Sitka Gear

A Financial break for Hunter Recruitment?

SAJ-99

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Messages
1,727
Location
Montana
The "younger generation" convo is so ridiculous and trite. :rolleyes:
Maybe to you, because you see yourself as representing the group. I'm not saying it applies to ALL. That would be ridiculous. My point is there is a lot of factors that play into the "stickiness" of people staying with ANY sport. The same conversation happens in Golf or Tennis or whatever. It isn't just cost. Access is the key to opening the door, but why some people make a lifetime commitment after they walk through that door is complex. I can't even say for sure why I did it.
 

wllm1313

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2015
Messages
11,485
Location
Manetheren
Maybe to you, because you see yourself as representing the group. I'm not saying it applies to ALL. That would be ridiculous. My point is there is a lot of factors that play into the "stickiness" of people staying with ANY sport. The same conversation happens in Golf or Tennis or whatever. It isn't just cost. Access is the key to opening the door, but why some people make a lifetime commitment after they walk through that door is complex. I can't even say for sure why I did it.
I'm saying that the externalities of life make it impossible to judge an entire generation. The whole "walk a mile in someone else's shoes thing"

You don't get what it's like to literally apply to 500 jobs in 2 weeks get 10 interviews and not get a job. I have no idea what it's like to find a job pre-internet, to actually "do the foot work"

That doesn't make either of us lazy or mean that we haven't earn where we are, it just means times have changed and the way grit and resiliency are displayed are different, doesn't mean they aren't still there.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Messages
17
I appreciate all the candid discussion on the post. Lots of directions this conversation could go. I was coming at it from someone who struggles with time and other commitments but now has the financial means to go compared to my younger self who had the time, but not the financial means. I shouldn’t have lumped the two with R3 as I agree it would be difficult for a new hunter to start with elk hunting. I see the flaw in that connection. I was trying to brainstorm ideas on how to improve opportunity which is where I think most people took the conversation. Fun to see all the ideas and passion for the sport. I think we all have a common goal of preserving what we love and we can all agree it’s difficult to regain access once it is lost. That is probably the biggest challenge we face. I also disagree that more hunters is a bad thing. Maybe on the individual success level it is due to competition, but the more people demanding access the easier it will be to preserve and hopefully increase.
 

wllm1313

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2015
Messages
11,485
Location
Manetheren
I appreciate all the candid discussion on the post. Lots of directions this conversation could go. I was coming at it from someone who struggles with time and other commitments but now has the financial means to go compared to my younger self who had the time, but not the financial means. I shouldn’t have lumped the two with R3 as I agree it would be difficult for a new hunter to start with elk hunting. I see the flaw in that connection. I was trying to brainstorm ideas on how to improve opportunity which is where I think most people took the conversation. Fun to see all the ideas and passion for the sport. I think we all have a common goal of preserving what we love and we can all agree it’s difficult to regain access once it is lost. That is probably the biggest challenge we face. I also disagree that more hunters is a bad thing. Maybe on the individual success level it is due to competition, but the more people demanding access the easier it will be to preserve and hopefully increase.
I think you brought up a great topic, sometimes you need to lob out a starter idea to create a good discussion.

Certain hunts are really cost prohibitive for folks starting out on their own. I can 100% see where you were coming from. I really had to pinch pennies and do things as cheap as possible for my first 4 or 5 years. I was lucky I lived out west, I would not have hunted elk otherwise.
 

beginnerhunter

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2016
Messages
1,192
Didn't read all the responses so may be out of context at this point. But will answer OP question.

I think the focus should be in small game hunting, local fishing, and other easily repeatable activities. If they take NR hunting away from me or make it too expensive (and I am inching closer to that all the time) I'm still going to hunt deer or squirrels or fish in the lakes of my own state. Pretty easy to form a hunting/fishing hobby here.

At this point moose and sheep are out of the question for me but I'm not like "well hunting isn't for me".
 

Irishman

Active member
Joined
Jul 27, 2017
Messages
72
Location
Kalispell, Montana
I keep hearing how we need more people to get into hunting. However, everywhere I hunt, there are way more people hunting than there used to be, and it is harder and harder to find places that aren't crowded.
I guess the argument for it is that if we get more people hunting, then there will be more pro-hunters to vote. This is a poor argument, as hunters are such a small minority in the country, and they will never be the majority. So recruiting more people to hunt, will never gain you the kind of influence that you want. It is much more important to put time and energy into keeping more land open for hunting, than it is to have more hunters while land available for hunting shrinks.
 

huntHARDer

New member
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
19
It is no secret; the number of hunters is declining. According to the National Survey of Hunting, Fishing, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, we have lost 2.2 million hunters between 2011 to 2016. Baby Boomers make up roughly 1/3 of all hunters and we know they are aging. What does that matter? Well according to the Wildlife Management Institute’s director Matt Dunfree, “If you watch the demographic shift of license purchases by age, what you find is that when people hit their late 60s and early 70s, regardless of how much you incentivize them, they stop hunting and fishing.” Which means in 15 years we could see the numbers of hunters decline another 30 percent.

