HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- If you're looking for something different to do or maybe a different type of Christmas gift, why not get a fishing or hunting license?
A lot of things have been cancelled or cut back because of the pandemic, but apparently fishing and hunting are growing in popularity.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said it has seen an increase across the board in sales of licenses this year.
Licenses went on sale for 2020-2021 in August, and there has been a huge increase.
Draw and Hunt applications are up 37%. Hunting and fishing combination licenses are up 10%, and seasonal licenses are up 29%.
The fees from those licenses go to help preserve natural spaces in Texas, and they fund things like big horn sheep surveys and many other activities on Texas Public lands.
Texas Parks and Wildlife officials cannot say the pandemic is the reason behind the renewed interest in the great outdoors, but fishing and hunting is one way to get out of the house and follow COVID-19 protocols at the same time.
"The outdoors is just a space where people can kind of naturally social distance, and we are here to really help people enjoy and discover or perhaps rediscover the wild things and wild places in Texas," said Megan Radke with Texas Parks and Wildlife.
You can get a fishing or hunting license as a gift, or even enroll someone in a course so they learn more about the wildlife in the state.
There are requirements for some licenses, like safety courses, and you can find neighborhood fishing spots that are currently stocked with trout by Texas Parks and Wildlife.