After years of decline why are hunting and fishing taking off?


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Arizona_Mike
May 31, 2014, 11:36 PM
You don't have to go back more than 4 years to find a bunch of articles saying that hunting was almost dead. Now the latest data says hunting has increased 9% and fishing 11% in a 5 year period: http://www.responsivemanagement.com/download/reports/Hunt_Fish_Increase_Report.pdf

There are some interesting and encouraging things in the report. The median age for established hunters is 53 while for new or returning hunters it is 35 and about 1 in 6 of new or returning hunters is female.

Mike

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Cee Zee
June 1, 2014, 12:30 AM
Thank Obama. People went out and bought guns because they thought they might not be able to get them after Obama got done. Then they wanted something to do with the guns they bought besides plinking. The whole phenomenon pushed fishing too. People have been getting in touch with their roots because of what Obama has tried to do IMO.

Deus Machina
June 1, 2014, 12:31 AM
Probably a combination of things.
Monetary, for one. A cheap rod, a few hooks, and a license is good for a year of relaxing pastime, for less than the cost of one new Xbox game.
Hunting, I'm betting it's because so many people bought guns in the last eight years, used them to learn or to get accustomed to shooting, and have decided to use them for something. 35 is probably about the right median age that they remember when dad used to go and bring home deer.

herrwalther
June 1, 2014, 12:55 AM
Expenses. I started hunting more this year because costs of food went up and I already had a hunting rifle. Can fill a freezer with just a hunting license and a cheap bolt or lever action.

Gunnerboy
June 1, 2014, 01:16 AM
Being able to speak of the younger generation 18-25yr age range Most of my friends in this age group that wanted to start hunting lately is due to either being poor and needing to fill a freezer, or just wanting to experience what it feels like to kill and have skill sets to survive.

Cooldill
June 1, 2014, 01:31 AM
I moved to an area with plentiful fish and deers. I'm going to get back into fishing when I get my fishing pole, and I might dry my hand at deer hunting come deer season. Also thinking about squirrel and rabbit hunting when it gets cold again. I'm wanting to supplement some of my protein with game animals, because it should work out to save me money and I don't do very much anyway LOL.

So I guess for me it's my new suroundings. Not sure why it is more popular all over though.

rcmodel
June 1, 2014, 01:31 AM
All the reality TV shows on cable now?

Everyone want's to live off the land like a mountain man / survivor now!
:D

But this too shall pass!
When they all find out they aren't Mountain men, or Survivors in the wild!
Or even good hunters.

And especially when they find out it really stinks when you field dress your first game or birds! :eek:

rc

Cooldill
June 1, 2014, 02:18 AM
Well for me personally, I can't wait to taste the flesh of the fish and game I'm going to collect.

JohnBT
June 1, 2014, 08:16 AM
Because the economy has improved a little since 2009? Maybe the numbers are up because some folks can once again afford to buy a license before they go hunting or fishing. :)

Potatohead
June 1, 2014, 08:31 AM
Because all of us panic buyers now have a closet full of guns that we want to use.

AlexanderA
June 1, 2014, 08:32 AM
Lingering unemployment. This has given people (a) more free time, and (b) more of an incentive to try to reduce their food costs. Nevertheless, I think hunting/fishing are still in a long-term decline because of increasing urbanization. Anyway, we shouldn't fall into the trap of relying on hunters to preserve our gun rights.

shafter
June 1, 2014, 08:43 AM
Maybe it has, maybe it hasn't. I for one sure haven't been seeing more hunters in the woods or parked along the side of the road. Even in spite of seeing major new gun buying in the past year or so this hasn't happened. That doesn't mean it isn't increasing in other areas but I usually don't trust statistics. They are too easy to manipulate.

jmr40
June 1, 2014, 08:55 AM
I didn't read the whole article, 168 pages, but did skim over the first 20 pages of so and studied the charts and graphs. It is interesting to note where the increases are. Alaska almost doubled the number of hunters. Roughly 1/2 of the states still saw a decrease, stayed the same or had very small gains. Pennsylvania, traditionally a big hunting state is down 25%. Texas, another big state for hunting is only up 10%. Georgia, where I live is way down. Michigan and Montana, are down 28% and 31%.

The biggest factor seems to be that more young hunters are getting involved. That is a good sign for our future as hunters and shooters. I sort'a think the "Duck Dynasty" TV program may well be a factor. The show is extremely popular with younger folks and it has made hunting cool.

