MLive took a deep dive into the state of hunting and fishing in our state. The numbers should concern anyone who loves the outdoors.

… in Michigan and nationwide, hunting is on the decline. In the 1970s, ’80s and into the ’90s, Michigan had as many as 1.2 million hunters. By 2018, fewer than 675,000 individuals had at least one hunting license.

That decline can be traced to multiple factors: The Baby Boomers who fueled the popularity of hunting as a recreational activity are aging out. Today’s young adults are more likely to be minorities and/or urbanites, groups much less likely to hunt. Hunting now competes with a wide variety of recreational activities.

“There really isn’t one single thing that we can point to this, say, ‘Oh, you know, we just fix this, then everything will be fine,’ ” said Dan Eichinger, director of Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Fishing also is on a downward trend, although its decline has been less steep. Between 2013 and 2018, the number of individuals obtaining a Michigan fishing license dropped 5% compared to a 18% drop in hunting licenses during that same period.

Eichinger said those trends should concern all Michigan residents, whether or not they hunt or fish.

Read “Hunting is on the decline in Michigan — which is a problem” on the MLive site. Have any ideas on how to turn this around? Leave us a comment below.