Maine’s dedicated sportsmen and women continue to buck national trends.

License sale records from the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife show that fishing license sales rose by 11 percent from 2003-2009. Despite a slight drop in hunting license sales over the same time period, sporting license sales in the state rose by 4.5 percent across the board.

What makes the numbers so noteworthy, of course, is the fact that all but one other New England state saw precipitous drops in hunting and fishing license sales during the same time period.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently released a report suggesting that Maine had experienced a drop of less than three percent in combined hunting and fishing license sales. The 10-year-report, which covered the years from 1999-2009, only considered license sales certified by USFWS.

Asked to comment on that specific report during a recent presentation to Maine’s Revenue Forecast Committee, DIF&W Deputy Commissioner Paul F. Jacques noted that some “destination” states across the United States had seen license sales decline by some 20 percent.

Jacques said despite the numbers presented by USFWS, Maine’s actual license sales remain strong.

VillageSoup sports staff can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at sports@villagesoup.com.