Sitka Gear
What Will Be the Real Death of Hunting?
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
rhoggman 19-Jan-21
Bou'bound 19-Jan-21
Missouribreaks 19-Jan-21
bigdog21 19-Jan-21
IdyllwildArcher 19-Jan-21
bigdog21 19-Jan-21
rhoggman 19-Jan-21
TrapperKayak 19-Jan-21
bigdog21 19-Jan-21
Predeter 19-Jan-21
grizzly63 19-Jan-21
bigdog21 19-Jan-21
Tlhbow 19-Jan-21
HDE 19-Jan-21
Matt 19-Jan-21
bigswivle 19-Jan-21
bigdog21 19-Jan-21
rhoggman 19-Jan-21
Pat Lefemine 19-Jan-21
TrapperKayak 19-Jan-21
rhoggman 19-Jan-21
rhoggman 19-Jan-21
Ermine 19-Jan-21
Owl 19-Jan-21
rhoggman 19-Jan-21
KSflatlander 19-Jan-21
4nolz@work 19-Jan-21
Jaquomo 19-Jan-21
Empty Freezer 19-Jan-21
rhoggman 19-Jan-21
Dale06 19-Jan-21
Zbone 19-Jan-21
midwest 19-Jan-21
JL 19-Jan-21
sitO 19-Jan-21
Jaquomo 19-Jan-21
WV Mountaineer 19-Jan-21
Charlie Rehor 19-Jan-21
Old School 19-Jan-21
GF 19-Jan-21
Pat Lefemine 19-Jan-21
grizz 19-Jan-21
bigdog21 19-Jan-21
Juancho 19-Jan-21
brunse 20-Jan-21
kentuckbowhnter 20-Jan-21
altitude sick 20-Jan-21
DanaC 20-Jan-21
Rocky D 20-Jan-21
hawkeye in PA 20-Jan-21
Missouribreaks 20-Jan-21
Bow Crazy 20-Jan-21
Missouribreaks 20-Jan-21
Live2Hunt 20-Jan-21
APauls 20-Jan-21
Brotsky 20-Jan-21
trophyhill 20-Jan-21
Live2Hunt 20-Jan-21
HDE 20-Jan-21
Will 20-Jan-21
Old Reb 20-Jan-21
Wildan2 20-Jan-21
Toonces 20-Jan-21
chesapeakeborn 20-Jan-21
Rocky D 20-Jan-21
Missouribreaks 20-Jan-21
Hh76 20-Jan-21
malford 20-Jan-21
Will 20-Jan-21
Grey Ghost 20-Jan-21
JL 20-Jan-21
bigswivle 20-Jan-21
Missouribreaks 20-Jan-21
Shawn 20-Jan-21
Bou'bound 20-Jan-21
Jaquomo 20-Jan-21
South Farm 20-Jan-21
Live2Hunt 20-Jan-21
Scoot 20-Jan-21
Ziek 20-Jan-21
JL 20-Jan-21
TD 20-Jan-21
Toonces 20-Jan-21
Mark S 20-Jan-21
Tlhbow 20-Jan-21
ALovely 20-Jan-21
Missouribreaks 20-Jan-21
Shuteye 20-Jan-21
Adventurewriter 20-Jan-21
badbull 20-Jan-21
Jaquomo 20-Jan-21
JL 20-Jan-21
MichaelArnette 20-Jan-21
TrapperKayak 20-Jan-21
Knight Archer 20-Jan-21
Jaquomo 20-Jan-21
Shuteye 20-Jan-21
SteveB 20-Jan-21
sitO 20-Jan-21
Orion 20-Jan-21
elkmtngear 20-Jan-21
Tonybear61 20-Jan-21
Jaquomo 20-Jan-21
Jaquomo 20-Jan-21
bigdog21 21-Jan-21
TD 21-Jan-21
Jaquomo 21-Jan-21
IdyllwildArcher 21-Jan-21
Thornton 21-Jan-21
IdyllwildArcher 21-Jan-21
trophyhill 21-Jan-21
Missouribreaks 21-Jan-21
Will 21-Jan-21
Rocky D 21-Jan-21
Rocky D 21-Jan-21
Jaquomo 21-Jan-21
Grey Ghost 21-Jan-21
JL 21-Jan-21
Live2Hunt 21-Jan-21
Grey Ghost 21-Jan-21
South Farm 21-Jan-21
Live2Hunt 21-Jan-21
Rupe 21-Jan-21
KSflatlander 21-Jan-21
Jim Southwick 21-Jan-21
Treeline 21-Jan-21
SteveD 21-Jan-21
Missouribreaks 21-Jan-21
Jackaroo 21-Jan-21
SteveD 21-Jan-21
Missouribreaks 21-Jan-21
Jaquomo 21-Jan-21
IdyllwildArcher 21-Jan-21
Jackaroo 21-Jan-21
Jaquomo 21-Jan-21
rhoggman 21-Jan-21
Huntskifishcook 21-Jan-21
FORESTBOWS 21-Jan-21
Rocky D 22-Jan-21
x-man 22-Jan-21
Missouribreaks 22-Jan-21
Missouribreaks 22-Jan-21
x-man 22-Jan-21
Will 22-Jan-21
bigdog21 22-Jan-21
South Farm 22-Jan-21
Ken Moody Safaris 22-Jan-21
Live2Hunt 22-Jan-21
bigdog21 22-Jan-21
Missouribreaks 22-Jan-21
FORESTBOWS 22-Jan-21
FORESTBOWS 22-Jan-21
Missouribreaks 22-Jan-21
South Farm 22-Jan-21
FORESTBOWS 22-Jan-21
Sand man 22-Jan-21
South Farm 22-Jan-21
Will 22-Jan-21
hawkeye in PA 22-Jan-21
Rocky D 22-Jan-21
Matt 22-Jan-21
Live2Hunt 22-Jan-21
JL 22-Jan-21
Rocky D 22-Jan-21
Matt 22-Jan-21
Rocky D 22-Jan-21
Matt 22-Jan-21
Bou'bound 23-Jan-21
Rocky D 23-Jan-21
Missouribreaks 23-Jan-21
Franzen 23-Jan-21
Rocky D 23-Jan-21
Missouribreaks 23-Jan-21
Bigpizzaman 23-Jan-21
Rocky D 23-Jan-21
Franzen 23-Jan-21
LBshooter 23-Jan-21
Adventurewriter 23-Jan-21
bigdog21 23-Jan-21
Missouribreaks 24-Jan-21
Bou'bound 24-Jan-21
Missouribreaks 24-Jan-21
Rocky D 24-Jan-21
Jaquomo 24-Jan-21
FORESTBOWS 24-Jan-21
Jaquomo 24-Jan-21
FORESTBOWS 24-Jan-21
Bou'bound 24-Jan-21
writer 24-Jan-21
Jaquomo 24-Jan-21
SteveD 24-Jan-21
Thornton 25-Jan-21
Rocky D 25-Jan-21
hawkeye in PA 25-Jan-21
PECO 25-Jan-21
Jaquomo 25-Jan-21
sitO 25-Jan-21
trophyhill 25-Jan-21
SteveD 25-Jan-21
WV Mountaineer 26-Jan-21
Jaquomo 26-Jan-21
Glunt@work 26-Jan-21
JL 26-Jan-21
Missouribreaks 26-Jan-21
12yards 26-Jan-21
Missouribreaks 26-Jan-21
Bou'bound 26-Jan-21
Missouribreaks 26-Jan-21
JL 26-Jan-21
Jackaroo 26-Jan-21
SteveD 26-Jan-21
Jaquomo 26-Jan-21
JL 26-Jan-21
Jaquomo 26-Jan-21
SteveD 26-Jan-21
JL 26-Jan-21
Bowboy 26-Jan-21
Jaquomo 26-Jan-21
TrapperKayak 27-Jan-21
From: rhoggman
19-Jan-21
Another gentleman started a thread on the negative affects electric vehicles may have on hunting. My responses were slightly off topic, but I am interested, for intellectual sake, what you all think may be the demise of hunting in the USA. My responses/ thoughts are below:

"I would be more worried about the criminalization of legal hunting weapons. Electric vehicles may be the future, but their detrimental affect on hunting doesn't come close to the likelihood of politics becoming a barrier to our ability of enjoying a time honored tradition. The morals of ethical hunting will likely become a new taboo in 2021-2030. Post a picture, get fired. Offend the community, get barred from everything. Our new world is an information war, and you, as a hunter, are on the wrong side of the playing field... Good luck. We all need it!"

