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Southwick Associates January 2011 Newsletter

January 2011

Welcome to the Southwick Associates January 2011 Newsletter focusing on the economics, business and statistics of fish and wildlife and their associated outdoor recreation.

In This Issue:

  • Now available from Southwick Associates & NSSF: A National Portrait of Hunters
  • Results from the AnglerSurvey.com 2010 Mid-Year Fly Fishing Market Survey
  • Magazines top choice for hunters and anglers — Social media use low, but shows potential
  • Nebraska Hunters and Anglers License Preferences
  • First-hand Experience Guides Sportsmen’s Brand Buying Decisions
  • Look for the New Southwick Associates Media Monitor in 2011

Previous newsletters are available at www.southwickassociates.com.

 

Southwick Associates & NSSF Releases a National Portrait of Hunters

With many states recently converting from traditional paper-based licenses to electronically-issued ones, it is now possible to develop valuable new insights about hunters’ demographics, lifestyle and hunting habits. To capitalize on this newly available information, in 2009 the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), in partnership with 17 state wildlife agencies, funded a comprehensive review of hunting license data with the goal of gaining a better understanding of who hunts in the United States, and how participation in hunting can be strengthened.

The results of the study can be utilized to enhance hunting promotion campaigns and help hunting -related companies and organizations improve marketing and advertising efforts. Also available in the report are summaries of the regional and national findings, including answers to the following questions:

  • Do most hunters buy a license every year?
  • What are the demographic and lifestyle characteristics for the different segments of hunters in the U.S.?
  • Which species are targeted by different types of hunters?
  • And more.

 

With multiple years of data, it was possible to track license purchasing activity for all residents and non-residents who purchased at least one hunting license during the study’s period. With a better understanding of hunters’ motivations and needs, state agencies and others will be better equipped to serve the hunting public and improve wildlife management efforts.

 

Each state’s hunter license data were analyzed using a service known as “CommunityCoderTM”. Built from Census Bureau data and other sources, CommunityCoderTM can describe the lifestyle of an individual household based on its location. Every neighborhood, down to the block level, has been categorized and divided into 65 types of lifestyles, or “Tapestry™, segments based on demographic variables such as age, wealth and income, occupation, ethnicity, family status, education and many types of consumer behavior characteristics. Lifestyle analyses have been used for years by corporate America to improve marketing and communications efforts.   Using this method makes it possible to identify regions and neighborhoods where opportunities exist to improve hunting marketing efforts, improve future recruitment and retention efforts, and determine the most effective media to use in hunting promotions.

 

“We know there are many types of hunters with a wide range of interests. This study reveals who our hunters are beyond the usual demographic descriptions. We now have a better idea of hunters’ regional purchasing habits, recreational choices and overall lifestyle preferences,” said Jim Curcuruto, Director of Research and Analysis for NSSF. “The results will be used to strengthen existing hunting participation programs and develop new programs designed to convert the casual hunter into an annual license buyer. Savvy industry marketing and communications professionals will use these data to enhance their advertising efforts.” said Curcuruto.

Hunter Demographics  —  A Closer Look

Not surprisingly, the majority of hunters in any state are residents – greater than 80% on a national basis. The percent of hunters who are non-residents varies by region – with the West and Southeast regions drawing a higher percentage of nonresident hunters. On average, resident hunters are 41.8 years old. Those hunting in the Northeast are considerably older, on average, than those in the rest of the country. In general, the national hunting base is aging, with fewer young hunters filling the gaps that the older hunters are creating when they no longer hunt.

Southwick Associates January 2011 Newsletter

 

Species Targeted

The results also provided information on the species targeted by hunters, and the overlap between species targeted. The figure below shows the percent of hunters who purchased a privilege to pursue each of the following species: deer, turkey, waterfowl, and upland game birds. Deer were the most targeted species with 83% of hunters purchasing licenses that provided deer privileges. Encouraging deer hunters to take up turkey and waterfowl hunting may be an effective way to increase days afield and help discourage hunters from dropping out.

