Each year, millions of Americans take to the nation’s forests, fields, and ranges to hunt and target shoot. The number is larger when a longer time frame is considered because many sportsmen do not hunt or target shoot every year. While the actual “churn” rate is hard to exactly quantify, it is manifested in the difference in number of hunters in the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation in two time frames. The last such survey in 2007 found that about a third of those who had hunted in the previous 5 years had not hunted in the most recent year: 18.6 million had hunted in the previous 5 years, while 12.5 million had hunted in the single previous year.
Maintaining America’s hunting and recreational shooting traditions is important for many reasons, chief among them being that the hunting and sport shooting industries provide thousands of jobs annually. Also, hunters and target shooters are essential to species management and habitat conservation through the funds they donate to conservation, as well as the excise taxes they pay on hunting and shooting equipment. For this reason, it is essential that the American traditions of hunting and target shooting be continued.
Understanding Activities that Compete With Hunting and Target Shooting 2012 was provided by the NSSF, Southwick Associates, and Responsive Management.