"And I've heard that [AR-15 look-alike] Bushmasters are selling for $3,000 each," Taylor said. "That's about three times what they were selling for before [the bill was introduced]."
Taylor said the Wildlife Restoration windfall from the current buying spree would get distributed to the DNR about two years from now.
"We're already looking at things we can do with it," he said. "The only downside is we have to match that federal money 25 cents on the dollar. Our only source of income is from hunting-license sales, and we don't look for that to increase. We're going to have to come up with that matching money before we can take advantage of the increase in Wildlife Restoration money."
One potential use, Taylor added, would be to purchase more public-hunting land. Another would be to come up with new wildlife-restoration programs.
"But there's a problem with creating new programs," he explained. "We have to have enough staff to dedicate to any new programs we create. So far we haven't come up with any specific programs to create or increase."
Taylor called the agency's planning for the windfall "a work in progress."
"We aren't going on hard data so far, we're going on assumptions [of how much the revenue increase would be]," he said.
"We see the same things in the newspaper that everyone else does, and we're making projections based on that. The bottom line is that we have to come up with innovative ways to spend this increase in federal money."
Reach John McCoy at johnmc...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1231.