"The technocracy doesn't need you. Meat can be made in a petri dish. You're already the new caveman. The propaganda parade hasn't eaten your soul yet, but it will if you are a hunter. Your time is coming. I am not a troll. I love hunting. I do however fear that a majority of Western society is on a social evolution roller-coaster that is unstoppable. The roller-coaster does not care about the past, only the future, and the majority doesn't have any incentive to include us in their destination. I'll be a proud has-been while I still can, but short of retreating into the real Amazon, the dust cloud of tomorrow now impairs my vision. I seriously doubt my son's kids will ever have an opportunity to hunt, but who knows... Mother nature is a strong force, and much can change in no time."

From: Bou'bound
19-Jan-21
Access to a quality experience is at the heart of recruitment. As that wanes so will our numbers. Hunting won’t be taken away it will die due to lack of continued interest and relevance.

The juice will just end up not being worth the squeeze for enough people. A tiny % of US population hunts today. About 5% total (16M in 2018)....it's less less if you only count big game. Bowhunters in the US at 3M is <1% of the population. We are already pretty irrelevant. The question is not if but when.

19-Jan-21
We have the recipe and are well on our way to privatizing, and then eventually ending sport hunting. We are roughly half way there.

From: bigdog21
19-Jan-21
I agree we are half way there, but you half to sit back and decide why , then how to eliminate why we are headed there. but most will not except it are believe it are care why and how to fix it, most are everyman for them selfs.f--- the other guy.

19-Jan-21
I don't think hunting will die within my lifetime. I'm 42.

From: bigdog21
19-Jan-21
Bible says man will destroy him self Revelation 11:18

From: rhoggman
19-Jan-21
IdyllwildArcher - "I don't think hunting will die within my lifetime. I'm 42."

I'm hoping you are correct. I'm 40. I hope to hunt with my kids and grandkids.

From: TrapperKayak
19-Jan-21
Hunting will never end....until you no longer have to eat to stay alive. I am not afraid on the end of hunting because it is never going to.

From: bigdog21
19-Jan-21
it has changed so much in the last 30 years its not funny. in the 80s i could take 400.00 go to colardo are wyoming hunt deer are elk no guide needed and allways did good. them days are long gone.. use to spend 300.00 on trip o ND in the late 90s duck and goose plenty of open country to hunt not no more bad hunter have change the landowners to post there land and whats no posted outfitters have taken over.

From: Predeter
19-Jan-21
I think we'll see a fracture of our country before we see an end to hunting. Hunting is tied in with all of the other foundational elements of rural America.

And, although I think it will happen someday, I think we are still a long way away from that.

From: grizzly63
19-Jan-21
Probably a giant frickin' meteor. Good bye world, welcome new ice age !

From: bigdog21
19-Jan-21
Trapper you blind buddy, it will change for the rich only before it ends the rest of use will be poachers.

From: Tlhbow
19-Jan-21
Man's been hunting for thousands of years and will be hunting till this planet burns out. Hunters will always continue hunt, legally or otherwise. Those that hunt for sport and entertainment will change with the winds. It's gonna change , like it's done in my time but the changes are mostly man made .

From: HDE
19-Jan-21
The petty bickering between hunters on things such as weapon choice will be the end from the lack of unity in the hunting group...

From: Matt
19-Jan-21
I don't understand why people are so convinced acticities based on a renewable resource like hunting will have a finite/limited life.

IMO it is just a manifestation of our screwed up political climate.

From: bigswivle
19-Jan-21
Trapper you blind buddy, it will change for the rich only before it ends the rest of use will be poachers.

I’m gonna refer to myself as a free American if that time comes.

From: bigdog21
19-Jan-21
one big problem now is alot just want to kill kill kill then end up giveing half the meat away,???

From: rhoggman
19-Jan-21
Grizzly63 - "Probably a giant frickin' meteor. Good bye world, welcome new ice age !"

My main strand of hope is that mankind has always needed mother nature to survive. Not sure so much what people were doing before the last ice age, but my guess is we know very little. There are cities all over the Mediterranean under 50-400ft of water. I'm guessing most of what we know about hunting happened between now and when the last ice age ended.

Anyways when it get super cold... somebody is going to need to kill something to survive. Good point!

From: Pat Lefemine
19-Jan-21
You guys that have been here a while probably remember that we would post a controversial question/survey on our homepage each week and people would vote and comment.

If my memory serves me correctly; the most respondents and most popular question was:

“If bowhunting was outlawed would you still bowhunt?”

The response % was 89/11 yes/no. With 25k visitors responding. It’s who we are. And we’re not giving it up.

Not that I’m advocating lawlessness, but my suspicion is that if society got that radicalized there would be a lot of people that would not be subjected to the frivolous whims of the mob. Certainly not in the rural areas.

Interesting hypothetical to think about.

From: TrapperKayak
19-Jan-21
No worries, bigdog2, I'm rich....in faith. Not financially rich, but not broke either. Hunting is not going to end for me....maybe for you it is. I am a free man too, or else I am dead, and I don't even live in New Hampshire.

From: rhoggman
19-Jan-21
TrapperKayak - "Hunting will never end....until you no longer have to eat to stay alive. I am not afraid on the end of hunting because it is never going to."

I think you are partially correct, maybe still 100% correct as there are not to my knowledge any self sustaining homo-sapiens cruzing outer space, BUT, maybe someday soon???

There has to continue to be a need to hunt. That need has not been eliminated on Earth!

From: rhoggman
19-Jan-21
Pat Lefemine - {“If bowhunting was outlawed would you still bowhunt?” The response % was 89/11 yes/no. With 25k visitors responding. It’s who we are. And we’re not giving it up.}

I love this. In my opinion this is a spirited answer.

I do hope shadows are not my final destination, but I may find myself there if forced by overwhelming malignant forces.

From: Ermine
19-Jan-21
Liberals will try hard to destroy it one piece at a time

From: Owl
19-Jan-21
Comfort. Comfort condemns.

From: rhoggman
19-Jan-21
Animal Rights In Court

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2015/04/21/chimps-given-human-rights-by-u-s-court-for-the-first-time/

I wonder.... if the Supreme Court is packed, how hard it would be to grant animals rights only afforded to "people". It was attempted, see link above.

If that ever happens, kiss hunting goodbye on day 2.

From: KSflatlander
19-Jan-21
I’m with Bou’bound and others. Leasing of land and the cost to hunt will cause declines but I also agree with Trapper that it will never completely go away. It will definitely increase again once society breaks down lol.

From: 4nolz@work
19-Jan-21
It starts with making gun and ammunition ownership more and more inconvenient and with time hunter recruitment stops and hunting declines .All it takes is 1-2 generations.

From: Jaquomo
19-Jan-21
Lack of opportunity due to all the above factors, plus social disincentives, are basically stopping youth recruitment in it's tracks. Hard to forsee the future of hunting/outfitting/leasing when animals are reproducing and nobody is there to kill them. Hunting might become a career choice.

19-Jan-21
Do you think i could take down a TRex with an Iron Will?? Thats huntin right there..

From: rhoggman
19-Jan-21
Empty Freezer - "Do you think i could take down a TRex with an Iron Will?? Thats huntin right there.."

I think you could. Dinos were dumb, and they got nothing on Adult Arrows. If the Fairy comes in here, He'll let you know how many stubby arms he's buried.

From: Dale06
19-Jan-21
It’s become much more of a business than 20 plus years ago. I don’t blame land owners for charging for the use of their land. That’s their prerogative. But that’s taking lots of people out of the hunters ranks. I don’t look for it to get better, ever.

From: Zbone
19-Jan-21
Simple answer - Cancerous leasing... To the point only the wealthy will afford to hunt similar to Europe now...

