May 15, 2020
Hunters and anglers across the country have seen major changes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only have many public places been shut down, but the offices issuing permits have been closed in response to the stay-at-home orders issued in various states. This comes at a time when access to firearms and ammunition is inconsistent from state-to-state (as we’ve been reporting in previous blog posts) and hunter safety courses not being offered in many states. Many states are also closing hunting grounds, e.g. Washington State closed over 6 million acres of public land in order to contain the spread of COVID-19. Other states, such as Montana, Vermont, and West Virginia have started requiring visitors to self-quarantine for two weeks before engaging in any sporting activity. Meanwhile, Alaska has gone even further, barring all non-residents from their Spring bear hunt. While commercial fishing has been largely exempt from COVID-19 precautions, in Alabama, recreational fishing is considered an essential activity as well. Organizations like the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation state that “coming together through fishing, boating, and other outdoor activities during this extremely stressful and unprecedented pandemic is more important than ever.” Anglers can rejoice at the fact that fishing can be a solitary activity and abides by “social distancing” guidelines. With hunting and fishing regulations changing almost daily, sportsmen are encouraged to check for new information often to keep abreast of the changes that will occur in the weeks ahead. Here is a website hosting many of these changes we’ve seen across the country.