 

Southwick Associates January 2011 Newsletter

 

 

Found:  More Hunters!

The results found that the pool of American hunters is much larger than previously thought. This discovery, which was funded by the NSSF, could lead to major conservation and economic benefits because if many “casual hunters” (hunters that do not purchase a hunting license every year) can be converted into annual license buyers, contributions to wildlife conservation would increase substantially. The eye-opening report estimates that 21.8 million youth and adult Americans hunted at least once over the past five years. Previous estimates were that 14 million hunted each year, but not all hunters did so every year. The reverse is alarming, with 41% of American hunters only participating in one or two years out of the past five years. This finding speaks to the need for greater hunter retention efforts and to find out why some hunters elect to hunt in some years, but not others.

Southwick Associates January 2011 Newsletter

 

“Considering hunters’ contribute over $1 billion every year to wildlife conservation via licenses and excise taxes, if half of the hunters who lapsed this year actually bought a license, conservation dollars would have increased by $97 million,” reported Rob Southwick, President of Southwick Associates. “This estimate doesn’t even include the extra dollars possible from increased hunters’ excise taxes. Considering the limited government dollars allocated for wildlife and the tremendous impact hunters provide to rural communities, increased efforts to boost hunter numbers would make smart conservation and economic sense.”

Topics such as hunter demographics, access issues, hunter education availability, and hunters upgrading and downgrading licenses are just some of those included in the individual reports. A variety of topics is included in the individual reports and varies widely from state to state.

 

Contents and Individual State Reports

An enormous amount of information is available in the report, more than what could be covered in this newsletter. Details are also available for the 17 states that participated:

 

Alabama Indiana Montana Oklahoma Vermont
Colorado Michigan New Hampshire Oregon
Florida Minnesota New York South Carolina
Iowa Mississippi Ohio Utah

For information on hunter churn, non-residents, urban/rural distribution, distribution of avid and infrequent hunters and detailed descriptions of Tapestry™ and LifeMode segments, visit http://www.nssf.org/share/PDF/2009NSSFNationalReportAppendices.pdf. To obtain copies of the individual state reports, please contact Jim Curcuruto, NSSF Director of Research at jcurcuruto@nssf.org or (203) 426-1320. Please contact Southwick Associates at info@southwickassociates.com with questions or comments about the contents of this report.

 

 

Results from the AnglerSurvey.com 2010 Mid-Year Fly Fishing Market Survey

A special mid-year report on the U.S. fly fishing market produced for the International Fly Tackle Dealer (IFTD) Show is available from Southwick Associates. The report presents data collected from Southwick Associates’ AnglerSurvey.com service, a monthly online consumer panel survey of U.S. anglers that tracks monthly changes in angler participation and purchases. Below is an overview of basic demographic information included in the report:

 

Summary of Survey Respondents

 

Age of Respondent

 

January – June 2009

January – June 2010

Fly & Standard Fishing*

Fly Fishing Only

Fly & Standard Fishing

Fly Fishing Only

Under 18

6.3%

.5%

4.7%

2.3%

18 to 24

4.3%

.0%

3.3%

2.2%

25 to 34

23.1%

17.5%

29.0%

26.1%

35 to 44

26.8%

30.9%

22.6%

21.4%

45 to 54

21.8%

25.3%

22.2%

25.6%

55 to 64

11.6%

17.1%

12.3%

16.1%

65 and older

6.0%

8.7%

5.9%

6.4%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

N=1264 N=396 N=1005 N=441
Household Income

 

