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Drop in Wisconsin deer licenses raises funding concerns

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A new report by the Wisconsin Policy Forum says the number of deer-hunting licenses sold in Wisconsin has dropped, raising concerns about funding for the state’s conservation work.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that data from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources show that the state sold about 824,500 deer licenses in 2017, about 50,400 fewer than in 1999.

Jason Stein, research director for the Wisconsin Policy Forum, said the state relies on money from license sales to support conservation work.

Keith Warnke heads up the state DNR’s recruitment endeavors. He says the decline in the number of hunters is strongly tied to the aging of the baby-boomer generation.

Conservation groups say improving recruitment is just part of the answer. They’re also pushing for an increase in fees and seeking alternative sourecs of revenue.

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