The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said its most recent survey revealed the fewest number of hunters pursuing small game – grouse, waterfowl, squirrels – since the department started tracking the numbers in 1969. The survey is mailed to a sample of small game hunters every year. It helps the DNR estimate both hunter numbers and harvest by type of small game. The DNR said the decline in the number of hunters can be due to several factors, including competing activities, time constraints, limited access to hunting lands and changing relationships with the natural world. The report did have one positive: The number of pheasants harvested in 2018 was up 19 percent compared to the previous year.
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