View Full Version : If hunting is on the decline in the U.S.A., then....

April 18, 2006, 09:07 AM
how do you explain the high level of proliferation & success of places like Bass Pro, Cabelas, Gander Mountain, & Sportsman's Warehouse over the last 10-15 years?

Is it because fishing is becoming MORE popular? Or are these stores simply taking the mom & pop stores' business away from them? Or is hunting not actually declining, but on the rise? Or a combination of these factors?

Ohio Annie
April 18, 2006, 09:20 AM
Fewer hunters, more gadgets and gear.

I simply MUST have that folding turkey hunting chair.:eek:

April 18, 2006, 10:02 AM
I think hunting is at least staying stable, if not growing. I'm always meeting new hunters in the woods or finding out people I work with hunt.

Heck, I got into hunting late in life myself (late 20s, I'm 32 now). I have family members who hunt, but my parents didn't. I got into it via friends and coworkers.


Wild Bill Bucks
April 18, 2006, 11:27 AM
When I was growing up I had a lot of freinds that went to the woods hunting with me , and all they really wanted to do was shoot a lot of shells.
Nothing wrong with that, but we didn't have shooting ranges and clubs much back then. Nowdays there are probably as many shooters as there has ever been, just more of them at the ranges and not so many in the woods actually hunting.(Although during deer season, it sure seems like there are more and more every year)

I still know a lot of guys who love to go to the range and shoot with me, but wouldn't be caught dead in the woods.

Just my 2 cents.

April 18, 2006, 01:53 PM
Proliferation ?? The hunting/fishing/camping industry is not a growth industry !! Our population has doubled in the last 30 years , destroying more wildlife habitate. The anti-gun, anti-hunting campaigns have taken their toll.More people live in urban areas.Many people have never even seen a wild animal !!

Art Eatman
April 18, 2006, 03:09 PM
1. The decline isn't all that much, percentagewise.

2. The newbies coming into the game are much more into "stuff" than us old guys. For instance, my hunting clothes are my more-worn khakis; I've never bought camo. I don't buy no-smell soap or the miscellaneous little gadgets and widgets that seem to be popular at Cabela's et al.

Us Old Farts die off; the newbies buy Stuff.

:), Art

April 18, 2006, 05:37 PM
I am headed to a guide school at the end of May and the president of this corpation was telling me and my family that there are more people wanting to hunt then there are places. He was also telling us that there are more jobs in the outdoors than ther are people wanting to work them.:D :D :D

Wild Bill Bucks
April 19, 2006, 09:32 AM

Wish you luck on your guide training, but don't get your hopes up to high at making a lot of money at it.
There are a lot of guides, but most of them are part timers that have other jobs.
There are a lot of guys that graduate college every year wanting to become Forestry workers and Game wardens, but only 2 out of 100 go to work at it.
Remember the school is in business to take your money for training you to guide, not guideing themselves.
There are some opportunities out there, and if you work really hard, and conservative, you can be successful.
But always remember when dealing with Corporations, that they are like monkeys on a ladder. Every monkey is willing to look up the ladder and jerk the next monkey down so he can move up a notch. Most of them fail to realize, when they move up, they are still looking up another monkeys butt.
So be careful what they tell you about all those career opportunities, as they are in business to sell you something.

Just food for thought, not trying to bring you down.

Art Eatman
April 19, 2006, 10:11 AM
"...there are more people wanting to hunt then there are places."

True. However, in some parts of the U.S. there are fewer places to hunt. Large tracts of land get broken up via inheritance or profit, and the new owners don't want hunting.

Add to this that the cost of hunting on private lands has had people looking to public lands, which leads to crowding.

Example: I was offered 3,200 acres near Ozona, Texas, for $4/acre. No guides, no amenities. That tract would be okay for maybe six guys, or some $2,000 each. The owner would allow each hunter one bragging buck and then fill out the tag with lesser bucks and with does. Good, sound management.

For $2,000, I could go to public lands in the west and add to the crowd.


