R3: Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation

R3: Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation

NSSF has been working to increase participation in hunting, target shooting and gun ownership for many years. A popular moniker for this work is “R3” which stands for Recruit, Retain and Reactivate. NSSF’s R3 efforts include working with current members, wildlife organizations, NGO’s and federal and state wildlife agencies. We will continually post findings related to our R3 efforts in this section so be sure to check in occasionally. Please share the contents posted here with your staff and if you are interested in learning more about R3 please contact NSSF’s director of research and market development, Jim Curcuruto.

Publication: Future Gun Owners of America

More than 24 million American’s are interested in purchasing their first firearm. This report provides insight on who they are and how to communicate with them regarding firearm purchasing and ownership.

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Ruger and SIG Sauer Staff Learn to Hunt

Ruger and SIG Sauer Employee Hunt - NSSF - QDMA

NSSF has been working with state wildlife agencies and conservation groups on R3 efforts for more than 10 years and now it is time to get manufacturers, retailers and ranges involved. See what happens when Ruger and SIG Sauer ask their employees if they would like to learn to hunt.

If you are interested in getting involved in NSSF +ONESM or R3 efforts, please contact NSSF director of research and market development, Jim Curcuruto.





Anglers’ Interest in Firearms and the Shooting Sports

This report helps better understand Anglers’ interests in gun ownership, target shooting, hunting, product purchases and media usage. The report is free to NSSF members as a benefit ($500 to non-members) and can be accessed by logging into NSSF’s online store.

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Webinar: Reactivating Non-Shooting/Lapsed Firearms Owners Report

There are an estimated 100 million firearms owners in the US and there are approximately 50 million active participants (hunters/target shooters) on an annual basis. This study was conducted to support efforts to encourage more participation among those firearms owners that are not currently participating. Results show various reasons for lapsed participation such as lack of confidence in handling firearms and they are not sure where to turn for advice and education as they see the industry as unwelcoming. View this webinar to learn more about this important segment and report.

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Webinar: Increasing Participation in Hunting and Target Shooting through Crossover Participation Reports

The future of shooting sports requires recruiting new hunters and target shooters as well as retaining current customers and encouraging greater activity. The Crossover Participation reports below provide insight supporting efforts to encourage current customers to expand their horizons and try new forms of shooting sports. To learn more about the types of activities current hunters and target shooters are interested in trying, a custom survey was fielded by NSSF and our partner organizations. The survey asked current participants to tell us about their initial introduction and evolution through various hunting and shooting activities; hunting and target shooting activities they currently enjoy as well as what they are interested in trying; what the best ways are to encourage them to try new shooting sports; what the best media and communication channels are to reach them and much more.

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Please select the chapter of greatest interest to you or your organization. Please note the results do not focus on recruiting new, first time participants, but instead focus on how to encourage current customers to try new firearm-related recreational activities.

Publication: Americans Attitudes Towards Hunting, Fishing, Sport Shooting and Trapping 2019

This study, funded in part by NSSF and a Multistate Conservation Grant (F19AP00100), provides important trend data on the general populations’ feelings towards legal hunting, fishing, sport shooting and trapping. As you will see, support for these activities remains high which is a refreshing fact considering all the noise created in todays’ social media outlets. The report includes demographic information and drills down into some important distinctions on the types and reasons why American support these activities.

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Publication: Hunting, Fishing, Sport Shooting, and Archery Recruitment, Retention, and Reactivation: A Practitioner’s Guide

Hunting, Fishing, Sport Shooting, and Archery Recruitment, Retention, and Reactivation: A Practitioner's Guide

Over the past several years, NSSF along with the research firm, Responsive Management, reviewed hundreds of research papers and reports related to hunting, fishing, sport shooting, and archery participation in order to distill the most salient findings and lessons learned. The resulting handbook, Hunting, Fishing, Sport Shooting, and Archery Recruitment, Retention, and Reactivation: A Practitioner’s Guide, is the first-ever document to summarize in a single volume the most essential and up-to-date research for R3 efforts.

Today, the need for organized and data-driven R3 efforts–including programs, outreach initiatives, and other strategies to recruit, retain, and reactivate sportsmen and women–has never been more important. The handbook, through this extensive research review and a corresponding list of action items based on the findings, is presented as a roadmap to use as they navigate a terrain whose obstacles range from the social and demographic to the structural and technological.

Also included throughout the handbook are vignettes that have been provided by various professionals throughout the R3 community, addressing topics and concepts covered throughout the handbook by way of specific case studies.  They are real-life, on-the-ground examples of how R3 challenges have been met on the practical level. These vignettes bring the research to life.


NSSF and Hunter Recruitment

Learn more about NSSF efforts pertaining to new hunter recruitment by listening to this Interview with the Hunting Masters Podcast with John Stallone and guest, NSSF’s director of research and market development, Jim Curcuruto.

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Additional R3 Resources

R3 is gaining popularity inside and outside the industry. Below are resources to use for reference and be sure to join the R3 Community group to keep up with the latest news.



Publication: Recruitment of Hispanic Hunters


This project interviewed new hunters of Hispanic decent to better understand how they got started hunting and provides insights on how the industry can do a better job recruiting new hunters from this important segment. This project was part of a Multi-State Conservation Grant awarded by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The National Shooting Sports Foundation along with the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation’s Center for Conservation Leadership provided additional financial, administrative and intellectual resources.