The Death of the Hunting Industry
The Death of the Hunting Industry -The Future of hunting
I’m not sure if most of us realize that in order for hunting to continue to be part of our lifestyle and heritage our numbers must remain at a level that is impactful. We have lost 2.2 million hunters since 2011 and are losing approximately 500,000 hunters yearly according to a study done by CAHSS in 2016 .And what’s even more scary is that the lion’s share of hunters today are males in their 50’s and will likely retire from hunting by age 70. That poses a real problem to the future of hunting because we can see an extreme drop off in the next 10-20 years even greater than the last 7 -10 years some experts say more than double.
I for one have struggled with the idea of bringing in new adult hunters into hunting in the past. It took me some time to realize that the key to control the bleeding here was not only introduce children but to get adults ages 21-40 involved in hunting and not just introduce them but help cultivate their interest into the passion that most of us share. I know with dwindling hunting access most of us already have a difficult time finding places to hunt and it seems counter productive to recruit more hunters but its crucial to us as community to keep our numbers and quite frankly our spending at or above where we are today. So how do we bring in new hunters without hurting our own personal hunting?
The Future of hunting
One thing I have done is I started looking at ways to bring adults into the community that help our cause without impacting my hunting in a negative way. One of these ways is instead involving strangers I looked closer and started inviting my non-hunting friends to go hunting with me and showed them how much fun it can be to hang out together in the wild. If you can get friends interested enough that they want to do that once a year “Boys Trip” with you… score! Another check in the win box their license sale gets counted, their hunting is low impact on hunting as a whole and you just created another topic for you and your buddy to connect on. Another way I have done this I got my wife involved and for a several reasons 1) Its another excuse for us to spend more time together 2) Helps get my kids interested; studies show that children who have moms who hunt as well are 4x more likely to adopt the hunting lifestyle 3) It gives us another common ground interest to talk about and she is not just gazing into the abyss when I start talking hunting. Listen my wife probably wont hunt without me and she may only go once or twice a year but a licence sale is a license sale and that’s another win for us. Hell this may sound shady but desperate times call for desperate measures if you cant get your wife interested in hunting but maybe she likes fishing, if you have the means you should still buy her a combo hunt/fish license.
Don’t want to bring on new hunters? Than help new hunters stay engaged. I have tried to make myself approachable to new hunters who have questions and need direction, but its not always easy when you work very hard to get where you are today and there are guys trolling for a free meal. I too scoff at the “where should I go hunt” question which angers most of us hunters on social media. So instead of giving away hunting spots I have adopted a “teach a man to fish” attitude with my responses. This has helped me protect my personal hunting while still helping out a fellow hunter in need of direction. There are far too many guys/gals out there that go looking for help and get discouraged because the people they look up to just ignore them or are often rude. This kind of action deters would be hunters and it does not help out our cause. The future of hunting relies on us to be unified, support one another and ensure our numbers to not dwindle to an insignificant percent of the population. This goes hand in hand with my #hunterup initiative , where a large portion of my plea is to help and support each other.
Please start thinking of the big picture here and get involved by recruiting potential hunters, help out existing hunters, get your kids involved and talk to your wife she may surprise you and love hunting…. This can be good for the both of you ….
Here is a Great interview I did with Mark Hall Who is A Hunter, Conversationalist, and forward Thinker… check out marks blog