers are preparing for Democratic gun control, too. They’ve seen the writing on the wall. They know that if a Democrat wins, there’s going to be more gun control than ever before.

As many Democrats talked about gun control during the primaries, they identified that people could still have guns if they had hunting licenses. It’s the loophole. After all, hunting is not only a sport but it’s also a way of life. Many families depend on what’s brought home after a hunting trip to provide meat for the entire year.

So, are hunting licenses the way that New Yorkers are working to establish a loophole? Gun sales aren’t up any further than they’ve been since the riots over the summer. This means that it’s the people who already own guns that are obtaining the hunting licenses. And since the number is doubled, either a large number of people have taken up hunting over the pandemic or they’re simply looking to cover their bases.

New York, of course, isn’t acknowledging that hunting licenses could see a spike because of potential Democratic gun control laws down the road. Instead, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is touting an online hunter education course that was released. They believe that it led to the spike where more people are purchasing licenses.

According to the DEC, hunting and trapping licenses tripled on opening day in comparison to the previous year’s sales for opening day.

This is certainly good news for the department as they’re earning a lot more money. They brought in over $900,000 on opening day – and over $6 million for the first two weeks. That’s considerable compared to the $3.5 million made during the same time period in 2019.

Basil Seggos, the DEC Commissioner, explains that New York is home to some of the best fishing and hunting opportunities across the country. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, residents want to figure out more ways to enjoy the outdoors. So, they’re looking to hunting and fishing – and since they need licenses to do it, the DEC is seeing a major spike.

There are now close to 500,000 people registered as hunters in the state of New York. The safety and education courses along with the ability for people to get their licenses from home have made it easier. After all, hunting is one of the easiest ways to socially distance.

What does it mean for all of these hunters to be roaming the woods? Well, the DEC does feel the need to issue the warning to keep fingers off of the trigger and out of the trigger guard until they’re ready to shoot. So, they may feel as though they have a bunch of newbie hunters who could be responsible for accidental shootings across the state.

It’s unlikely that there will be any accidental shootings. Since the gun ownership numbers haven’t gone up, people are simply deciding that they want to put their firepower to good use during the pandemic. And, hey, if the hunting license allows them to escape a loophole in the event that the Dems try to come for their guns in 2021, it’s even better.