Another factor may be the explosion of whitetail populations in many places. I didn't see this mentioned as a factor (it may be, but as said I didn't read the whole article). States like Illinois are up 78%. Southern states like Mississippi and Alabama where deer are considered pests are way up, 83% and 59%.

The question is, is this a long term trend, or a blip that will end and the downward trend continue? I hope it is a long term trend and we can keep younger hunters involved.

Sav .250
June 1, 2014, 09:14 AM
The true results is in the number of licenses sold by the various states DNR.
They seem to indicate ...a falling off.

jmr40
June 1, 2014, 10:30 AM
The data WAS compiled from license sales. Read the link, it depends on the state. Florida is dead even. No significant gains or losses. Data on page 15 of the link.

ilbob
June 1, 2014, 10:36 AM
Lots of things are cyclical in nature. Religion is one. Outdoor activities is another.

wankerjake
June 1, 2014, 11:57 AM
I believe it was somewhere in that time period (2006-2011) that Arizona started requiring a hunting license to put in for the big game draw. Prior to that change, you only had to buy a license if you were drawn. That could account for the giant spike in the AZ numbers.

KevininPa
June 1, 2014, 12:37 PM
.........I read it but one of the reasons is supposed to be healthier eating. Fish and game aren't loaded up with steroids and such for growth. At least not the wild stuff. Don't know about stocked fish or those pay to hunt places. It was only a few years ago that I read this. Maybe someone here might know the article.

buck460XVR
June 1, 2014, 01:11 PM
Many states, mine included, after seeing a decline in hunter/fisher numbers and knowing how dependent our resources are on license fees, have gone to great length to recruit new participants. Hunting and fishing have also become big business.....and thus heavily promoted. This is all a good thing and promises to keep these activities available for many years to come.

Potatohead
June 1, 2014, 01:13 PM
Lots of things are cyclical in nature. Religion is one. Outdoor activities is another.
I've never really thought of religion as being cyclical. Who knew..

huntsman
June 1, 2014, 02:27 PM
More hungry people? In Ohio Turkey and Whitetail still draw folks but small game has dropped way off(judging by anecdotal evidence)

Patocazador
June 1, 2014, 03:39 PM
Fishing sure didn't slow down in Fla. Perhaps license sales did but here you can fish free in your county of residence if you don't use a boat or a reel.

Hunting picked up due to old guys donating their time to OP's (other people's) kids so the sport wouldn't die. Including the women and girls is the other reason.

Rembrandt
June 1, 2014, 09:51 PM
My guess is the numbers are up because of increased locations of (Cabela's, Bass Pro's, Scheels, etc.) big box sporting goods retailers.....and the increase in hunting-reality TV shows. It's certainly not due to any State Fish & Game Department.

SleazyRider
June 1, 2014, 09:55 PM
Baby boomers are retiring, is all.

RPRNY
June 1, 2014, 10:05 PM
First, in each and every recessionary period since 1960, hunting and fishing rates have increased as measured by license purchases. Secondly, prior to the President becoming the greatest American gun salesman since Sam Colt, the industry, State Fish and Game agencies, and sportsmen groups, recognized the decline and started work through a number of groups to expand on excellent work begun 10 years ago by NSSF. Finally, increased concerns about our commercial food chain have brought a number of very unlikely earthy-crunchy types to the hunting and fishing world. It's good news in many ways.

kbbailey
June 1, 2014, 10:54 PM
A few years ago you could hardly drive down the roads here in rural illinois without hitting a deer with your car. I think that combined with the 'Bone Collector' 'Buck Commander' 'Crush' type "hunting" shows on cable have made hunting cool among the 20-30yr olds. At least they put the stickers in the back glass of their trucks.

WestKentucky
June 1, 2014, 10:55 PM
"Redneck" is cool. See duck dynasty, swamp people, etc and your sure to see a fishing rod or a meat gun. Add to that the big DIY push due to inflation (thanks Obama... And that $10 minimum wage will mean $8 value meal that's currently $5) and you have people wanting to put THEIR food on the table, not Walmart's food. So Obama scared people into buying guns and as others said now they want to use them. Again they can bring home their own pile of meat for just a few dollars spent on a hunting license and a box of shells. Again, redneck is cool so we have a big chunk of the nation where farmers let strangers hunt where now people are paying through the nose to hunt so now it's also a status symbol of sorts.