From: midwest
19-Jan-21
An ever growing human population and ever shrinking habitat.

From: JL
19-Jan-21
A different perspective piggy-backing off what someone mentioned above.

Way back when....you could go do an out of state/country hunt pretty cheap compared to today. Of course the popularity of hunting increased substantially along with the number of hunters. The cost to do those hunts has skyrocketed now as the high demand has increased. It has become a cash cow for different entities. Many thought having more hunters is a good thing.

Here is some critical-thinking thoughts.

1. Is having too many hunters causing damage to the sport by too many hunters consuming the limited supply and artificially driving up costs?

2. Would less hunters (demand) return the supply (cost) back to pre-inflated cost levels?

Discussion: Thinking economics......fewer hunters should mean less demand or at least equalize out the demand vs supply. The current high demand and low supply scenario will continue to drive up costs until the upper thresh hold of costs are reached and then hunter numbers will eventually drop as folks are priced out of it or lose interest. Think of it in the context of too many deer living on one acre of land. Eventually, the deer will leave or die off because the one acre can't sustain them. After that happens, the remaining herd that sticks around or survives on that one acre will be in balance with what that one acre can support.

From: sitO
19-Jan-21
The death of hunting could come from us not sharing our passion, involving, and teaching others IMO.

Get some kids out-of-doors, even or especially if they aren't yours. I helped put a buddy's young son on his first pheasant, quail, and goose this year. I guided him on his first turkey a couple years back, and he also shot his first deer this year on one of our spots. Helped another young man take his first deer/buck with a bow this Fall, and assisted taking another several times for deer and turkey though he hasn't "connected" yet. Been taking three other young guys goose hunting several times in the last few weeks.

I'm not saying this to gain any praise, unneeded, just to hopefully urge others to take some of their "precious" time to pass it on. Those kids will have a voice, and that's how we make sure this heritage lives on...you'll believe me when you see the faces, and get to be a part of hunts like these.

From: Jaquomo
19-Jan-21
sitO, keep tabs on those kids. The Information Officer for KDWPT told me they are very concerned because the kids that are introduced to hunting as teens like that don't stay with it after 18, for a lot of reasons. Access was one of them. Would be good to know if some stick around

19-Jan-21
I think it’s going to be several things added together.

One is access. Two is making it hard to be legal considering legislation involving firearms. Three is affording it. Four is representation. Five is the desire by non hunters to become hunters.

I think all of this is working together to add upto a population of people that no longer has the participation numbers to deserve recognition among legislatures. When it gets to there, we are done.

Will it get to there? For a vast majority of people, I think we rounding third on the way home.

19-Jan-21
I truly don’t know if we’re being played or not on this thread. This internet is getting so hard to know what’s real.

Sometimes I miss the fixed/mechanical debates. Life was so much easier a year ago.

From: Old School
19-Jan-21
Access.

From: GF
19-Jan-21
Yup. Privatization of a Public resource.

Food plots, leases, feeding stations that park the herds on a small portion of their natural range.

And the bone fetish. Non-hunters understand hunting for food; they often ridicule the obsession with “horns” & inches. They might support the former at the ballot box, but the latter hasn’t a prayer.

But when 4-legged predators deplete the prey base and move into the suburbs, you can bet that the same folks who voted out hunting and voted in the predators will demand taxpayer-funded predator control.

And ‘round and ‘round we go.....

From: Pat Lefemine
19-Jan-21
I don't think the leasing/access concern is the primary issue. In the NE, there is no leasing. There is tons of public land in the west. Yet still kids aren't hunting. Plus, declining youth involvement is affecting everything; basketball, little league, boy scouts, fishing - etc.

I think the problem is that Kids are addicted to electronics (video games, social media) and it's making them fat, lazy and detached them from the real world. They are being re-wired to crave instant gratification thanks to these devices. Hunting is last thing anyone craving instant results is going to be hooked on.

From: grizz
19-Jan-21
It’s happening right now. If you can’t see it, you ain’t lookin.

My hunting won’t end because if it’s outlawed, I’ll be an outlaw. Always was a big Robin Hood fan.

From: bigdog21
19-Jan-21
one thinksis kids lose iterest at 18.. because mom and dad quite paying for everything. price of new camo , new bows, tree stand just 3 item can be over 2k. kids today want the best so when it comes to buying hunting equipment are payin for there car and rent. are new family and house. and if they are ot killing horns they aint cool. I see why they lose interest. not like when we were young i shoot te same recuvre from 15 tell i was 30 and still dont where camo just brown and gray my stands are home built are from the 80s and dont chase trophy.

From: Juancho
19-Jan-21
vegan socialists and global worming movement.

From: brunse
20-Jan-21
I grew up reading every hunting and bow hunting magazine I could get my hands on. Those magazines took me to places I dreamed of someday going. I was fortunate enough to have lived some of those dreams guiding hunters in the Wyoming backcountry. (Just long enough to pay for my undergraduate degree.) But since then, hunting has changed. Adventures concerning sheep, goats, moose, African game etc have become cost prohibitive for most like me trying to work, raise a family, stay in reasonable debt, etc. We sacrifice home remodels, family vacation time and weekends to chase deer, elk, predators and small game. Bear, O’Conner, Capstick, Hill, had adventures that in the scope of most have already met their death.

But I digress. To answer the question at hand I first must address some others.

When our state and federal political leaders need money... and the coffers are drying up... where will they go? Will they sell the lands they control? Increase policing and fines? Strip the natural resources? Their principles and ideals say these options are off the table, but are they?

Those electing the current political leaders are strongly supported by environmentalists, But for how long? Eventually the lazy, entitled, elitist, idealists and those stricken with a strong feeling of the victim mentality will grow exponentially as expectations of self reliance shrinks. They will be old and resentful of the youth. They will be willing to trade their principles and ideals for access to things such as medication or technology to exist a bit longer, or feel less... human. They will depend on and demand someone else pay for it. Hmmm, maybe the government? Which I turn is lead by Hypocritical power hungry individuals that will do whatever it takes to provide for those that will keep them “in power”... beg my pardon I mean “in office.”

Short answer is: I guess I agree access will be significantly impaired unless poverty stricken people wipe out the majority of wildlife first.

20-Jan-21
Lack of quality experience and opportunity is driving people away from hunting. Getting worse every year. As more and more people lose interest in hunting we become more and more vulnerable to stuff like what's going on in Colorado etc.

20-Jan-21
I think it will be death by one thousand cuts. All of the above. We will end up like the European model of hunting, where only the wealthy or land owners can hunt.

Then it will be seen as a luxury and a luxury tax will drive more out. I think in the next decade or so, to pay for the socialist schemes. The luxury taxes that exist now on super yachts and jets will migrate into all areas deemed by our elected masters to not be needed to survive. And will therefore be a luxury.

Everyone in an electric shoebox car and everyone in eco safe shoebox houses.

Then it will eventually get like every other enlightened society that’s tried the “everything’s free” scheme.

And then illegal hunting will be to subsidize your government cheese.

From: DanaC
20-Jan-21
Kids who don't play outside. Parents, please raise more little savages. Smile when they come home scratched and muddy.

From: Rocky D
20-Jan-21
First, for the OP, as long as we travel the road of intellectualism then we will continue down this path. This country was not built on intellectual discussion. There is a reason that there is a saying that “ those that can do and those that cannot teach.

Second, if we are not willing to cut ties and with those on the left and deal in different manner than that which has brought us to this point in time. The days of a husband and wife voting differently may be the grounds to start a discussion about divorce. A house divided cannot stand. These are desperate times which may call for desperate measures. The left is on the attack on all fronts and we set and talk of gloom and doom.

To leftist, you are participating in your own demise and fail to realize that your touchy-feely approach is part of the problem. I t is going to get to be very difficult for the the left and right to share a campfire. Your participation is going to get to be unacceptable!

For the right, everywhere I I look all I see is gloom and doom. If we are not willing to do what it takes to keep the way of life that we are accustomed to then we do not deserve it! We are constantly trying to make hunting look acceptable by always policing our image while the left pushes the obscure proudly down the streets of America.

