NEW YORK (WWTI) — The sale of big game hunting and trapping licenses has hit an all time record in 2020.

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos reported record-breaking sales for upcoming seasons. Already for 2020, sales for big game hunting and trapping licenses and Deer Management Permits are triple the opening day rate for 2019.

Attributed to these record-breaking sales is the State’s newly launched automated system for selling fishing, hunting and trapping licenses. The system went live in July 2020, and was activated for big game license sales and DMPs on August 10.

“With New Yorkers looking for more ways to enjoy the outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing tremendous interest in outdoor recreation and in the sports of fishing, hunting, and trapping, including record sales of big game hunting and trapping licenses,” said Commissioner Seggos. “New York is home to some of the best hunting and fishing opportunities in the nation.”

According to the DEC, $922,444 was reported on the first day of big game sales this year, compared to $347,103 in 2019.

Purchasing hunting or trapping licenses supports DEC conservation project, totaling to an estimated $75 million to help conserve animals, enhance habitats and provide opportunities for recreation.

Additionally, the DEC announced in-person hunter, bowhunter and trapper education courses have resumed statewide. In-person classes will abide by social distancing regulations. The DEC stated that health and safety and disinfection protocols have also been put in place.

Online courses will remain available indefinitely.