Hunting Participation in the United States: 2012 to 2014 and Participation Forecasts for 2014 to 2016.
Harrisonburg, VA – -(Ammoland.com)- Responsive Management recently coordinated with all 50 state fish and wildlife agencies to continue monitoring hunting participation throughout the United States.
Following up on the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, Responsive Management worked with key personnel in each agency to estimate the trend in their state’s hunting participation for the past two years as well as the next two years.
Findings from the 2011 National Survey (which examined the trend in hunting participation between 2006 and 2011) and the Responsive Management study (which looked at hunting participation between 2012 and 2014 and expected participation between 2014 and 2016) together offer a more complete picture of the state of hunting participation in the United States. One of the immediate takeaways is that the participation gains documented by the last National Survey have begun to level off across much of the country.
The 2011 National Survey determined that 28 states experienced increased hunting participation between 2006 and 2011. Responsive Management, meanwhile, identified just 12 states that saw increased participation in hunting between 2012 and 2014 (see map above). These states are Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah. Each of the states that reported increased hunting participation between 2012 and 2014 were continuing a trend of rising hunter numbers as documented in the National Survey, with four exceptions: Georgia, Maine, North Carolina, and Oklahoma each saw decreased hunting participation between 2006 and 2011, before reversing this trend for the period between 2012 and 2014.
On the whole, agencies most commonly reported that their state’s hunting participation had stayed the same between 2012 and 2014. States that reported increases in hunting in recent years, meanwhile, tended to be in the southern region of the country (exceptions are Connecticut, Idaho, Maine, and Utah). Otherwise, a fifth of the agencies indicated that hunting participation in their state had decreased between 2012 and 2014.
Looking ahead to the next two years, one in five agencies anticipates an increase in their state’s hunting participation between 2014 and 2016 (see map below). And while the southern region predominated among states that saw increased participation between 2012 and 2014, those agencies expecting increased hunter numbers over the next two years make up a more geographically diverse selection of regions: states anticipating a rise in hunting participation between 2014 and 2016 are Connecticut, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Utah, and Washington. As with the earlier time frame, agencies most commonly expect that their state’s hunting participation will stay the same over the next two years, while eight states anticipate a decline.
The color-coded maps above reflect agency responses regarding current and anticipated hunting participation. Because, in some cases, conflicting data were obtained, the maps occasionally use an “average” color to represent the overall state response.
Responsive Management is an internationally recognized public opinion and attitude survey research firm specializing in natural resource and outdoor recreation issues. Our mission is to help natural resource and outdoor recreation agencies and organizations better understand and work with their constituents, customers, and the public. For more information about Responsive Management, visit www.responsivemanagement.com.