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2022 Special Report on Hunting and the Shooting Sports

Hunting and target shooting participation diversity has increased in the U.S. over the past decade according to a new report released by the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports (Council) and the Outdoor Foundation.

The 2022 Special Report on Hunting and the Shooting Sports, provides a comprehensive look at the more than 30 million Americans ages 6 and over who participated at least once in hunting or target shooting with both firearms and archery equipment in 2021. The report identifies trends and includes detailed information about participation including motivations, barriers, and preferences of participants.

We are excited to release this report and believe it will prove valuable in the short and long term as we evaluate participation trends. It is important to note that these data will not always align with hunting license sale data, but that tracking both sale and survey data go a long way to providing a better overall picture of the trends in hunting and shooting sports participation,” said the Council’s Director of Research and Partnerships, Swanny Evans, as he provided a preliminary look at these data during a presentation at the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Annual Meeting last week in Fort Worth, TX.

Highlights from the new report include:

Hunting:

  • 4.6 percent of the U.S. population ages 6 and over went hunting at least once
  • 27 percent of participants were female, up from 16 percent a decade ago
  • Share of hunters who were Black or Hispanic increased 4 percent and 1 percent, respectively, on average for the past 3 years
  • “For food/meat” was the number one motivation for hunting
  • 49 percent of hunters first participated before the age of 18
  • 68 percent of hunters were introduced to hunting by a family members

Firearms Target Shooting:

  • 6.2 percent of the U.S. population ages 6 and over participated in target shooting
  • 32 percent of participants were female, up from 25 percent a decade ago
  • Share of target shooters who were Black or Hispanic increased 5 percent and 4 percent, respectively, on average for the past 3 years
  • “For recreation” was the number one motivation for target shooting
  • “High cost” was the number one barrier reported for target shooting

Archery Target Shooting:

  • 2.4 percent of the U.S. population ages 6 and over participated in archery
  • 39 percent of participants were female, the highest since 2016
  • Archers are slightly more diverse that firearms target shooters
  • “For recreation” was the number one motivation for target shooting
  • 19 percent of participants shot solely on public property/ranges

The special report was developed to serve as a companion to the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Special Report on Fishing they produce annually in partnership with the Outdoor Foundation.

The 2022 Special Report on Hunting and the Shooting Sports, which provides participation data for hunting and shooting sports, can be accessed on the Council’s website, cahss.org/our-research/2022-special-report-on-hunting-and-the-shooting-sports. The 2021 Special Report on Hunting and the Shooting Sports can be accessed on the R3 Clearinghouse.

Hunting & target shooting participation

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in the U.S. in 2021

2022 Special Report on Hunting and the Shooting Sports
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