American sportsmen hail from every walk of life imaginable, and just as they are a diverse crowd, so too are their reasons for participating in hunting. While many portray hunting as an intense effort to get game, the reality is the overall outdoor experience holds much more sway in attracting people to the sport.
To monitor long term trends, each year HunterSurvey.com inquires about hunters’ motivations. The January 2013 poll found that rather than one key or leading reason that motivated sportsmen to hunt, there are actually many. And no single motivator stands completely head and shoulders above the rest. When asked “Why do you like to hunt?, respondents provided the following answers (participants could check all that apply):
• Like to spend time outdoors 92%
• Enjoy seeing wildlife 87%
• Enjoy the peace and quiet of the outdoors 87%
• Enjoy the challenge 80%
• Like to spend time with friends/family who hunt 74%
• Like providing food for my family/friends 70%
• Other 9%
“This matches recent in-depth NSSF research that showed hunters go afield for fun, social and outdoor reasons. From spending time with family and friends outdoors to the peace and solitude of being alone in nature, hunting is much more than taking game,” says Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates, which designs and conducts the surveys at HunterSurvey.com, ShooterSurvey.com and AnglerSurvey.com. “Future efforts to increase hunting, or to successfully promote hunting-related products and services, must emphasize fun, social interactions and the total outdoor experience hunting provides.”
To help continually improve, protect and advance angling and other outdoor recreation, all sportsmen and sportswomen are encouraged to participate in the surveys at HunterSurvey.com, ShooterSurvey.com and/or AnglerSurvey.com. Each month, participants who complete the survey are entered into a drawing for one of five $100 gift certificates to the sporting goods retailer of their choice.