Is the recession affecting your hunting season? Outdoor columnist Bill Monroe with The Oregonian recently put that question to Beaver State sportsmen and got a complicated answer. On one hand, some folks just don’t have the extra cash to spend on our sport.

_During the construction boom not long ago, cement mason Tom Thomas used to wish he had more time every fall for hunting.

_Now, during the worst recession in his lifetime, he has been lucky to work two or three days a week.

“Now I’ve got the time off, (but) I don’t have the money,” said Thomas, who lives in Aloha and used to hunt in Oregon and Wyoming. “I don’t have the gas money to get there. It’s already put a huge dent in what I do. . . .”

On the other hand, some folks are finding themselves with a lot of extra time, which they plan to spend in the field.

_Scott Nelson owns The Decoy Barn hunting store in St. Helens, where this year about 300 people lost their jobs at Boise Inc.’s paper and pulp mill. Despite the hardships, some of the laid-off workers are telling Nelson that they hope they land a job after this hunting season.

_”I definitely have a number of guys that are coming in because they’re off work. . . .

Christine Broniak, an economist at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, noted that sales for both hunting and fishing licenses have increased since the recession took hold. By July, resident hunting licenses had risen nearly 12 percent when compared with the same period in 2008.

How about you? Is the recession having an effect on your hunting and fishing?