MICHIGAN — Hunting and fishing are on the decline in Michigan as baby boomers retire the habit, according to a new report, and that could have detrimental effects on the state.

According to a new report by the Detroit Free Press, this could pose a crisis in how Michigan funds its wildlife and habitat programs, including by having a huge, negative impact on the state’s economy, and raising the specter of deer overpopulation. Plus, there’s accompanying animal diseases and increases in car-deer accidents.

Here’s a look at how the problem is being quantified in the report:

From a high of 785,000 deer hunters in 1998, the number of licenses sold for Michigan’s firearm deer-hunting season last year was down to 621,000 — a nearly 21 percent decline. And those remaining hunters are graying, with most in their late 40s to late 60s, according to a demographic analysis conducted by Michigan Technological University. By 2035, projections are that the late-’90s rate will be cut by more than half.

Younger generations aren’t hunting in high enough numbers, the report said.

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