MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- The number of licensed hunters taking to the field in Alabama has increased during the past five years, reflecting national growth in the sport.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed a national study on the outdoors and outdoor activities, and it shows a 9 percent growth nationwide in hunting license sales from 2007 to 2011. That reverses a 25-year slide.
In Alabama, the number of licensed hunters also has seen an increase, up from about 423,000 in 2001 and 391,000 in 2006 to 535,000 in 2011.
The Montgomery Advertiser reports that the increase in numbers might not give the full picture. The state changed its license structure a few years ago, selling a combination hunting and fishing license. Those sales are tallied as both hunting and fishing license sales.