And yes it's a great thing that more people are interested, but now I am seeing more trespassing, poaching, and idiocy afield than ever before. It's hard to learn how to hunt from a book, and a lot of people are trying it. In my neck of the woods I need blaze orange Kevlar vests for me and the wife, especially now that GI Schmoe has moved into a rental house and lights up his legal m16 at 11pm every night. I'm waiting to see him on my property this year for deer season.

ridgerunner1965
June 2, 2014, 10:09 PM
all the reasons the guys have posted for the increase in hunting and fishing are good ones.

for me, my increase in hunting is simple economics.i can walk out my back door and be hunting within 5 min. or drive a 1/4 mile to another property and hunt. for just a few dollars and i mean a few as i can get free landowner tags. a few componets to load a box of shells, a few boxes of freezer bags and some sweat and i can put away 4 legal deer in my freezer with bow and gun.

add to that a couple deer a year that local guys give me so they dont have to mess with cuz their wife is not interested in cooking the nasty things, i have a whole freezer full of meat to get me thru the year.

cost maybe 50 bucks? same amount of beef? 500 to 750$? if not more.

see how the economics play into it? im thinking thats why im seeing so many more hunters in the woods these last few years.

fishing on the other hand is not so cost effective.. truck gas, boat gas etc for maybe 10 lbs of catfish, white bass or crappie fillets, yu get the idea.

but when you bite into a perfectly fried, fresh catfish fillet, can yu really put a price on that?

Ranger Roberts
June 3, 2014, 04:37 PM
Over the past few years I've noticed a big increase in the marketing towards female hunters. I'm sure that has to contribute to some of the increase.

samort457
June 3, 2014, 09:37 PM
I'm gonna have to go with the whole redneck is cool thing. All these TV shows show people doing "redneck" stuff. So the sheeple (sheep+people) think they should do it too. I personally think its pretty funny to try and watch these folks who move south out of STL and think they're all country now cause they have cowboy boots and drive a brand new truck.

Bobson
June 3, 2014, 09:49 PM
Thank Obama. People went out and bought guns because they thought they might not be able to get them after Obama got done. Then they wanted something to do with the guns they bought besides plinking. The whole phenomenon pushed fishing too. People have been getting in touch with their roots because of what Obama has tried to do IMO.
I believe a part of it may also be the whole "prepper" thing, which goes hand-in-hand with the firearm sales surge. People are gaining interest in learning to fend for their own survival, which necessarily includes hunting and fishing. May not be a huge part of the increase, but certainly some of it.

TheGrimReaper
June 5, 2014, 10:35 AM
More folks with guns, rising meat costs, men wanting to be men, instead of feminized liberals.

buck460XVR
June 5, 2014, 11:17 AM
More folks with guns, rising meat costs, men wanting to be men, instead of feminized liberals.


The biggest and fastest growing segment in the hunting and shooting sports is now women. It's has nuttin' to do with masculinity. It has to do with interest and positive exposure. Instead of the macho man takin' his girlfriend to the range and tellin' her to pull both barrels of his SxS shotgun at the same time so he can laugh, many states and local organizations have targeted females solely for the purpose of recruiting them into hunting and the shooting sports with experiences that are positive and fun. I help teach hunter safety. Years ago it was rare for a young girl or a women to take the class. Nowadays, it seems at least half are girls and moms are just as likely to come with their child and take the class as dads. So much for machismo.

R.W.Dale
June 5, 2014, 11:29 AM
Baby boomers are retiring, is all.


This

Thread over.



If the rapid and utter collapse of the large game ecosystem during the depression taught us anything it's that the so called preppers depending on hunting to supplement their diet are going to be sorely disappointed

twofifty
June 6, 2014, 02:53 AM
The biggest and fastest growing segment in the hunting and shooting sports is now women. It's has nuttin' to do with masculinity. It has to do with interest and positive exposure. Instead of the macho man takin' his girlfriend to the range and tellin' her to pull both barrels of his SxS shotgun at the same time so he can laugh, many states and local organizations have targeted females solely for the purpose of recruiting them into hunting and the shooting sports with experiences that are positive and fun. I help teach hunter safety. Years ago it was rare for a young girl or a women to take the class. Nowadays, it seems at least half are girls and moms are just as likely to come with their child and take the class as dads. So much for machismo.
Yes to the above. Lots of women are joining in the fun. Two years ago I got out-hunted by a couple
16 yo girls who work the local grocery store.

