A consortium of fishing and hunting groups will issue a statement later this week asking hunters and anglers to buy licenses this year, whether they intend to go afield or not.

Citing a possible threat to the Department of Natural Resources Game and Fish Fund, the groups say concerns about contracting coronavirus might convince some sportsmen and women to stay home this year.

License revenue is the primary source of money underwriting the Game and Fish Fund, which in turn pays for most fish and wildlife management in the state.

License sales also determine the amount of money the DNR receives from the federal government from excise taxes paid by Minnesota hunters and anglers on ammunition, guns, rods and reels and other sporting gear.

Pheasants Forever and the Ruffed Grouse Society will sign the statement, along with a who's-who of other groups. Each will in turn urge their members to buy licenses this year, regardless of their hunting and angling plans.