Whether in a duck blind or on the firing line, the majority of hunters and target shooters share their activity with a companion, and, as an NSSF-funded study reveals, they are there for one overriding reason: to have fun.
Armed with these findings on what motivates people to participate, the National Shooting Sports Foundation reminds sportsmen and women to keep it “fun and social” when introducing newcomers to the shooting sports.
“This is a great time of year to invite newcomers out to the range to learn about target shooting and to prepare for hunting season. Knowing to keep things ‘fun and social’ can help a mentor provide a great first-time experience–one that makes the newcomer eager to come back for more,” said Melissa Schilling, director of recruitment and retention for NSSF, the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry.
The NSSF-supported study, “Understanding Activities That Compete With Hunting and Target Shooting,” was conducted by Southwick Associates and Responsive Management, two respected research firms focusing on outdoor participation and identifying challenges to growing hunting and shooting.
The goal of the study is to better understand other outdoor activities that compete with hunting and target shooting so that the right promotional strategies can be used to reach newcomers and lapsed participants.
“Maintaining America’s hunting and recreational shooting traditions is important for many reasons, chief among them being that the hunting and sport shooting industries provide thousands of jobs annually,” the report says. “Also, hunters and target shooters are essential to species management and habitat conservation through the funds they donate to conservation, as well as the excise taxes they pay on hunting and shooting equipment. For this reason, it is essential that the American traditions of hunting and target shooting be continued.”
In addition to the “keep it fun and social” finding, the study also found the following:
NSSF encourages every individual, organization or company associated with the shooting sports to read the full study here .
The Learn to Shoot  section of NSSF’s website provides a number of resources to help individuals locate nearby shooting ranges, First Shots seminars, safety courses and firearms retailers.