Industry knows it, and so do the gun mags: Eva Shockey is on the cover of the May 2014 Field & Stream.

Healthy food: organic, non-factory farm foods appeal to foodies, back-to-landers, 100-mile dieters, families with young kids.

The latter is the reason a friend started hunting a few years ago: he wanted his 18 month old to build a healthy strong body. The kid is now 8 yo and seldom gets sick ('cept for school related contagion), neither do her 2 younger pre-school siblings.

tahunua001
June 6, 2014, 09:08 PM
because people are becoming more hippy-ish. all of the urbanites are starting to look more at all of the industrial food farms and are not liking how the animals are treated. they also don't like allthe chemicals, hormones, and medications that they are ingesting by eating that meat. this is why organic meat is an ever increasing market. however organic meats and such are very expensive and becomes a PITA to continuously buy. so some people are actually taking up hunting because wild game is about the healthiest form of protein there is and you get exorcise while getting it. you have more of an appreciation for the food you do get and are less likely to waste it or overeat. CEOs, lawyers, doctors, secretaries, and all sorts of people who almost never left city limits are now becoming avid hunters because it gives them an incentive to do something with their vacation times. I did a paper on this phenomenon last year for my research writing classes in college.

HoploDad
June 6, 2014, 11:23 PM
Herrwalther: "Expenses. I started hunting more this year because costs of food went up and I already had a hunting rifle. Can fill a freezer with just a hunting license and a cheap bolt or lever action."

Agreed, we are doing the same. But "cheap" hunting probably depends on having guns & gear already owned and paid for, ammo sitting ready on the shelf and a free place to hunt nearby (using little gas to get there). Cheap or spendy, it's fun either way and that's a big draw too.

MCgunner
June 7, 2014, 09:30 PM
I think it might be the "TEOTWAWKI" prepper mentality now days. All the survival shows on TV, the prepper shows, reflect this mentality IMHO. Heck, look at the popularity of ZOMBIES! I mean, "zombie max ammo"? SHEESH!

So, your aspiring prepper buys an AR. He chats adnausium on BBSs about living off the land, I mean the guy has never even tried to hunt! He thinks he can just go out in the woods at will and harvest venison.

So, well, our prepper decides to TRY what he brags about, finds it's not nearly as easy as he'd though, but he accepts the challenge, bags his first deer eventually, discovers he likes the outdoors, well heck, new hunter!

That's my theory and I'm stickin' to it. :D

Art Eatman
June 8, 2014, 12:21 AM
No one cause, seems like. I'd call it, "All of the above." :D

docsleepy
June 8, 2014, 08:53 AM
Well, I am one of those new hunters.
1. Obama gets elected, wife rolls over in bed says maybe we should buy firearm.
2. Local gun store obliges and sells us a couple thousand worth of revolvers and small caliber rifles.
3. Next stop concealed weapon course, begin to understand pistols, stunned by accuracy of varmint competitors at local gun club.
4. Six PPC rifle, learn how to headspace, Savage rifles allow home gunsmithing, reloading starts.
5. Fellow at church introduces me to the concept of EMP. Two books later, we are learning how to can food and make a garden.
6. Shooting clover leafs in paper does get boring, so the guy down the road promises to teach me how to hunt deer. Froze my tush up a tree in Ohio never even saw a deer.
7. Friend of mine with an interest in a citrus farm in South Florida takes pity, astonishing set up, two shots two bucks, learn how to field dress, read about butchering on Wikipedia.
8. I left out the side trails into AR 15 of three different calibers, then Mosin-Nagant.
9. Second set of bullet casting molds just arrived! Bought land next to a wilderness, out watching deer just last week. Wife is learned how to make hamburger out of venison

docsleepy
June 8, 2014, 08:56 AM
Oh, and along the way there was a sale on front license plates for some silly saying" happy happy happy " at the local hardware store, heard it had to do with some kind of a controversy, bought a DVD, learned who Robertson was,, great fun.

SleazyRider
June 8, 2014, 09:41 AM
Great posts, Docsleepy! :)

jmorris
June 8, 2014, 09:47 AM
6. Shooting clover leafs in paper does get boring, so the guy down the road promises to teach me how to hunt deer. Froze my tush up a tree in Ohio never even saw a deer.

Ahh, yes...the "hunting" shows on TV are really killing shows. If all the action was like that I could take my 2 year old.

