Less and less hunters?

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PredatorTC
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Less and less hunters?

Unread postby PredatorTC » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:25 pm

I keep hearing it over and over again that the hunting community is shrinking and less and less the licenses are being sold every year. I've seen it written and heard it from many people in the "industry", but I just don't see it. In my opinion I've seen the exact opposite.

Just curious what you guys have seen over the last five to 10 years in the areas and different states across the country?


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Lockdown
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Re: Less and less hunters?

Unread postby Lockdown » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:46 pm

I would say there are less hunters in my area. That goes for deer, duck, and pheasant. I think its more due to populations being low for all three, especially duck and pheasant.

Biggest change I've seen with deer hunting since I started in 1994 is nobody does deer drives any more. Fine with me as buck quality seems to be going up. Part of that is from people managing their properties too.
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Re: Less and less hunters?

Unread postby Ack » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:23 pm

I've seen areas around here with lower numbers of hunters in the last 5 years, but drive an hour away and the numbers are through the roof.
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Re: Less and less hunters?

Unread postby Dewey » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:34 pm

Around home I would say it’s been pretty steady the past 20 years. Northern WI it’s drastically lower especially now that baiting is illegal but also just because the deer population is WAY down.
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Re: Less and less hunters?

Unread postby daveynewman » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:07 pm

In the past I would see tons of vehicles on the side of the road. I hunted 6 different statelands religiously in the last 9 years and the last 3 years I've seen less and less during archery, either i am in the woods to earlier and get out to late or they just give up or hunt different locations but I have noticed it during bow, but once the guns come out it's a different story.
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Re: Less and less hunters?

Unread postby brancher147 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:52 pm

Way less hunters around here. Nobody comes from out of state anymore to hunt our National Forests, everybody goes to Ohio or somewhere in the midwest, or stays in their home state. First couple days of rifle season are busy, other than that I rarely see other hunters.
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Re: Less and less hunters?

Unread postby Jonny » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:52 pm

Way lower in my area. The masses follow the deer. In the 80’s and 90’s when the woods were full of deer, there would be vehicles and campers lined up and down every road.

Now I rarely see anybody the whole season. Gun season has a decent crowd and some years is better than others, but nothing like the stories I’ve heard
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Re: Less and less hunters?

Unread postby justdirtyfun » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:56 pm

My thoughts are that the hunters are more die hard and put in more hours per year than in the past. That would give appearance of decent numbers.
The frustrating part is the lousy non hunters and anti hunters are busy reproducing while we go hunting.

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Re: Less and less hunters?

Unread postby Hawthorne » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:09 am

It’s gone up in my area since crossbows were legalized. Firearm deer hunters have been slowly decreasing since the late 90s according to sales.
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Re: Less and less hunters?

Unread postby Rob loper » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:39 am

New jersey where i moved from is definitely dropping.
Its really a huge reason y i moved out of state
It was costing me almost 230$ to hunt all the zones i used to hunt
This is resident license. I couldnt imagine how much on resident is
Plus gun clubs drive every acre or parcel and shoot everything throughout the year
Doe days are actually sad. Lots of buttons get killed
Then these idiots complain every year where all the bucks are lol
Example of liscencing. I use too pay
2 zones this is times 2
All around sportsman 75$
Hunti zone 54 Archery. With buck tag 56$
Hunt zone 55 56$
Hunt zone 56 with buck tag. 56$
Hunt zone 56 56$
Hunt doe day zones 55-56. 56$
Add it up. And its a definate decline of hunters in new jersey
Its more economical to hunt out of state
Its one more reason new jersey sucks
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Re: Less and less hunters?

Unread postby James » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:11 am

It’s trues, there are factually less and less hunters. The FWS actually releases a very informed paper on this and they recently just released their 13th edition.

11.5 million hunters in 2016, 16% decrease from 2011. We actually saw an increase in 2011 to 13.5 but the overall trend over the past few decades has been one of a decline.

We’re a major minority folks. 11.5 million is 5% of the US population. It’s going to get tougher and tougher to be a loud voice if the trend continues.
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Re: Less and less hunters?

Unread postby Dor » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:16 am

Much less on private.

Many more on public.

Access is the issue.

Overall, down trend.
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Re: Less and less hunters?

Unread postby elk yinzer » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:31 am

It's not all doom and gloom but I am with you, I really don't see it day to day. As an industry, the macro statistics indeed bear that out, but if you come at it from the perspective of a public land hunter you see where the real issue lies....access and the monetization of hunting access.

In PA during archery I've seen significantly more hunters. On public land probably 4x what it was 10 years ago. It's not too bad in October, then in November it starts getting crazy. Since legalizing crossbows, PA archery license sales have roughly doubled.

On the other hand, rifle season I see less and less hunters every year and the hunters I do see get worse and worse at doing it, lol. It's basically to the point where I feel archery season is getting easier to kill deer than rifle. We still have enough rifle pressure to stifle deer movement but not enough to keep them bouncing around and getting shot. Hardly anyone drives anymore. It's certainly been good for growing bucks to maturity.

There used to be a culture of permissive tresspassing here in PA. When I started hunting 20 years ago, all our neighbors let us hunt. There was a lot of "quasi public" land where people around town knew the landowner allowed open access. Most of those are now posted. Every time a poster goes up that's more guys to share the public with. Possessiveness is getting a little crazy. Leasing is taking hold in our area. Some nuts even put up treestands on public land and get possessive about their spot.
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Re: Less and less hunters?

Unread postby headgear » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:41 am

I'm seeing it by me big time but guys can't hang in the bigwoods for too long, we have had maybe a dozen or so groups camp in our area and eventually pull the plug in the last 15 years. Some of that is just no deer around and the other is they don't really know what they are doing up here so they don't have much success and move on to somewhere else. Lots of older hunters that have been around for years seem to have gone missing too, maybe they passed on or just gave up hunting I don't know for sure but stands near us that were hunted for decades have gone cold. Not that I am complaining really, saw more deer and pass more bucks this year than the last 8 years combined so things are looking up and I have more land to roam. A lot of it might just be people flocking to private land, I don't know for sure but all I can really do is get as many people in the woods as I can and I might as well enjoy the extra space and lack of pressure.
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Re: Less and less hunters?

Unread postby Ragingun » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:56 am

Dewey wrote:Around home I would say it’s been pretty steady the past 20 years. Northern WI it’s drastically lower especially now that baiting is illegal but also just because the deer population is WAY down.


In my area I've seen an increase. Even at our local shops I randomly talk to a lot of younger guys that are getting into it. Duck hunting has gone way up as well. Seems that at the marshes at least 50% or more of the hunters are less than 25-30 years old.

Dewey, completely agree with Northern WI. Deer population since '04 has been down horrifically. We see more wolves in a season over the past 10 years than we do deer. It's almost to the point where it's scary.
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