20-Jan-21
infighting among hunters.

20-Jan-21
Hunting won't disappear IMO but it will be for the rich. My grandkids are losing interest for various reasons, media, electronics, ticks, posted property causing lack of animal sightings around here and not that there isn't plenty of deer, and to a degree attire. Never thought I'd see the day that it took a grand+ to look the part, and that would be most important.

20-Jan-21
Of course there will always be hunting for some entity, it will not be sport hunting on public lands for all.

From: Bow Crazy
20-Jan-21
As long there is something to hunt, we will hunt, that is what we do. So, the loss of animal to hunt is my answer. We need to address the changing climate. Left alone is the direction we are heading could result in nothing for us to hunt. No, I won't see it, my sons either, but the next generation or so. BC

20-Jan-21
Wolves are great hunters and know no boundaries , any guess why game managers like them? Hint, to replace you.

20-Jan-21
Like everything else, hunting will continue to evolve, and those that refuse to adapt will continue to complain.

From: Live2Hunt
20-Jan-21
Infighting among hunters is not going to do a damn thing, that is a silly thought. My biggest fear is if all of a sudden the anti groups try to push that hunting methods or hunting is animal cruelty and the liberal courts/office will allow it.

From: APauls
20-Jan-21
Things go round and round, but hunting will never die. China or the middle east will take over North America long before that slow death happens. They'll do it from the inside out or the outside in.

From: Brotsky
20-Jan-21
I can't wait to hunt the king's deer. They're probably going to have some age on them.

20-Jan-21
Our youth are being “reprogrammed” or “re educated”. They are being taught that freedom is bad. That hunting is bad, and many more lies about the history of our country. Today’s teachers are not teachers. They are mouth pieces for a liberal agenda. They will never teach your kids how to be free thinkers. Only liberal thinkers. That will be the death of hunting if hunting dies.....

From: Live2Hunt
20-Jan-21
trophyhill, you are correct. That is another problem with today's world.

From: HDE
20-Jan-21
Yes, infighting among hunters will absolutely be one of the tenents to the demise of hunting as we know it.

While hunters bicker, whine, and cry about "crossguns" and "forest fairies unfair long seasons", the progressive left organizes and conquers a little here and a little there. Death by a thousand cuts...

From: Will
20-Jan-21
I dont think hunting ever dies. I worry that it becomes fully privatized which would really hurt the culture of hunting... But even that is hard for me to visualize at least in my lifetime.

For example, there is a growing (a little, but it's something) push for high quality organic food - you cant do better than hunting and taking it home yourself. A lot of folks getting interested for that reason have a very different view of hunting from those who have done it for decades or have a family history with it... But they still help.

Listening to a local NPR out of Boston the other day and the hosts were talking about the previously noted lab grown meat... When the most liberal host notes that he learned the other day, and thought it was super cool, that there was a "hunters feeding the hungry" movement where hunters who had extra meat could donate to certain places to help feed those who were unable to provide quality food. He fully admitted he didnt get hunting as something he would do, but he literally defended hunting, and a lot of it was based on that one altruistic aspect of what hunters do.

I think it was Jaq who noted that if hunting dies, it's because it just sort of fades away, not because it's taken. I agree.

Heck, last fall I was trying to verify if a local town's "land trust" land was open for hunting. I read all sorts of town documents. One hunting comment jumped out. While some towns force written permission (in MA the state law is that unless land is legally posted, it's legal to hunt/fish on, unless a local bylaw states otherwise), they clearly noted that there was no need as, paraphrased, "hunting had never been a problem in town, had a positive environmental impact and was not done by such numbers that it would be an issue forcing a bylaw change." That town, is very liberal in general - and that's by MA standards ha ha ha!

I dont think hunting is taken, if it disappears, it's just fading into almost nothing. Fingers crossed that doesn't happen.

From: Old Reb
20-Jan-21
Another vote for lack of access to hunting lands.

From: Wildan2
20-Jan-21
Firearms sales and hunting license sales are at an all time high;don't think hunting is going away anytime soon.Bring a kid hunting!

From: Toonces
20-Jan-21
I am going with the decline of small game hunting and the decline of use of private land for multiple seasons and species caused by the rise of big game hunting.

I think a lot of us of a certain age started hunting as kids by throwing a handful of shotgun shells in our pockets and stalking a going out to a vacant lot stalking squirrels or rabbits. Anyone else send in squirrel tails to the Mepps company in exchange for for fishing lures?

The cost of entry was low - no special clothes or equipment or great managed habitat was needed. You didn't have to be particularly skilled or patient and the small game cooperated despite your mistakes. If you killed a few you didn't need to find a butcher or a place to hang your kill and spend half a day cutting it up. Maybe more important than anything, it was fun, and it allowed kids some independence to learn and discover on their own. Also the major hunting publications gave small game equal time and respect as they did to big game.

Fast forward to now and everything is about big game hunting and the associated gear, management, etc. The cost of entry is high and intimidating, too high for a lot of kids to take it up on their own.

Private land access in the form of leases and outfitters and even private use of your own land is geared to big game exclusively, which means large tracts of land are left unused or underused for a lot of year to create the best possible conditions to hunt big unpressured deer.

Its not so much the leases that worry me, its that the leases cause the land to be under used. If folks leased land and used it year round for hunting multiple seasons and larger groups I think it would reduce the overall cost of entry to hunting generally.

If I were a kid today and looking to start hunting, I think I would so indoctrinated by the hunting media that I wouldn't want to start with small game hunting. I would want to jump right into the deep end of the pool, and more than likely drown there.

20-Jan-21
TV is the worst, bunch of yahoos that give the sport a bad reputation, its ruined the American family with nonsense and individualism from conversation, now its the internet, we have people who live their life staring at a screen instead of person to person interaction, were not even teaching kids to write anymore, how can they possibly lean a sport that takes years to be mentored thru they have no patience to learn, video games are as addictive as cocaine and were feeding them mega doses of artificial stimulation, but as we know children crave one on one interaction with the adults in their life, we as men and women who hunt just need to get in between the kids and the screens and say can i show you some real human behavior tn the natural world.

From: Rocky D
20-Jan-21
First, for the OP, as long as we travel the road of intellectualism then we will continue down this path. This country was not built on intellectual discussion. There is a reason that there is a saying that “ those that can do and those that cannot teach.

Second, if we are not willing to cut ties and with those on the left and deal in different manner than that which has brought us to this point in time. The days of a husband and wife voting differently may be the grounds to start a discussion about divorce. A house divided cannot stand. These are desperate times which may call for desperate measures. The left is on the attack on all fronts and we set and talk of gloom and doom.

To leftist, you are participating in your own demise and fail to realize that your touchy-feely approach is part of the problem. I t is going to get to be very difficult for the the left and right to share a campfire. Your participation is going to get to be unacceptable!

For the right, everywhere I I look all I see is gloom and doom. If we are not willing to do what it takes to keep the way of life that we are accustomed to then we do not deserve it! We are constantly trying to make hunting look acceptable by always policing our image while the left pushes the obscure proudly down the streets of America.

20-Jan-21
Time for a new party to emerge, embrace it!!!

From: Hh76
20-Jan-21
The world has gotten a lot busier, and continues to do so. Hunting takes a lot of free time.

From: malford
20-Jan-21
Just my opinion but I think the demise of hunting will come from the large urban areas where the people do not understand the relationships that we have with nature in the more rural areas. Hunting will be looked at as something cruel and inhumane and they will try to have hunting outlawed and they will have the votes to do it.

From: Will
20-Jan-21
Rocky, that's funny. The Founders, less Washington, were literally some of the most broadly educated and intellectual people of their time, and Washington had a thirst for knowledge both through informal teaching from others, and his own reading. They loved learning of many things and sought out texts to stretch their knowledge from around the world (they could reach - so basically parts of Europe).

While your point is good... Those who do, cant do squat, if someone didnt teach them to do in the first place. You need both.

From: Grey Ghost
20-Jan-21
Waning interest due to lack of access and affordable quality hunting experiences will cause the demise of hunting, IMO. Of course, most hunters will blame the blue team, instead of looking in the mirror and realizing they brought it on themselves.

