(WBNG) -- The original social distancing activity is on the rise in New York State.
The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation is seeing a large increase in people buying sporting licenses this year, especially hunting.
Mary Bailey, an Environmental Program Specialist with the DEC, believes the increase is due to more people wanting to spend time outside and social distancing during the pandemic, so they're turning to sports like hunting and fishing.
While Bailey says it's great to see this increase, what's really encouraging is seeing who is buying these licenses and taking hunter safety courses.
"I love seeing more women taking it, more youth taking it because what was happening was our hunting public was aging out and are an older demographic," Bailey explained, "It's great to see more youth and more women getting involved in the sport."
With an increase in attention to the sport, Bailey says more people are now getting a better understanding of hunting and how to be safe while doing so.
"I love that more people are taking those courses and getting the background and history of hunting. They're also learning about the safety aspects of it and really becoming familiar with what the sport is about," Bailey said.
As of right now, the DEC is doing hunter safety courses online-only and if you buy your license online, Bailey added it can take about two weeks for your license to arrive in the mail once you order it.
For more information on getting your New York State hunting license and hunter safety courses/guidelines, click here.