Last year was an incredible year for fishing and hunting license sales. New insights are now available detailing this unprecedented surge. The license-sales dashboard, developed over the past several years via a partnership of state fish and wildlife agencies, sportfishing and hunting trade associations and sportsman’s organizations, helps explain the types of anglers and hunters driving trends and more.
The Wildlife Management Institute recently teamed up with Southwick Associates and D.J. Case & Associates to examine the practice of “mentoring” in both the hunting and shooting sports. The R3 community has long assumed that using existing hunters and target shooters to introduce potential participants in an apprentice-like relationship, whether by personal invitation or programmatic paring, is key to producing new hunters and target shooters when family or friends support is not available.
By 2016, 24 million Americans held interest in purchasing their first firearm to either go hunting, target shooting or to own for protection. With the demographics and attitudes of today’s and tomorrow’s firearm owner rapidly changing, NSSF partnered with Southwick Associates to understand who these potential customers are and how best to connect with them. A survey was conducted among the general U.S. population that identified those who do not currently own a firearm but are very likely to do so in the next five years. [Given the surge in new hunters and target shooters in 2020, we felt the time was right to share an NSSF grant-funded report released in late 2019 explaining the motivations new firearm owners have regarding hunting, target shooting and personal protection:]
The ‘Average Angler’ doesn’t exist. People are drawn to sportfishing for a variety of reasons, many of which include escape, social engagement, challenge, and relaxation. For state agencies, angler organizations and industry, the ability to recognize the unique angler personas and also tap into their motivations directly correlates to more effective marketing and communication efforts, driving increased sales and greater participation.