Matt

From: JL
20-Jan-21
I don't think it can be pinned to one reason. It's a collection of forces that when combined pose the biggest challenge. Some external, some internal.

1. The cost for the opportunity. Gets back to what I discussed above about dwindling opportunities against the rise in the hunter numbers and the cost to play...especially for NR's. We maybe witnessing that zenith. Folks with the money will always pay to play, the rest at the bottom of the ladder will just drop out. Those who can, can...those who can't, won't.

2. Access in certain areas

3. Varying and/or regional opinions within the hunting community on social media and other electronic platforms on the internet...elitism....my way is the only way. It's always been there, we just know about it today via the internet. Before the internet and tv shows.....folks kept their view points local.

4. Anti-hunters

5. Urban politicians that pander to special interest groups like the greenies.

6. Complacency

7. Getting more difficult for folks to find time from work and home life to go hunt.

There's probably other challenges if I thought about it for a bit.....

From: bigswivle
20-Jan-21
Blue team :)

20-Jan-21
Animals are becoming humanized, thanks to HSUS, Peta, etc etc. Killing animals, especially for sport, is not liked by most in the new high school and college generation. Not a great topic of conversation in most circles. And, the circles have become much smaller.

From: Shawn
20-Jan-21
I read a lot of the comments but I can honestly say in the area I live in access is becoming easier. Places that were once hunted by several folks no longer are. Not as many folks hunting seems to open up opportunities for some folks. I believe in my lifetime, I am 56 that hunting will be ok. Beyond another 30 years I am not sure! Shawn

From: Bou'bound
20-Jan-21
Access to a quality experience is at the heart of recruitment. As that wanes so will our numbers. Hunting won’t be taken away it will die due to lack of continued interest and relevance. The question is not if but when

From: Jaquomo
20-Jan-21
Access to a quality experience" is key. Almost all the youth hunting programs are on private land with minimal or no pressure. Guy or gal has a great experience. Then out on their own they find out public land hunting is a whole different deal. It requires time, commitment, gear, and for guys, it isn't cool with girls. They have to do a ton of research, then arrive to find 20 other vehicles in the parking area.

I've lived in Northern CO my whole life, and virtually every place where I learned to hunt is now closed, leased, developed, or several miles behind locked USFS gates. Local bird hunting and small game access is virtually nonexistent unless you pay $150-200 per gun per day.

It's no wonder young people are drifting away.

From: South Farm
20-Jan-21
A mirror, or more precisely APATHY, will be the downfall...but only as it relates to legal and sanctioned hunting. There will always be a segment of society that will continue to "hunt", legal or otherwise..

From: Live2Hunt
20-Jan-21
Not sure if it is access issues as much as it is laziness for people who like to hunt or don't care about hunting and grew up with it. I know a lot of people nowadays who just don't want to put the effort required to hunt.

From: Scoot
20-Jan-21
Anyone else find this thread difficult to read? I sure do. Ignorance is bliss and this is something that is so easy to turn a blind eye to and ignore. However, it's real and denying it won't do a damn bit of good. It's sad to me, honestly. I will fight and do my part, but sadly I am afraid I agree with most others that this is a losing battle. Urban sprawl and the urbanization of America is a serious and crappy problem (on many levels, including the "liberalization" of people). Overpopulation is a related and serious problem. Covid didn't wipe out the population like a far more lethal virus could have (if lethality rates were like ebola, things would be very different, population wise, in our world). Ultimately, no animal lives in a terribly overpopulated state well or for long and humans are no exception. Not sure if our numbers will be decimated by mankind himself or something more biological, but it'll happen. We'll have to see if our race has wiped out hunting before then or not.

One thing I'm sure of is that I'm doing all I can to instill a love for hunting and the outdoors in my kids and other kids too. Beyond that, support of local, state, and national orgs that fight the good fight is important too. Finally, voting in a manner consistent with my values is key. Get your asses out and vote, folks- it's important as hell!

From: Ziek
20-Jan-21
Midwest & Bou'bound have it right, as well as some others. As I have also said on this site over the years when this subject comes up. Human infestation of the planet will, at some point, be the end of hunting, at least as we know it. Some may continue as poachers, as has also been suggested.

Too many people results in fewer places to hunt. It also results in more competition for those areas, not just from hunters, but from others who want access. I have already seen this decline in quality hunting over my lifetime. We have already seen the best hunting opportunities, and are in the decline. This can be seen plainly in so many ways; almost unattainable limited access tags, exorbitant fees for guided hunts (some mandated for guides), exorbitant fees for access (leasing), crowding in so many public areas, declining game populations, etc. None of this has anything to do with legislation or attitudes, those are simply manifestations of the root cause, too many people.

From: JL
20-Jan-21
^....yup Zeik....one of the reasons I listed above. For the old geezers who have been around the hunting game a while and can make an eyewitness observation.....they have seen the changes...and yes, the overall decline compared to their earlier days of hunting.

Those that can recall some comments I have made in the past WRT the extremely high cost of NR licenses and tags can hopefully connect the dots towards the bigger picture. Now....I am being a bit hypocritical because I'm retired and have been known to pay for those high NR costs at will. So I guess I'm part of the problem in that respect.

From: TD
20-Jan-21
Interesting topic.... actually pretty complicated IMO. Back in the day did hunters have active, organized (as in monetized and lawyers in the chamber with the safety off....) opposition? Not just hunting, but rural lifestyle in general? People who have never taken a step off of paved manicured ground, much less onto a farm or wild woods? Only outdoor experience, if any, is visiting a Park where the "hiking" is on a boardwalk and you are told not to touch anything? Yet these are the people trying to control and tell the folks who live there, many who raise their food and produce their materials.... what those people can and cannot do, how they have to live.....

Peer pressure, societal pressure, etc. all to herd populations in directions. Fact. Human nature since the dawn of time. Just look at the left and their "cancel culture" and virtue signaling mentality. When fashion overtakes function...... it's all First World Problems for people with no clue of any other world but of the emotional. Lots of things drive people and populations. When food, shelter, safety are essentially taken care of and not taking up your time as a day to day worry.... that leaves things like fear, ego, anxiety, lust and a host of other deadly sins to fill the void.

Many, many, aspects of the "decline" of hunting. I like the post above about the lack of small game hunting to introduce youth and keep the juices flowing of the older. Many of us "experienced" guys grew up rural, where you could grab your cheap single shot .22 and walk/ride your bike to the newest adventure. Some real Grand Adventures. Now, suburbia is considered "rural" by many, fewer and fewer live truly rural. The work and jobs are in urban areas, so that is where you live. Miles away from, well, outdoor adventure. And in all honesty, for many the drive for bigger adventures has overtaken the little ones. I'm not taking two weeks off to go shoot some rabbits. But I'll pop a grouse for dinner on an elk hunt..... still fun. Procuring your own food always has some measure of satisfaction. Amazing how much of the population literally don't know food doesn't procure itself.....

I do understand many areas in the country the decline may be due to loss of opportunity, leasing, etc. Not sure how to address that, but for those who's hunting is a major part of their lives and not just something they do for a few weeks once a year, they will address that and find a way. Obviously there are more than enough of those folks who are willing to put in their effort and investment to do so. Are they really the problem? Should some be held back in living their lives so as others can have it easier? How would you do that? Tough call.

Out west there are tons of public land where hunting is widely available. But many areas for many species..... it's more crowded than it has ever been. So many that opportunity in many cases is limited by management, licenses and tags only available by draw. Yet I'm told "hunting is on the decline"? If so this must mean those left who pursue it are doing so with an increased passion, willing to give up the time, work, and money to do so. Because to go to these areas you would never know hunting was in any kind of decline. Crowded to the point of crazy, and not so much because of less public land. A large number of the complaints of "private" or leased land in the west is more a matter of envy than opportunity IMO. Folks see that 350 bull across the fence they are forbidden to go after.....

