October 28, 2010
Number of U.S. Hunters Greater Than Expected
A new study funded by NSSF and carried out by Southwick Associates has found that the pool of American hunters is much larger than previously thought.
This report estimates that 21.8 million Americans hunted at least once over the past five years. Previous estimates have shown over 14 million youth and adults hunt each year, but not all hunters take to the field every year.
Conducted in partnership with 17 state wildlife agencies, the study assessed license sales patterns and found that 78 percent of the U.S. hunters who bought a license in a given year also purchased one again the following year. By examining purchasing patterns over multiple years, it was determined that for every two hunters in the field this year, one is taking the year off.
This discovery can lead to major conservation and economic benefits. If many “casual hunters” (hunters that do not purchase a hunting license on an annual basis) can be converted into annual license buyers, a major benefit would be realized.