January – June 2009

January – June 2010

Fly & Standard Fishing

Fly Fishing Only

Fly & Standard Fishing

Fly Fishing Only

Under $10,000

8.1%

2.6%

7.2%

4.3%

$10,000 to $19,999

5.7%

6.2%

8.1%

9.4%

$20,000 to $29,999

8.2%

6.8%

8.6%

8.2%

$30,000 to $39,999

12.9%

8.0%

15.7%

13.5%

$40,000 to $49,999

10.9%

14.4%

10.4%

7.7%

$50,000 to $74,999

22.7%

29.0%

24.6%

26.6%

$75,000 to $99,999

14.9%

15.0%

11.9%

14.4%

$100,000 or above

16.6%

18.1%

13.5%

15.9%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

N=1264 N=396 N=1005 N=441
Education Level

 

January – June 2009

January – June 2010

Fly & Standard Fishing

Fly Fishing Only

Fly & Standard Fishing

Fly Fishing Only

11 years or less

3.8%

1.6%

1.9%

1.9%

12 years

18.1%

9.9%

18.1%

12.1%

1-3 years of college

40.9%

33.2%

35.8%

32.6%

4 or more years of college

37.2%

55.3%

44.1%

53.4%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

N=1264 N=396 N=1005 N=441

* “Fly & Standard Fishing” means that they participated in other types of fishing
Methods of freshwater fishing used by ALL anglers by month    

 

Fishing with dead bait

Fly fishing

Fishing with live bait

Fishing with artificial baits, except flies

Other

Total

Jan 2010

13.6%

7.9%

51.7%

71.7%

.0%

N=749
Feb 2010

14.1%

7.6%

46.9%

70.6%

.0%

N=916
Mar 2010

14.3%

9.8%

39.0%

80.4%

.0%

N=1414
Apr 2010

13.2%

12.8%

46.8%

79.8%

.0%

N=1616
May 2010

14.5%

13.7%

43.7%

79.3%

.0%

N=1724
Jun 2010

16.2%

16.7%

47.1%

79.7%

.0%

N=1751

 

Methods of saltwater fishing used by ALL anglers by month

 

Fishing with dead bait

Fly fishing

Fishing with live bait

Fishing with artificial baits, except flies

Other

Total

Jan 2010

59.3%

6.1%

40.6%

67.3%

1.1%

N=147
Feb 2010

60.1%

3.7%

42.9%

68.0%

3.1%

N=269
Mar 2010

47.5%

4.0%

52.7%

67.1%

1.7%

N=308
Apr 2010

50.3%

3.4%

41.6%

75.2%

.6%

N=366
May 2010

58.8%

3.5%

45.0%

67.9%

1.6%

N=455
Jun 2010

51.4%

6.2%

47.9%

64.8%

2.1%

N=520

 

 Age of Respondent

 

January – June 2009

January – June 2010

Also Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing Only

Also Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing Only

Under 18

6.3%

.5%

4.7%

2.3%

18 to 24

4.3%

.0%

3.3%

2.2%

25 to 34

23.1%

17.5%

29.0%

26.1%

35 to 44

26.8%

30.9%

22.6%

21.4%

45 to 54

21.8%

25.3%

22.2%

25.6%

55 to 64

11.6%

17.1%

12.3%

16.1%

65 and older

6.0%

8.7%

5.9%

6.4%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

N=1264 N=396 N=1005 N=441

More detailed information, such specific market share data is available in the report.  For more information on this report or to find out how AnglerSurvey.com can help grow your business contact Rob Southwick at rob@southwickassociates.com.

Looking to Reach Hunters and Anglers?  Look toward Magazines but Don’t Rule Out Online Outlets such as E-mail, the Web and Social Media

Magazines are still the media source of choice for hunters and anglers, according to the June 2010 HunterSurvey.com and AnglerSurvey.com polls, which showed 44 percent of hunters and 33 percent of anglers use magazines most for information and entertainment.

