Some Good News for a Change!

For years it has seemed that hunters and shooters have gotten nothing but bad news: Our numbers have been decreasing, the public doesn’t like us, etc. Well, some numbers from the census bureau that were released last week offer encouragement. Between 2006 and 2011 there was a 9 percent increase in hunters and an 11 percent increase in anglers nationwide. If you include all wildlife-related outdoor recreation, it is estimated that 38 percent of Americans—a bit more than 91 million aged 16 or older—participate in these activities.

Now before we get our chests all puffed up, let’s be honest: Only 6 percent of the nation hunts and 14 percent fishes. Still, I’ll be happy with the upward blip. In terms of individual states, Texas led in outdoor recreation with 1.1 million hunters and 2.4 million anglers. South Dakota led the country in terms of the percentage of citizens who hunt at 21 percent. My beloved Wyoming came in third in that category at 18 percent.

Whether these numbers reflect a flagging economy that chooses to spend its recreation dollars closer to home or perhaps the efforts to promote these activities via game and fish departments and conservation groups—like the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Pheasants Forever—I cannot say. It's likely a bit of both. What’s more important is that we seem to be turning the corner concerning the attitudes of the populace. They could be accepting hunting as a legitimate wildlife conservation tool and a wholesome family activity. It may be a small step forward, but it’s a good one and we need to continue the trend.

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1 Response to Some Good News for a Change!

miguel B wrote:
December 14, 2012

Hey this may just be my two cents but, the few hunters out there the better. I've had about my fill of running into other hunters while trying to find my deer. Let them der city folk stay safe from them der wild animals in their cities. lol