We have all heard about R3; recruitment, retainment, and reactivation. These programs have not done a good job tracking their results so making a conclusion of the efficacy is difficult. However, as the number of hunting license sales decline if can be hypothesized we are only reaching those kids who come from a background/family of hunters. One R3 event is not enough to pull a child from a non-hunting family into the lifestyle. Parents don’t have disposable income, ample time, and may have their own competing interests. However, 18-25-year-olds have time, income, and the interest that may develop them into lifelong outdoor men and women.

I know we all compete for access and spots, but without lowering the barriers of entry we will soon find there are not enough of us to have a loud enough voice to protect what we love. I will quote Randy Newberg here and say, “the answer to public pressure is not less hunters, it is more access.”

Here is my proposal: For applicants (18 to 25 years old) for big game animals in the west, non-resident applicants pay resident charges. Applicants would still need to follow all of the laws and would be restricted to the same non-resident license numbers. Their cost of entering the game would just be less. This would allow someone with the time and not the money to expose themselves to the experience. He or she has that first bull elk scream in their face and they are now hooked for life. They buy hunting licenses for their lifetime, supporting conservation and they are another voice for the lifestyle. As they get older and have more disposable income, they will be able to pay the non-resident fees and continue supporting the land and wildlife.

Curious to hear peoples thoughts on this idea. I know that it would likely worsen draw odds with more applicants applying, but would improve hunting numbers in the long run and help support keeping wild places wild.

Source for my numbers and interesting article: https://www.outdoorlife.com/why-we-are-losing-hunters-and-how-to-fix-it/
hate your idea
 

Vinootz

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Messages
24
The best we could all do is to take friends and family to hunt and shoot from a young age and even adult ages. It requires effort and sacrifice on our part. Don’t underestimate grown ups as potential for growth. Many people I encounter are folks above the age of 50 that want to hunt and shoot. It’s something that in the back of their mind they’ve always wanted to do and might get around to. But it’s never been a priority and is easy to put on the back burner . Now that many may have more time and money(especially retirees), it is a demographic that should be targeted as well as youngins.
 

nettereo16

Active member
Joined
Mar 1, 2017
Messages
129
Location
NC
Virginia mailed me a packet of jerky seasoning when I took an apprentice hunter out! I appreciated that even though it's not going to turn the tide.
 

406dn

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
901
I have not read all of the posts. I think the biggest impediment to bringing young hunters into the fold is a lack of mentorship for young people.

The largest share of the coming generation lives in urban or suburban areas. It is likely than none of their family or extended family hunts. So even when the interest is there, they are stymied by where to start.

I have hunted in my lifetime far more than did my father. Our son, hunted with me while growing up and into his early adulthood. His interest has waned. He still fishes some but I doubt he'll hunt going forward.

If there was an easy solution, it would be known by now. Hopefully, I can expose our grandkids to the joys of hunting. But the world they will live during their adult life will be a far different world than the one I have. I cannot see a scenario where their opportunities could come close to what I've enjoyed.
 

one ate E grain

Active member
Joined
May 3, 2013
Messages
219
Location
25 miles N of Denver amongst sprawl
Outdoor-enthusiast24, It's great you are thinking of such things, new ideas and new perspective is how things improve.

We aren't running out of hunters in my western state, 2021 draw numbers were up by some tens of thousands, can't remember if it was ten or twenty but I do remember five figures.

As for cost I can't agree more. I'd like to see all, resident and non resident pay the same price, if limits on hunters are needed start with some sort of non resident lottery. Funding divisions of wildlife with hunters fees set by those same divisions of wildlife is a zero sum game. If I had to go by appearances here I'd say our CPW is primarily here to rescue "orphaned" bear cubs and assist boaters. My daughter just got a learners permit to drive, cost like $13, I don't see why it needs to be more to hunt.
 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
96,146
Messages
1,452,427
Members
30,217
Latest member
rockpuck51
Top