April 19, 2006, 12:13 PM
Well the guide school is jhyst to tack on to my Resume of my collage degree of wildlife managment and bio minor so I should be set with a job. Also I have already had several job offers in the hill country so in my eyes I am pretty much set on a job.:D :D :D

April 19, 2006, 03:17 PM
Us Old Farts die off; the newbies buy Stuff.

I know you were being general, Art, but I am an exception here. I wear heavy canvas insultated bibs from Tractor Supply that are thick enough to get me through the thick thorns we hunt in and a hand-me-down coat from my dad, best coat I have ever worn in the field. I am 24, about the only thing I splurge on in this regard is a quality gun and good boots. A good deer camp should be able to be scent tracked by humans on a moonless night. I guess I am just a traditionalist.

April 21, 2006, 08:33 PM
As Ohio Annie mentioned, fewer hunters are spending a heck of a lot more on hunting.
I think it was Field & Stream or American Hunter that published the numbers a couple of months ago. The aging of the hunting population is dramatic. We are not "recruiting" new hunters as fast as we are dying off- a fact that has PETA excited. Ponder that for a few minutes.
In my experience, hunters are spending at least several times more on gear, licenses, vehicles, etc. that the previous generation or two.

Jack O'Conner
April 21, 2006, 11:27 PM
There are definately more Easterners and Texans hunting in the western states than ever before. First they come with their archery gear to wound and spook elk herds. Next wave arrives with RV's and 4 wheelers. So it goes.

silicon wolverine
May 3, 2006, 06:42 AM
Another reason is more shooters are getting into the millitary style guns. THey want to shoot what they see in the movies. I see alot more traffic at gunboards and gunsnet etc on the AK, AR, FAL, CETME boards than ever before. Some guys dont want to spend days out in the bush to fire one round to kill a deer. Some just like going to the range and blasting away. And yes the big name discount stores are killing off the mom and pop sport shops, especially in the smaller towns.


May 3, 2006, 07:34 AM
In Texas, the term Agra-Business is being applied more and more to hunting. There are organizations promoting scientific breeding for trophy bucks. You can charge somebody a few thousand dollars to shoot one of these.
Now, they're doing the same thing for "wild" hog management. For a few hundred dollars per half-day, you can got to a quail hunting resort, shoot skeet, eat gourmet food and go out in your LL Beam Haute Couture hunting outfit to shoot pen -raised quail (fence to fence cultivation and fire ants have eliminated the wild ones, don't you know). The goal is to be the hunter who pulls the most expensive stack barrel out of his hard case.

There is very little public hunting land in Texas and, during hunting season, most of it is about as crowded as the WalMart parking lot.

May 9, 2006, 02:06 PM
When I was a child I remember waking up to the sound of 'bobwhite' and I remember looking out my window and occassionally seeing a covy of quail wandering through my yard... The first game I ever shot and brought home to cook... was 'quail'. I know a few places where they can be found out in the wild - but it's not like it used to be. The biggest problem is I think loss of habitat rather than 'anti-hunting sentiment'. What keeps me from hunting more these days(not just for quail but for any game) is not the lack of firearms or a change of heart in regard to the desire to hunt - but the expense and trouble of it. Don't get me wrong - I find a way to do it - but I think it's harder these days for people to find a reasonable place to hunt.
I'd love to go to Africa and hunt a Cape Buffalo - but I can't afford it.
I'd love to hunt Elk on a regular basis - but I can't afford it. I'd love to walk down the road and go hunting...but there's new housing subdivisions being built all over the place...and it's just harder to find a place...where I can casually go out and hunt all day... Today when people hunt - they have to plan for it like it was a business meeting ie. 1) find a place(often via a guide) 2) drive all day in a $40k SUV to get there 3) When they get there - it's as if they've arrived at a Golf Course ie. there's the stand!!! 4) the deer seem to arrive on schedule 5) Booom - well, the $2000 Weatherby did it's job again this year!!! Yawning....... My favorite hunts were when I was a young adolescent in the moutains of North Georgia...when I would set out exploring....and the hunt was indeed a hunt...and if I came up empty...I still didn't feel cheated ! :cool: