https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/hunting-shooting-sports-participation-more-diverse-than-ever/

A new report shows there is more diversity right now in hunting and recreational shooting participation than ever before.

The 2022 Special Report on Hunting and the Shooting Sports, released by the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports (Council) and the Outdoor Foundation, provides a comprehensive look at the more than 30 million Americans ages 6 and over who took part at least once in hunting or target shooting with both firearms and archery equipment in 2021. The report shows trends and includes detailed information about participation including motivations, barriers, and preferences of participants.

Highlights from the new report include:

Hunting:

  • 6 percent of the U.S. population ages 6 and over went hunting at least once
  • 27 percent of participants were female, up from 16 percent a decade ago
  • Share of hunters who were Black or Hispanic increased 4 percent and 1 percent, respectively, on average for the past 3 years
  • “For food/meat” was the number one motivation for hunting
  • 49 percent of hunters first took part before the age of 18
  • 68 percent of hunters were introduced to hunting by family members

Firearms Target Shooting:

  • 2 percent of the U.S. population ages 6 and over participated in target shooting
  • 32 percent of participants were female, up from 25 percent a decade ago
  • Share of target shooters who were Black or Hispanic increased 5 percent and 4 percent, respectively, on average for the past 3 years
  • “For recreation” was the number one motivation for target shooting
  • “High cost” was the number one barrier reported for target shooting

Archery Target Shooting:

  • 4 percent of the U.S. population ages 6 and over participated in archery
  • 39 percent of participants were female, the highest since 2016
  • Archers are slightly more diverse than firearms target shooters
  • “For recreation” was the number one motivation for target shooting
  • 19 percent of participants shot solely on public property/ranges

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation President & CEO Kyle Weaver is a member of The Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports Board of Directors.

(Photo credit: West Virginia Division of Natural Resources)

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