Approval of Hunting Increases
Our friend Mark Duda owns Responsive Management, which specializes in scientific research and surveys related to hunting, fishing and the outdoors. We’ve worked together on national shooting sports summits and natural resources conferences over the last few decades, but we’ve never seen him as enthused as he was with the results from a recent hunting survey.
He just released the findings of a nationwide scientific survey documenting the public’s attitude toward hunting. He has been asking the same questions and tracking the trend as American’s approval of hunting has waxed and waned. Well, the new study shows the public’s highest level of support for hunting since 1995, the year he launched the first study.
Mark said 79% of Americans 18 years old and older approve of hunting, up five percentage points from 74% in 2011. The sampling error is +/-3% for this 2013 study, which found 9% gave a neutral answer, while only 12% disapprove of hunting.
“The reasons for this increase are still unclear,” Mark said, “but it may have something to do with the recent increase in hunting and shooting participation that has occurred.”
He’s talking about the 9% increase in hunting participation since 2006 documented by the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation done every five years by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Census Bureau. When you and your fellow members are sharing this good news with others, including non-hunters, you can also mention that shooting participation has increased 18% since 2009.
Make no mistake, it’s important to share this good news because, whether you realize it or not, you are an ambassador for the sport and for our organization. According to some of Mark’s other Responsive Management studies on public opinion about hunting, “the strongest correlation with approval of hunting is knowing a hunter—over and above demographic variables or any other factor.” If someone knows you and hears and sees you being ethical, responsible and just plain nice, it makes a difference on what they think about hunting and hunters.
Mark said, “With the increased number of hunters in the field and sport shooters at the range, it is possible that this increase is being reflected in support for hunting as well.”
CLICK HERE to view Responsive Management graph on approval and disapproval of legal hunting.
CLICK HERE to view Responsive Management graph on trends in approval and disapproval of hunting.