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Shooting Industry August 2012 Digital Edition - Page 46

Industry Industry watch The Good And Bad News About Hunting Russ Thurman T here is continuing evidence that participation in hunting is increasing, providing welcome news to many companies in the industry, from those that manufacture hunting firearms to those that produce game calls. However, not all is well in hunting. The ever-present access challenge hinders the number of days hunters are in the field, thereby reducing the number of purchases they’re making. In a recent Southwick Associates survey, 23 percent of hunters said areas they tried to hunt last year had been restricted or placed off limits. While that’s less than a 1-percent increase over the previous year, it still translates into nearly one in four hunters losing access to areas to hunt. “Finding a place to hunt remains one of the biggest challenges to hunters and hunter recruitment,” said Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates, which designs and conducts the surveys at “As available lands for hunting diminish or change ownership, some hunters will inevitably grow frustrated and pursue other activities.” Southwick reports that more than half (52 percent) of those taking the survey said not having access to a hunting area reduced Finding a place to hunt remains one of the biggest challenges to hunters and hunter recruitment. the time they spent hunting in 2011. This is a 7-percent increase over 2010. More troubling is the number of hunters (11 percent) who said the loss of access kept them from hunting last year. A mere 7 percent of those responding to the questions said they had acquired access to different areas where they actually hunted more than originally planned. What can be done to improve access to lands for hunting? Southwick points to the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program, part of the 2008 Farm Bill. The three-year program was designed to provide incentives for private landowners to open their lands to hunting and fishing. Unfortunately, federal budget cuts killed the program. And, with additional federal budget cuts predicted, plus more landowners restricting access to their property, the biggest challenge to hunting — and the hunting market — continues to be land access. To learn more about how you can help increase hunting areas, visit NSSF’s website on hunting, at In addition, become involved in your local and state government. Let your voice be heard on hunting access. Salutes To A Battleship Sailor have the privilege of knowing a lot of fine people in the industry. Among the finest is Tom Ables, president of Venture, a marketing and communications firm in San Diego. He’s a gentleman, foremost, and a genuine all-around nice person. He also “knows his stuff.” He’s someone you just like being around. He’s also served his country. During World War II, he served aboard the USS Alabama. This past year, he visited the ship, along with his son, Ken. The ship is now a museum in Mobile, Ala. I’m sure it was a memorable moment when Tom took his old station aboard the ship in Engine Room #1, Main Control. Salutes to you, my friend. Thanks for your service. Contact Tom at (619) 234-7312; email: I Tom Ables takes his station aboard the USS Alabama in 1946 (left) and recently. Daniel Defense Revamps L.E. Packages aniel Defense has revamped its Law Enforcement Packages to better reflect the needs of today’s law enforcement professionals. Daniel Defense is equipping four L.E. Packages with gear widely approved by police departments and other law enforcement agencies. The Patrol Rifle Package (PRP), Designated Marksman Package (DMP), Lightweight Package (LWP) and Special Services Package (SSP) each include a Daniel Defense DDM4 rifle, sling, magazines and protective rifle case. “The configuration changes to the Daniel Defense Law Enforcement Packages are a direct result of user feedback, improving the usability of the firearms, and pairing our DDM4 rifles with premium accessories such as the Aimpoint PRO and Leupold Mark 4,” said Jay Duncan, Daniel Defense vice president of sales and marketing. For details of each package, call 1-866-554-4867. Also visit 46 AUGUST 2012 D Continued on page 45 Subscribe to SI DIGITAL

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