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Shooting Industry December 2010 - Page 26

Industry news Number Of U.S. Hunters Greater Than Expected A new study funded by NSSF and conducted by Southwick Associates has found that the pool of American hunters is much larger than previously thought. Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates, says turning these “casual hunters” (who do not purchase a hunting license on an annual basis) into annual license buyers could bring major benefits to the shooting and outdoor industries, and more funds to state treasuries. “Considering hunters contribute more than $1 billion every year to wildlife conservation via licenses and excise taxes, if half of the hunters who lapsed this year had bought a license, conservation dollars would have increased by $97 million,” Southwick said. The NSSF report estimates that 21.8 million Americans hunted at least once over the past five years. Previous estimates have shown more than 14 million youth and adults hunt each year, but not all hunt- ers take to the field every year. Conducted in partnership with 17 state wildlife agencies, the study assessed license sales patterns and found that 78 percent of the U.S. hunters who bought a license in a given year also purchased one again the following year. By examining purchasing patterns over multiple years, it was determined that for every two hunters in the field this year, one is taking the year off. “We now have a better idea of hunters’ regional purchasing habits, recreational choices and overall lifestyle preferences,” said Jim Curcuruto, director of research and analysis for NSSF. “Savvy industry marketing and communications professionals will use these data to enhance their advertising efforts.” A free summary of the study may be downloaded at www.shootingindustry. com in the “SI Digital Bonus” section. SI Digital readers, click the “Bonus” logo. SI Visit and for more information. DIGITAL Bonus 26 Read SI DIGITAL • NEW BUSINESS YEAR SUPER ISSUE 2011

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