Wingshooting USA Viewers Travel More, Most Pursue Pheasants

Scott Linden and Buddy Afield
Scott Linden and Buddy Afield

USA –-( Reflecting growing optimism in the economy and their own passion, Wingshooting USA TV viewers traveled more than ever last season, with two states seeing double-digit growth in visiting hunter numbers.

And most were after pheasants. Those are some of the just-released data from the program’s annual “Upland Nation Index” viewer survey.

Show creator-host Scott Linden said his fans love to travel, with 63 percent saying they hunted outside their home state last season, up 13 percent from last year and the highest percentage since the survey began in 2011. When they arrived, 14 percent stayed in hunting lodges, but the vast majority (83 percent) freelanced on public land or private land open to hunting, staying in hotels or camping.

The top out-of-state destinations were South Dakota (up 17 percent versus 2014’s survey; totaling 34 percent of all respondents who traveled out of state); and Kansas (up 24 percent versus 2014’s survey, totaling 21 percent of all respondents who traveled out of state).

Wingshooting USA TV fans are often traveling to those and other states to hunt their favorite game bird species, ringneck pheasant (cited by 43 percent of respondents). A distant second were all species of quail, at 19 percent.

The Wingshooting USA Upland Nation Index is the largest and most comprehensive survey of upland bird hunters in the country. Conducted annually since 2011, the survey tracks brand awareness, market share, purchasing plans, and hunter behavior, among other data.

The official TV series of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Wingshooting USA is also the most-watched bird hunting show on television. The program airs on seven networks including Discovery’s Destination America. Sponsors include YETI Coolers, Paw Print Genetics, Cabela’s, Happy Jack Inc., Filson, Kansas Dept. of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism, Camp Chef, TruckVault, Fiocchi ammunition, South Dakota Tourism, ADAK Adventure Trailers, and Ugly Dog Hunting Co. The show’s conservation partner is Quail Forever. More information: