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jim boyd's picture
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Hunting Not Really On the Decline?

I will post this in the Whitetail forum - only because I do not know where to post it and the article does refer to "deer" hunters.

In a report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (http://www.nssf.org/), a pro hunting and shooting group, statistics that show hunting is on the decline are really called into question....

This article states that there are about 14 million hunters in the United States - most of which are deer hunters - BUT - that there are about another 7 million that hunt some - at least occasionally - over a five year period...

These "occasional" hunters actually swell the ranks of hunters to more people in the woods that some groups might portray... particularly anti-hunters, environmentalist groups, etc... who love to portray hunters as a dwindling or dying breed.

Now, admittedly, it is in NSSF's best interest to put a positive spin on the situation - but they do cite women hunters and youth groups as one of the breeding grounds for new recruits to hunting - good news in any hunter's mind, I would think.

The challenge for us - hunters in general - is to perpetuate the sport... and we can ALL do this - one at the time.

Commit yourself to bring at least one hunter into the sport over the next five year period.

If we all did that - and let's just say there are ONLY 14 million of us... and we all bring JUST one in over the next 5 years - that is 7 million new hunters in that period.

If we only kept one in ten of the folks that were introduced - we would gain 700,000 hunters... that would certainly exceed the numbers of hunters that die, get too old to hunt or just give it up on GP...

Do you agree and will you commit??

I do agree and I will....

groovy mike's picture
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Totally agree

Jim:

 

As usual, I totally agree with you.

I'm doing my part taking my son and his friends hunting this year and next.  They are all 14 and just barely legal for their first hunting license this year.  It is very cool being out there with these guys helping them take their first "squirrel, duck, goose, rabbit, deer, or whatever"

Don't forget to preach muzzle control and to keep your finger off teh trigger, but after that - have fun as long as it is within the legal and ethical guidelines.

We haven't bagged a lot of game, but their excitement is contagious.

Definitely take a young hunter out if you get the chance.

This year my son took his first squirrels and geese, and had his first shots on turkey (missed).

Next year - God willing we'll bag a turkey or two for him and add deer hunting to the mix.

I'm REALLY looking forward to it

Critter's picture
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One thing that I have noticed

One thing that I have noticed in my family is that while the kids are growing up and going out with dad they love it.  But once they reach the get away from the house and mom and dad they drop out of it.

I have one nephew that would rather hunt than do anything else and he is good at it.  But his kids are another story.  They loved getting out with dad, and grandpaw and the rest of us on elk, deer, and bird hunts but once they got out of school they could now care less.  I also have another nephew that would rather take pictures of the animal than chase them with a weapon in his hands, and while that is fine and good it still isn't hunting.  So my one brother in law has a family of 6.  Two boys and 4 girls and out of them he has two hunters.  One of the boys and one of the girls witch I believe isn't very good odds. 

Another problem that I have seen in getting new hunters out there is the chance at getting a tag out here in the west, not to mention getting the time off of work to fill that tag.  All of my favorite states to hunt are now draw only for deer and if you want a tag for a better than average elk it is also a draw tag and those tags you have to wait for a few years to be able to draw them.  Now most of the states offer youth hunts but those hunts are set up for a kid under 18, and I have seen one state that let 1400 tags go unfiled because they set them up for the youth hunt and they had that many left that didn't go to other hunters that would of loved the chance. 

There is an answer out there some where on what to do to get more kids out there and keep them but I haven't figure it out yet. 

groovy mike's picture
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my favorite Peter Capstick quote

Critter wrote:

I also have another nephew that would rather take pictures of the animal than chase them with a weapon in his hands, and while that is fine and good it still isn't hunting. 

 

I think it was Peter Hathaway Capstick who wrote that hunting with a camera was 'like kissing your sister, well not exactly like kissing your sister, more like kissing a rather voluptous cousin.  It might feel right at the time, but in your heart you know that it just aint right!'

I think he might have something there although I don't intend to try either one any time soon (sister, cousin,. or hunting with just a camera!).

As for the kiddos growing up and losing interest - I guess that's to be expected ata  certain age.  Other things just get to be real important at that age, but hopefully they'll come back to hunting later in life and even if they don't, I'll ejoy it with them while I can and call it time well spent