I'm not sure science or mathmatics would back up this statement, but on the surface, it appears the pandemic may have increased the number of hunters in the state of New York. Or it at least grew the number of people getting a hunting license.

As the weariness of quarantining and social distancing began to take hold, New York's spring turkey season was about to begin. Social media was ripe with posts from male and female hunters who were about to try "bagging a bird" for the first time. Most eluding to the need to get outdoors and do something. The DEC's latest numbers seem to confirm the increase.

There were not only an increase in the number of sporting licenses sold, but a huge spike in the number of people completing online safety courses, a requirement needed to get a license. The sales of licenses themselves increased by 10%, with the number of people taking the online safety course going through the roof. Of course, online safety courses were the only option during the pandemic. Those crunching the numbers say there was a 20% increase in the number of people taking the course, with the biggest spikes coming in the number of women and the number of people over age 30 completing the exercise.

Draw whatever conclusion you want from the numbers, but one thing for sure, the online course's popularity has the DEC extending the classes until August 31.  In addition to the Hunter Education Course, they will also conduct Bowhunter Education Courses beginning July 15. Hunter Education Courses are $19.95 while the Bowhunting Course is $30. Read more on the courses and sign up for a class at the DEC's website.