The second most important media source for anglers are websites, with 25 percent indicating they use websites as a primary source of information. Television is still a mainstay for hunters with more than 15 percent reporting they rely most on television for information and entertainment. Only 15 percent of hunters said they use websites the most to learn about hunting or to be entertained. E-mail was cited as a principal source of information by more than five percent of anglers and hunters while state wildlife agency websites were the most important media source for four percent of hunters and 3 percent of anglers.

Although social media use (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) is burgeoning for many audiences, its use by anglers and hunters remains low. Lumped in with books, newsletters, newspapers, and radio it makes up the smallest percentage of usage. However, four percent of hunters and more than five percent of anglers indicated they used all available media sources for learning and entertainment, which shows the large potential for growth in the social media arena. Companies that want to take advantage of the online opportunities should keep an open mind when developing campaigns.

“With hunters and anglers using such a wide range of media sources for learning and entertainment, agencies, organizations and businesses should consider adding new media to their traditional outreach platforms to ensure their messages are getting out there. Hunters and anglers do not rely on just one source. Multiple information sources work together to help shape their interests and opinions,” said Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates.

To learn more how HunterSurvey.com and AnglerSurvey.com can help you better understand and target your customers, contact Rob Southwick at rob@southwickassociates.com.

 

Nebraska Hunters and Anglers License Preferences

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is considering several new permits.  To help the Department better understand the opinions of hunters and anglers, Southwick Associates conducted a mail survey.  The survey examined their preferences for several types of hunting and fishing permits, including multi‑year permits and new combination permits.  Below is a table detailing the target groups and permit types:

Mailout of email and mail surveys, by target group:

 

Email

Mail

Target Group

Residents

Non-

residents

Residents

Non-

residents

Fishing Permit only

7,000

1,549

200

1,268

Small Game Hunting Permit only

2,466

4,626

1000

200

Deer Permit only

7,000

4,352

200

200

Fishing and Hunting permits

7,000

200

Multiple hunting and no fishing permits

7,000

200

Total

30,466

10,527

1,800

1,668

Completed responses*

6,514

2,481

604

405

Response rate

21.4%

21.0%

35.6%

31.9%

*Numbers reflect online responses received as of 9/21/2010, and mail responses received as of 9/24/2010.

The initial results revealed the following preliminary findings:

  • Among the hunters and anglers who purchased a permit in 2009, 92.8% of residents and 85.1% of non‑residents plan to purchase again in 2011.
  • Less than one‑fifth of residents (18.4%) and 6.9% of nonresidents would be somewhat likely or very likely to purchase a combination permit that included the privilege to hunt during both the archery and muzzleloader deer seasons with the opportunity of taking a total of one ‘either sex’ deer and one bonus antlerless deer.
  • If the current annual fishing permit, small game hunting permit or fishing/hunting combination permits were available as 3-year permits (compared to the current 1-year permit) and the price was equal to three 1-year permits, over one‑half of residents (57.2%) and about one‑third (34.3%) of non‑residents would be somewhat or very likely to purchase one.
  • Discounting the 3-year permit by at least 10% would make at least one‑half of people who were unlikely to buy the permit at current prices more likely to buy one at the discounted price.
  • The NGPC is considering two membership options that would include a package of goods and discounts.
    • Option 1 priced at $49 (one annual State Park Permit, a 1-year subscription to NEBRASKAland Magazine, a calendar, a Habitat Stamp and discounts to State Park activities and State Park gift shops) would somewhat or very likely be purchased by 32.9% of resident hunters and anglers and by 23.5% of non‑residents.
    • Option 2 priced at $33 (one annual State Park Permit, a 1-year subscription to NEBRASKAland Magazine, a calendar, and discounts to State Park activities and State Park gift shops) would be somewhat or very likely purchased by 26.4% of resident hunters and anglers and by 20.9% of non‑residents.
  • Most likely due to its inclusion of the Habitat Stamp, Option 1 is more attractive to resident hunters than Option 2.
  • Most residents (81.9%) and non‑residents (87.4%) rate the NGPC as good or excellent in its overall level of effectiveness regarding its efforts to provide for the State’s fishing, hunting, parks and conservation needs.

