Fish and Wildlife Economics and Statistics

Membership in Shooting Ranges and Sporting Clays Clubs Increases Over Previous Year

For Immediate Release:  Oct. 22, 2012
FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. — A recent survey of more than 5,000 shooting enthusiasts conducted on discovered approximately one third (32 percent) of active shooters respondents claim membership at a shooting range or sporting clays club, a six percent increase over the previous year’s survey results. While the growth is encouraging, the news many clubs might want to focus on are the reasons why 68 percent of surveyed shooters say they still aren’t members.

Top reasons for joining a range or sporting clays club included:

  • 36 % said they are not interested or have no need to join
  • 25 % said it is too expensive
  • 22 % said they have another nearby range that is open to the public or free of cost
  • 20 % said the nearest range or club is too far
  • 16 % did not identify a specific reason only citing “other”
  • 6 % said nearby ranges or clubs did not offer the type of shooting that interests them
  • 4 % said they do not feel welcome there.

“While it may be difficult to overcome some of the reasons people cite for not joining a local shooting club, facilities can make inroads with new shooters by being sure they offer quality instruction, make new shooters, particularly women, feel welcome, and create fun, inexpensive events and competitions that build the value of ‘belonging,’” said Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates, which designs and conducts the surveys at, and

Of those shooters who are members of a range or sporting clays club, explored what those people would like to see improved or offered at their shooting range—some ideas of which may also encourage new members to join. Top responses included:

  • 22 % want more shooting benches or target stations
  • 17 % want more competitions
  • 12 % want more shooting benches or equipment that better fit women and youth
  • 13 % want more/cleaner restrooms
  • 10 % want improved food/beverage options.

Of those surveyed, 44 percent didn’t want anything changed at their range or club as they are happy with it the way it is, an eight percent increase in satisfaction over the 36 percent respondents reported last year—a sign that more ranges are working at and succeeding at meeting the needs of their shooting public.

To help continually improve, protect and advance the shooting sports and outdoor recreation, all sportsmen and sportswomen are encouraged to participate in the surveys at, and/or Each month, participants who complete the survey are entered into a drawing for one of five $100 gift certificates to the sporting goods retailer of their choice.

About, and Launched in 2006,, and help the outdoor equipment industry, government fisheries and wildlife officials and conservation organizations track consumer activities and expenditure trends. Survey results are scientifically analyzed to reflect the attitudes and habits of anglers and hunters across the United States. Follow them on Facebook at and or on Twitter at!/AnglerSurvey and!/HunterSurvey.