AGFC Foundation hopes to combat declining number of hunting, fishing licenses

AGFC Foundation hopes to combat declining number of hunting, fishing licenses

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A decline in the number of hunting and fishing licenses has the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Foundation working to turn that trend around.

It's something the foundation has noticed in the last few years.

And it's not concentrated in a specific area, but a general decline across Arkansas.

Foundation members contribute some of that loss of interest to video games and social media, so their mission is education.

“Because of me starting out early, it’s bleeding into my kids,” said Steven Son, an AGFCF board member. “I think that needs to be in every household, it’s going to start with the parents.”

“Getting kids unplugged from the video games, getting them away from the TV screens and getting them outdoors,” said Deke Whitdeck, the board president. “The Game and Fish is a great place to start that and introduce somebody new to the outdoors.”

That sparked an effort called R3.

It stands for recruitment, retention and reactivation, meaning the foundation is working to to get new people interested in hunting and fishing, keep the outdoors men they have, and re-interest some people that may have turned away from the outdoors.

Son and Whitdeck both hope to look back several years from now and see a steady increase in hunting and fishing licenses in the state.

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