Some may laugh.... but technology itself is keeping kids out of the field. Some scoff at gaming and such..... but those who do, have never done it. These games are immersive...... more so in many cases than any movie, TV show or book. I've played couple..... you start in the early evening and look up and it's 2am and you have no idea where the last 6 or 8 hours went, seems just minutes. I sure can't watch any movie or read any book for that long. Just finishing up one that's rated as a 180+ hour game (Witcher 3 if you care to know, best in class). And it's fun with all your clothes on (or most of em). A blast. You're going to have a hard time dragging a kid away to do ANYTHING. Not just hunting. Sports programs, etc. are seeing the same lack of participation. (Scouting just about dead) Our local high schools are advertising on the radio for kids to come out for the teams. It's just a different world altogether. With so many other things to do, directions to go. Outdoors..... urban kids have little to no shot, so to speak, parents themselves being several generations removed from the country. Don't honestly know of any way to change that, that somehow it corrects/balances itself.... or that it really even needs to be changed. Maybe it just is what it is..... for better or worse.

But.... is it really "lack of opportunity"? Or is it that opportunity isn't kicking in folks doors and dragging them off the couch, loading 'em into their truck or what and taking 'em hunting? Or is it something else?

From: Toonces
20-Jan-21
TD,

Witcher 3. I am down that rabbit hole myself.

From: Mark S
20-Jan-21
Technology - people with tons of trails cams, Cross bows that can kill at 100 yards, apps that allow everybody to find every water hole or any other feature in the world, 5 month seasons - will it ever end or will we ever put limits on ourselves? NO TV - don't like what it has done for/to hunting - gadgets, naming animals like i do my pets, horn porn, people that promote hunting and taking kids hunting so they can make more money from their products as long as it's not on their land and crowds them - 5 year old kids killing animals (or is it the adults do?) during youth seasons. Does a kid understand what he's doing? I don't think kids should kill at such young ages, but, most disagree with me on this. Don't think this is good for hunting Money - it doesn't always come to this for me, but, unfortunately, it does in the world we live in. It has already forced many of us into a competition that we can't afford to compete in, but, if you want to have a quality experience you need money (land access esp) If i were starting today i would not bother as i don't have the means to obtain the quality of experience that I'd like. Too much competition for too little of resources

From: Tlhbow
20-Jan-21
All kids need exposed to the outdoors even if it's not hunting. Youth programs are a great was for them to experience the " hunting/ killing /skinning/eating what you got" but hunting is something you either like and want to do or not really intrested in. My kids (3) and grandkids(11) have all been exposed to the hunting and fishing. It's some of the best times of the year for them to be able to spend time together. Part of them you have to drag out of the woods and some are happy grab assin around camp and playin in the fire. The main thing for parents is to take them out there and not necessarily to hunt but a good hike and let them lead you to what intrest them. All those people out there hiking through the woods have just as much chance of there kid eventually wanting to hunt /fish as the ones that grow up in a hunting/fishing family. Now I'm not saying that people should be out there wandering around during firearms season, that's not a good idea even for hunters themselves on public land. Out west bowhunting I see or here youth group's ever year going through the woods on four to seven day hikes and have talked to them several times. Yes I feel certain they Impact a hunt occasionally but I should probably hunt deeper . I m glad there out there enjoying the same thing I like . It's going to be very important for our public lands to be shared if we plan on having it to use in the future .

From: ALovely
20-Jan-21
I have started growing my own meat or butchering in trade.

More often then not I would rather walk through the woods and look for sheds, rather then only going into the woods a few times a year to sit or glass.

20-Jan-21
Access is always interesting. I know many kids of hunters, who have lots of access, but little interest in hunting. Even hunting camps are diminishing in participation. To many, it just ain't cool anymore.

From: Shuteye
20-Jan-21
I will soon be 79 years old and hunting will never end for me. I live in a 40 acre woods that I own. I can walk out of my back door and hunt deer or squirrels. Ducks and geese fly over but I don't hunt them any more. Even if they outlaw hunting I will still hunt, call me an outlaw. What will stop me from hunting is getting too old to get out into the woods. I have cut was down on the number of deer I kill since I just put enough in the freezer for myself and one or two for friends. Our limit is 15 does and two bucks. A lot of the farmers get permits to kill extra deer even after the season ends.

20-Jan-21
Way too many young people are soft and lack that fortitude and determination hunting takes....its more fun to play with my phone

From: badbull
20-Jan-21
I think what Grey Ghost and Jaq posted are the main reasons to worry about the future of hunting in the western states.

From: Jaquomo
20-Jan-21
Hey, I'm playing on my phone!

The increased license price over time is a fallacy. Adjusted for inflation, most nonresident hunting licenses are cheaper than ever. And every youth can afford the price of a youth license. It is the cost of everything else, but more importantly, the 'want to" that keeps them out.

From: JL
20-Jan-21
^....Maybe for res tags. However, I don't see paying over $1000 for a NR combo tag (in MT) as a fallacy. That example is very real obstacle for many. That rapid rise has nothing to do with inflation. IMO....it's cash strapped states using the NR fees as cash cows to make up for funding shortages elsewhere. IMO that is a huge roadblock for many folks. I have nephews down in FL who would like to do a hunt like that but can't afford it and in reality couldn't take enough time off from work to put forth a good effort for the hunt. Booking a guide for them is out of the question.

20-Jan-21
This is a great topic!

1: The philosophy that maintaining numbers will save us. It won’t! Hunters must learn to move to an active minority. We need to be the loudest minority in the room because in the next generation we will be out numbered not by non-hunters but by anti-hunters. 2: Predator management. If we can’t control this it will be the end of wilderness hunting. 3: The word “trophy hunting” ...It’ll be on an anti-hunting ballot in a state in the next 5 to 10 years unless we pull out best effort and focus on “sustenance hunting”Whether it be for food or craft in the case of non-edible species 4: The Unwillingness of our organizations to become activist groups. For instance here we have multiple lawsuits by environmentalists against bearbaiting but we don’t have a good organization that is able or willing to sue on our behalf.

...We need to beat them at their own game

In closing if there are any lawyers here you are interested in talking about such an organization you guys should get together! I’m not a lawyer and not the person for the job but boy I would support such an organization

From: TrapperKayak
20-Jan-21
Today is the start of their attempt to end it. Good luck.....

20-Jan-21
We need to be positive. There are many who want to hunt and we can be mentors. Instead of this topic, maybe we can start a thread about how to keep hunting alive and well for centuries to come.

From: Jaquomo
20-Jan-21
Knight Archer, if you can figure that out, please share it with the Game and Fish strategists in all 50 states. Because they have tried everything they are permitted to do, with no luck. I'd invite you to speak privately with some, as I have, for a jolt of reality

From: Shuteye
20-Jan-21
I can't believe the cost of licenses you guys are talking about. When I was 16 years old I could stop at L.L. Beans, in Maine, and get my hunting license for $25. There was a $25 bounty on bears and .50 cent bounty on porcupines.

From: SteveB
20-Jan-21
At the end of the day, it’s all about recruitment. Big numbers equals big lobby and more protection.

From: sitO
20-Jan-21
Lou, you're one of the last I'd expect to throw their hands up. Look up Outdoor Mentors in Wichita, call or email Mike Christensen and talk to him about how we can help. There are a LOT of guys here with a LOT of resources, and there's no such thing as a failure who keeps trying.

Took a couple of the "young guns" out again this morning, we put out 14dz decoys and never pulled a dang trigger. After we picked up and were headed out, they stopped and both got out and came up to us and thanked us for the opportunity...not all is lost.

From: Orion
20-Jan-21
Mandatory facemasks on federal lands

From: elkmtngear
20-Jan-21
The "FAUX-TUS" !

From: Tonybear61
20-Jan-21
The antis have been trying to kill hunting since the early-mid 1800s. Access is becoming more of an issue, so is privatization and self-promotion of wildlife.

Lacey Act, Dingell Johnson, Pittman-Robertson, Wallop Bordeaux all were established to try and keep the traditions and fishing, hunting fellowship going. Along with conservation which is a main facet of proper wildlife management, via established seasons. Trump Admin and Congress signed the Wild Lands act in 2020. That should be a good sign.