I would imagine less than stellar reviews of a show with a guy sitting still in a tree all day though.

docsleepy
June 8, 2014, 09:58 AM
I want you to know that I was (until recently) a complete city slicker, but I come from dirt poor forebears. I believe I am close to catching up to what teenagers of my great grandparents day already knew how to do.

Now I reload about seven calibers, taught over 15 people how to reload, first deer trophy goes on the wall soon. You would be astonished, I am in charge of a mentoring program to teach kids at a country church how to live country ways!

RPRNY
June 8, 2014, 06:18 PM
Well, I am one of those new hunters.

.... 6. Shooting clover leafs in paper does get boring, so the guy down the road promises to teach me how to hunt deer. Froze my tush up a tree in Ohio never even saw a deer.




So pleased to see you were introduced to hunting in the proper manner!

Welcome aboard :-)

swampcrawler
June 11, 2014, 08:51 PM
Duck dynasty and swamp people. :P

MCgunner
June 12, 2014, 12:07 PM
Do hunting shows CAUSE hunting popularity or REFLECT hunting popularity. Seems like they wouldn't have the high viewership if the audience had yet to try it. Wife swapping shows haven't spurred me to try it. Dancing with the stars hasn't gotten me to go buy ballet shoes. :rolleyes:

short barrel
June 12, 2014, 12:18 PM
Lots of reasons and explanations for going hunting. I'm the oddball I reckon because I don't go hunting to harvest meat. I do kill deer and turkey sometimes, but my big reason is to be in the woods. Doesn't anyone just want to go be in the woods and mountains and wild places?

Bezoar
June 12, 2014, 02:46 PM
the biggest rise in hunting numbers is ......

alot ofpeople do it for the IMAGE. THAT THEY ASSUME THEY WILL GET.
seriously, go in a hunting store. youd be surprised the reactions from people. i put on a nice clean pairofpants, button down shirt, and shave. no one listens to me.

but if i dont shave, dont change my clothes and wear something 'huntingish' like a hat with a gun company log, they just fall over themselves trying to talk to the big hunter

SleazyRider
June 12, 2014, 03:06 PM
youd be surprised the reactions from people. i put on a nice clean pairofpants, button down shirt, and shave. no one listens to me.

but if i dont shave, dont change my clothes and wear something 'huntingish' like a hat with a gun company log, they just fall over themselves trying to talk to the big hunter

Hahaha, that's a good one. It reminds me of an event at which I was asked to speak many years ago, specifically to relay my adventures studying the grizzly bear in Glacier National Park and Alaska. It was attended by "professional people" in the field of medicine and education, and I could tell they were a bit nervous when I showed up. One of the docs confided in me later that "they were expecting a person with a plaid shirt, a beard, and a lumbering sort of gait." I was clean shaven, wore a jacket and tie, and spoke the King's English during my presentation. Stereotypes are not confined to religious or racial minorities regardless of what CNN will have you think.

Art Eatman
June 12, 2014, 03:10 PM
If you don't wear cowboy shoes, how can you know anything about ranching? If you don't wear "ovryhauls" with one strap hanging down, how can you know anything about farming?

Sol
June 12, 2014, 03:17 PM
All the reality TV shows on cable now?

Everyone want's to live off the land like a mountain man / survivor now!
:D

But this too shall pass!
When they all find out they aren't Mountain men, or Survivors in the wild!
Or even good hunters.

And especially when they find out it really stinks when you field dress your first game or birds! :eek:

rc

Yep.

Tv has been pushing Lousiana, Alaska, hermitude, survival, prepping, doomsday stuff, rural/ southern living, guns etc. etc.

Edit: I know, rural and southern aren't mutually exclusive.

huntsman
June 12, 2014, 04:07 PM
Lots of reasons and explanations for going hunting. I'm the oddball I reckon because I don't go hunting to harvest meat. I do kill deer and turkey sometimes, but my big reason is to be in the woods. Doesn't anyone just want to go be in the woods and mountains and wild places?
Yeah I go for the hunt, I only hunt my land nowadays and it's mostly for deer and turkey. Some guys need the kill to feel fulfilled I just need the game to show up where I believe they will, If I get a good shot I take it if not oh well.

Last season I had a spot picked out for my blind and at the last minute gave it to my son, he killed an eight point and I was feeling very fulfilled cause he did all the work and paid for processing and I still got smokies and backstraps. :)

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