 

If you are interested in learning more about the results of the Nebraska survey, contact Rob@SouthwickAssociates.com.  Information on respondents’ opinions about combination permits and general information about hunting and fishing activity is available in the full report.

 

First-hand Experience Guides Sportsmen’s Brand Buying Decisions

When it comes to purchasing goods from a particular brand, both hunters and anglers overwhelmingly agree that their personal experience using a company’s products, more than any other factor, influences their decision on whether to buy future items under the same brand name. Asked by HunterSurvey.com and AnglerSurvey.com, which included all of the considerations that go into making such purchase decisions, 80.6 percent of hunters and 77.1 percent of anglers cited firsthand experience with a brand as the key factor.

The next two most common influencing factors were brand loyalty and the opinions of other experienced sportsmen, respectively. Just over 54 percent of hunters cited brand loyalty and 53.7 percent cited “another experienced hunter,” while 55.2 percent of anglers pointed to brand loyalty and 54.3 percent chose “another experienced angler.”

“What this tells us is that the old marketing forces of a consumer’s positive past experiences with a brand and ‘word-of-mouth’ recommendations from trusted friends experienced in their same pursuits are still very much at work,” said Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates.  “Sportsmen are very brand-loyal consumers.”

Additional factors in choosing to purchase a particular brand cited by less than 14 percent of both hunting and angling survey respondents included professional endorsements, seeing the brand’s products at an outdoor expo or show, and the suggestion of a store salesperson. Interestingly, a salesperson knowledgeable about a particular brand can impact a sporting consumer’s decision to buy as much as 11 percent of the time.

To learn more about how HunterSurvey.com and AnglerSurvey.com can help you better understand and target your customer contact Rob Southwick at rob@southwickassociates.com.

 

The Newly Launched Southwick Associates Media Monitor Can Help You Grow Your Business

The new Southwick Associates Media Monitor will report the results of a quarterly online consumer panel survey that tracks hunter, angler and shooters’ media consumption preferences.  The purpose of the Southwick Associates Media Monitor is to measure use of outdoor media — namely magazine, television, radio, social media and internet in the fishing, hunting and target shooting communities — and match sportsmen’s activities and purchasing preferences to specific media programs and titles.

Southwick Associates January 2011 Newsletter

The new tracking service is designed to help companies improve the effectiveness of their ad buying activities.  Look to the Monitor to learn more about hunters and anglers.

  • Media sources used
  • Top hunting and fishing magazines
  • Purchasing habits by magazine title
  • Purchasing habits by television program
  • Percent of respondents by age category using social media for hunting and fishing information
  • Income, gender, education, race and age distribution of respondents

 

Southwick Associates can match data from its own outdoor databases to learn more about your customers. Topics we can investigate for you include:

  • Demographics (age, income, education)
  • Types of activity (hunting, target shooting, salt- and freshwater fishing)
  • Types of equipment purchases (firearms, ammunition, apparel, fishing lures)
  • Brand names and price points of equipment purchased
  • Stores in which they shopped for hunting and fishing equipment

 

 

Contact Rob Southwick at rob@southwickassociates.com to learn how we can help meet your specific information needs.

 

In Future Issues:

  • Hunters, Anglers and Target Shooters Media Consumption Habits
  • Return to Industry from Excise Tax Payments
  • Top Brand and Activities in 2010
  • Hunting and Fishing Trends Since 1955

 

 

Southwick Associates, Inc. specializes in natural resource & environmental economic, business and statistical research.  Our staff is comprised of economic, business and statistics professionals throughout the U.S. who have in-depth experience measuring the values, benefits and revenues possible from fish, wildlife, and water-related natural resources plus their associated industries.  We can help clients better address many business, legal, legislative and public communication issues through the practical application of reliable and accurate economic information and statistics.