From: Jaquomo
20-Jan-21
Kyle, I've done a lot of research on this, for an article and also for speeches. I've parsed the data until my eyes bleed, and interviewed or spoken with the folks in game departments across the country who are tasked with hunter recruitment. There are small rural pockets where new young hunters can be recruited, and it will stick with a few if they have hunting access. But the reality is that the huge majority go a couple times on mentored hunts on private land, then as soon as they can drive, it's over.

In Colorado, they've decided to go after the adult demographic who want to be locavores, but were not raised in hunting families. My new wife was one of those, and found it really difficult, almost impossible, to find mentors for adults. She tried all the angles, but found the process so difficult to navigate that she basically gave up until she met me. Now she's a killing fool and we went deer hunting on our honeymoon, "her" deer hunt.

My friend in eastern CO got a couple doe vouchers for his land this year and tried to find two youths to host on a hunt. Got no takers. What does that say?

From: Jaquomo
20-Jan-21
Shuteye, do the math. I dont know how old you are, but nationwide, nonresident hunting license prices have not kept up with inflation. Even resident licenses in most states are cheaper today than they were 30-40 years ago (inflation-adjusted).

From: bigdog21
21-Jan-21
colorado out state small game 82.00, deer 400.00, elk either sex 670, mt.goat 2400.00 + areas mandatory guide? pretty high

From: TD
21-Jan-21
Shuteye when you were 16 you could buy a hay bale for a dollar to fill the tank on the buggy.... =D

From: Jaquomo
21-Jan-21
Bigdog, yes, seems like it, but adjusted for inflation hunting licenses are as cheap or cheaper than ever. Elk tag for $670 is just over 1% of the national average income. Seems pretty cheap for the opportunity to fill a freezer and have a great adventure. A one day ski lift ticket now costs over $200 with discounts. We used to pay $10-20.

21-Jan-21
I'm going to take a trip to Hawaii and the women in my life are not going to know that the real reason I'm taking them is so that I can give them a credit card to go do their thing while I go shoot the shit with TD.

BTW, I have teenage daughters so I can say "the women in my life."

From: Thornton
21-Jan-21
We have devised, developed, and mastered the death of hunting. It lies right in front of us, on the computer screen, on TV, and in our pocket books. Once a way of life, it is now the past time of wealthy individuals who seek to exclusively lease or buy more than they can ever hunt. They have put a price on a resource that many can no longer afford. Blue collar hunters seeking to introduce young hunters often decide not to hunt at all, citing the potential dangers of public land hunting, lack of game or cost to lease a small piece of private land. Hunting shows incite a desire to hunt, resulting in the the hunger to acquire as much land as possible to grow the same size animals as seen on TV. There is so much competition for certain tags now, limited draw public areas that used to be every other year, now take 3-4 years or more to draw. The states that allow yearly OTC are seeing the decline and many are drawing up new regulations to limit them.

21-Jan-21
I see your take Thorton et al. And I've seen it first hand in the midwest when I travel there to hunt.

But Lou makes a great point in that it's a different situation west of the front range. There's infinite public land and the numbers are the same regarding recruitment.

Still, I'm optimistic. Definitely more optimistic than most people on this thread who, rightly, look at their local situation when making their opinions on the subject.

Personally, I grew up in urban California and as a child, my dad didn't hunt and my mom was/is an antihunter. I found my way and I see others doing the same.

I've taken several adult males on their first hunts who still hunt today. Finding hunting as an adult is a fine path to hunting and one doesn't need to be mentored through adolescence and teen years to make a hunter.

And honestly, I feel it's a more productive way to recruit because kids are friggen stupid. They're naive, they don't know themselves,... they change.

Take a 30+ year old man hunting, even a fruit loop, and you've recruited a hunter for life.

21-Jan-21
It won’t be the cost that kills hunting if that were to happen, but rather a mirror image of what is destroying freedom. It will come from within. Liberals dressed up as hunters. Yes they are among us. And yes some are right here on Bowsite. And yes some of you know who they are. And yes those who are, know who you are......and I know who you are ;)

21-Jan-21
Yes, we have liberal socialists dressed up as hunters on this very forum. Throw them out of your camps!

From: Will
21-Jan-21
Idyll - great point there on adults. I've helped a few adult newcomers get involved. It's great to see them enjoy it and have fun... and it helped me learn because I got to see things from their perspective. Those different angles expanded my understanding and have helped me...

From: Rocky D
21-Jan-21
“ Rocky, that's funny. The Founders, less Washington, were literally some of the most broadly educated and intellectual people of their time, and Washington had a thirst for knowledge both through informal teaching from others, and his own reading.”

Will, I agree but you cannot compare intellectuals who crossed the Atlantic in a boat constructed in 1700, participated in a revolution, and was not that far removed from hunting which for many was was an everyday activity for most in those days to the intellectuals of today!

From: Rocky D
21-Jan-21
Hunters will continue to lose ground as we decline in numbers and the increase in the anti hunting fraternity numbers increase.

We may not lose it out right but we have already lost significant issues like mountain lion, bear baiting, and many other cases. Where are those that are chanting the “SCIENCE” mantra when it comes to hunting.

I am fearful that the science that they are talking about has more to do more with social science than global warming!

Here is a little capitulation from Wikipedia on scientific socialism!

“Although the term socialism has come to mean specifically a combination of political and economic science, it is also applicable to a broader area of science encompassing what is now considered sociology and the humanities. The distinction between Utopian and scientific socialism originated with Marx, who criticized the Utopian characteristics of French socialism and English and Scottish political economy. Engels later argued that Utopian socialists failed to recognize why it was that socialism arose in the historical context that it did, that it arose as a response to new social contradictions of a new mode of production, i.e. capitalism. In recognizing the nature of socialism as the resolution of this contradiction and applying a thorough scientific understanding of capitalism, Engels asserted that socialism had broken free from a primitive state and become a science.[2] This shift in socialism was seen as complementary to shifts in contemporary biology sparked by Charles Darwin and the understanding of evolution by natural selection—Marx and Engels saw this new understanding of biology as essential to the new understanding of socialism and vice versa.”

From: Jaquomo
21-Jan-21
I've been mentoring two 30-somethings who one day decided they wanted to learn to hunt. Got their hunter safety, hunted deer and elk the first season (didnt see anything legal but had a blast) and now they are hooked. Totally into it.

As the CPW folks told me, this demographic may be our best bet. They have their careers established, probably started families, and have some disposable income.

21-Jan-21
I agree with taking adults and Lou's logic. I grew up in a non-hunting family in the big city and was only exposed to firearms and hunting on a couple visits to my uncle's farm in KY as a kid.

Graduated college at 22 years old, moved from the city to rural BC MI and met a hunter who started me off almost immediately after moving there. I think it is in the blood of many, hunting is natural IMHO, but many folks are like me and never get exposed to it when they are younger.

Helping a 23 year old getting started this past year, and him and his father-in-law (51) who is a friend of mine are starting to prep to come hunt my farm next year. The friend is extremely busy and so will use an Xbow, and I am fine with that.

From: Grey Ghost
21-Jan-21
I've mentored 2 young men in bowhunting. Neither of their parents hunt. Both were obsessed with it when they first started shooting their bows. They each killed their first turkeys on my place, and one of them has killed a small buck, again on my property. But, my resources are limited. They both want to kill an elk, and I've done everything in my power to make that happen on OTC public land over the last 5 years, but they haven't flung a single arrow at anything but foam targets and the occasional grouse.

Last year, neither one of them chose to hunt elk. I think that was partially because I had drawn a long-awaited limited tag, so they knew I wouldn't be hunting with them. I think the other reason is they are simply losing interest because they see no opportunity to experience a quality hunt with their limited financial resources. As one of them said to me, "I'm tired of taking vacation time to just go on long walks in the woods with my bow." I can't say I blame them.

I will continue to try to keep them motivated, but I can't help feeling it's ultimately a losing cause. Sadly.

Matt

From: JL
21-Jan-21
^.....Matt, maybe you should have them try gun hunting first where they have a better chance of shooting something. Once they get their "first", then come back into bow hunting...or both.

