The Ohio Division of Wildlife saw itself get an almost-year-end bonus as income derived from the sales of both fishing and hunting licenses continue to show gains.
Then too the agency is seeing a nice nest egg being supplied through the federal government’s Pittman-Robertson Fund. This treasure trove is the result of the excise tax on firearms and ammunition.
“Gun and ammo sales gave gone through the roof,” said Vicki Mountz, the agency’s executive administrator. “I’m not going to speculate as to why but I suspect you can guess the reason.”
For the period March 1 to Nov. 30, the Wildlife Division issued 647,010 resident annual fishing licenses. For the nearly identical period of Feb. 15 to Nov. 30, 2011 the agency sold 593,923 resident annual fishing licenses.
That difference shows a net gain of 53,087 licenses with the resulting addition of more than $1 million for the agency’s coffers.
Of the 15 license types displayed on the Wildlife Division’s fishing license sales spreadsheet, only two categories pointed to declines.
Those were the non-resident three-day fishing license (off nearly 6 percent for a loss of $28,652), and the non-resident one-day fishing licenses (off a miniscule 0.20 percent for a revenue decline in this category of just $616).
That being said, it must be noted that the agency sold a passel more of both resident, as well as non-resident, one-day Lake Erie charter boat fishing licenses.
These two latter categories sort of/kind of have elbowed out to some degree the need for the other short-term non-resident fishing licenses.
In all, the Wildlife Division sold - again, between March 1 and Nov. 28 of this year - 854,746 fishing licenses of all kinds for a net gain of 59,430 such permits.
A financial translation of this data suggests an overall revenue gain of almost $1.2 million and just for the sale of fishing licenses. Thus, in all, the Wildlife Division collected very nearly $15.2 million in fishing license sales.
And the to-date sales of hunting licenses are not holding back, either.
Of the 39 hunting/trapping license categories in which a fee is charged, the Wildlife Division collected an additional $833,259.
Yet of those 39 categories there were still 12 that showed declines from 2011 to this year.
Among the bearish categories were the reduced senior antlerless-only permit sales (off 14.03 percent), the resident antlerless-only permit (off 23.06 percent for a decline of $386,775 in revenue), and both the resident spring and fall turkey-hunting permits (off 7.26 percent and off 2.46 percent, respectively).
For the bullish categories, significant increases were seen with the sales of apprentice hunting licenses (up almost 21 percent), sales of resident so-called “special” deer permits, which are the either-sex tags (up 14.28 percent for a revenue gain of $827,976), and sales of non-resident “special” deer permits (up 10.56 percent for a revenue enhancement of $91,848).
Assemble all of the hunting licenses into one mixing bowl and the Wildlife Division actually saw a decline in the total number of permits and tags sold by 4.49 percent to 1,150,462 documents.
Even so, the total revenue collected from these same documents was up 3.75 percent for a combined all-hunting-license-sales income of $23,032,361.
Mountz says also the Wildlife Division doesn’t encounter budgeting problems whenever license sales ebb and flow as the agency’s bean counters have a lot of experience in dealing with such matters.
“Hunting and fishing license sales are always weather-dependent but we are happy as heck with this year’s sales,” Mountz said.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn