COVID-19 and the need for people to social distance has brought a 95% increase in new Michigan hunters for 2020.

With more people in the woods this year and especially because the number of new hunters, make sure you know who is hunting and where in your area for safety reasons.

Michigan has not seen an increase like this with new hunters in at least 20 years. One good thing about the increase is, this will help manage the deer herd plus increase of the sale of hunting licenses will be beneficial to wildlife management in the state.

Some exciting news is, the area of the largest increase of new hunters were young people between ages 10 and 16. It's great that more and more kids and teenagers are learning about benefits of the outdoors. It's been an area that had been decreasing for many years and now youth licenses sold is up 144%.

Women entering the woods has seen a 25% increase as more and more Michigan families are hunting together. Not to mention this is a great way to bring home some meat for the freezer to feed the family during tough economic times.

According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, this new spike will likely continue into the firearm deer season. This increase in hunters in the woods will help get more deer moving which can help other hunters who sometimes don't have enough people in their area to get the deer on the move.

The decline in hunters in the woods over the last two decades has to do with older folks cutting down on time spent hunting. Younger families just have less free time unlike other generations and just are not going into the woods.

Not only has hunting licenses spiked this year but fishing licenses are up 9% this year which again will help with Michigan's conservation efforts.

Other areas the state has seen increases in are camping, hiking, kayaking, visiting parks and even bird watching have all seen a massive uptick in growth.

With a pandemic economy, these kinds of increases outdoor activity also means and increase in money being spent for conservation as well and business related to the sports.

Plus there is nothing better to cleanse the soul than getting into the woods or getting out on a lake, river or stream in the great state of Michigan.