From: Live2Hunt
21-Jan-21
Matt, when you are a young hunter, killing an animal is your drive. If they want to take an animal, it has to be instilled in them somehow that as the saying goes, if the going gets tough, the tough get going. Eventually if you keep hunting you learn that the kill isn't the biggest enjoyment of hunting, it's everything that brings you to that point.

From: Grey Ghost
21-Jan-21
Live2Hunt,

Neither of these young men lacks toughness or drive, and they know why it's called "hunting" not "killing". But, at some point all the time, effort, and expense has to be rewarded with a kill, or they will surely give it up.

I'm tempted to gift them a quality outfitted hunt, but I'm not sure their pride will allow them to accept it. Besides, that would only reinforce the notion that quality hunting is a rich man's sport, and may serve to distance them from hunting even more. I dunno.

It's a source of frustration for me. That's for sure. I was blessed to grow up in a hunting family, and I was able to experience phenomenal hunting on private land at an early age. That stoked the flames of my hunting fire for a lifetime. These young men are having trouble finding kindling for their fires.

Matt

From: South Farm
21-Jan-21
So, if I lead a horse to water and he won't drink is it my problem or the horse's?? If "kids" these days aren't interested in hunting then it does not matter one bit if hunting goes away...it will die with a generation that died with it! Why are we so hell-bent on caring whether or not hunting will be here in the future if those of the future don't care?!?! If they did care, if they were interested, and if they really have the desire to hunt they will...if not then they'll croak like the horse mentioned above. Best thing you can do is just go hunting if that's what you want to do. Don't worry about the next generation because you won't be here. Don't worry about the anti's. Hell, if I worried about anti-hunters I would've been worrying for over 50 years already! JUST GO HUNT and let what happens happen. Relish in your memories and don't worry about what happens when you're worm food. Your kids aren't worried about how much time you spend on a computer or your iphone, so don't worry about how much time they spend doing what dad does..

From: Live2Hunt
21-Jan-21
Well said South, you and I think the same.

From: Rupe
21-Jan-21
Leftist!

From: KSflatlander
21-Jan-21
“Yes, we have liberal socialists dressed up as hunters on this very forum. Throw them out of your camps!”

I say people like Missouribreaks are part of the problem. Further, other hunters that aren’t willing to call him out, and other like him, are complicit.

Keep pounding that wedge Jimmy.

21-Jan-21
I started bowhunting in 1982, back then I had so many places to hunt I'd have to draw a number out of a hat to decide where to go, now I'm down to one piece of property that a good friend owns. He told me that my son and I are always welcomed as long as he owns the land. which I'm so grateful for. I.ve been looking for other locations but with no luck so if anything should happen with my current location I might be calling it quits being that I'm in my 60s.

From: Treeline
21-Jan-21

Treeline's Link
If the Socialist Communists initial day is any indication....

The death of hunting in America is upon us...

From: SteveD
21-Jan-21
The European way is the accepted mode of hunting nowadays in good 'ole USA. There will always be some form of hunting but only for a few, a very wealthy few. The increase in numbers of the anti hunter-hunter proves this. It will not be getting better for many as mentioned. Hope for the best but expect the worse. Thats way the way it's going. Unbridled technology helped pave the way also. If your passion is hunting either buy land or get another hobby, the days of the common person having good hunting are becoming a thing of the past. Remember that when various outdoor groups want your support but do not want you. Think about it, and good luck.

21-Jan-21
Good post SteveD.

From: Jackaroo
21-Jan-21
Real hunting died along time ago because of technology. Modern hunting is game management it’s not a sport imho.

From: SteveD
21-Jan-21
Jackaroo x1.

21-Jan-21
×2 Jackaroo

From: Jaquomo
21-Jan-21
Yep, Jackaroo, the day that hairy fella figured out that a bow was more efficient than an ATL-ATL is the day "real" hunting died.

Give me a break....

21-Jan-21
Hmm, I have a blast hunting. Seems “real” to me...

From: Jackaroo
21-Jan-21
You are probably right Jaq,good comparison. They wiped out elk and Buffalo on the plains with black powder riding a horse. . I doubt they could have done it with 338 lapua mag and ballistics software shooting 1500 yds , Google earth, 20 game cams and a $30k Utv. Going back to camp and relaxing in a $500 k diesel pusher.

From: Jaquomo
21-Jan-21
What really spawned the hunting surge in the U.S. was GIs returning from WWII, and western hunting was greatly enabled when those same GIs brought Willys Jeeps into the equation (technology). Jeeps opened up a whole new world of access, and even though there were exponentially more hunters in the US then, the pressure was way more spread out because private land was usually open everywhere, and the USFS was decades away from their war on access roads. Also, most hunters hunted closer to home, so the mountain states crowding we see now is a relatively recent phenomenon (see: Internet..)

But one thing you missed - despite all the technology, the success rate on western big game has remained virtually flat over all these years. And the increased success rate on whitetails pretty much tracks the expansion and population growth.

From: rhoggman
21-Jan-21
My humble opinion is everything changes, and morphs through the canal of time. It may not be what it once was, or what it will be, but we would all be naïve to believe that our individual ideal IS the definition of "hunting". The truth is if we were more accepting of each other, the hunting cast net would catch many more hunters. It seems from reading some of these posts that our collective willingness to exclude others diminishes our power as a cohesive group. I have a neighbor I took to camp this year. He's not my age. Not my color. Never hunted. His politics aren't mine. Nobody in his family wants to eat game, lest him and his son... But he wants to hunt. He spotted a black bear for me, and sat next to me while I smoke checked it during black powder. Now he wants to bow hunt during urban archery. I guess If I paid close attention to our differences, I might be inclined to pass up the adventure of hunting with him. Instead I focused on the hunt. He's a great guy, and our kids are friends. Cast a wide net, and think less about yourself. That's what I am telling myself anyways. Our perils as hunters are real, but so are the boxes we put ourselves in. I'm not convinced the interest is waning, but maybe our interest for others is.

21-Jan-21
Michael Arnette, get in touch with The Western Bear Foundation. The situation you mentioned about bear baiting is their specialty.

21-Jan-21
Hunters against other hunters will be the death of hunting. If we are divided we will fall.

From: Rocky D
22-Jan-21
X2 Forest!

From: x-man
22-Jan-21
"Access to a quality experience" is key. Almost all the youth hunting programs are on private land with minimal or no pressure. Guy or gal has a great experience. Then out on their own they find out public land hunting is a whole different deal. It requires time, commitment, gear, and for guys, it isn't cool with girls. They have to do a ton of research, then arrive to find 20 other vehicles in the parking area. I've lived in Northern CO my whole life, and virtually every place where I learned to hunt is now closed, leased, developed, or several miles behind locked USFS gates. Local bird hunting and small game access is virtually nonexistent unless you pay $150-200 per gun per day.

It's no wonder young people are drifting away."

This^^^.

I find it ironic that the ones saying [this] isn't the real reason are also the ones buying up all the land for themselves... And when they don't find the antlers big enough on their own land, they travel to a large lease and pay for a trophy. All in the name of fair-chase. Then, they bitch about crossbows killing their opportunities to monopolize "their" animals.

GREED...is hunting's number one enemy. Nothing else comes close.

22-Jan-21
Greed is driven thru hunter expectation and horn porn (scoring). How do we eliminate it?

22-Jan-21
In other words, how do we eliminate the competition for Mr. Big.... and making the book? As long as that exists, those who can will buy their way up the ladder. Scoring and competition for entry seems to validate some as great hunters. I do not see that going away, it is the culture of many today.

From: x-man
22-Jan-21
Right, that snowball is likely unstoppable, going down a steep grade. Which is why my hard earned money goes to conservation and NOT porn advocates like SCI and P&Y.

From: Will
22-Jan-21
rhoggman - that's awesome. Nicely done!

From: bigdog21
22-Jan-21
I dont praise the recourd books, when started they where good and fun , but they have turned, creating alot of poaching and trespassing. people going to any means to get a recordbook. a friend went on a guided bear hunt with some weathy people thru his work. he wasnt sure about going, the told him he was gerented a nice bear if he could kill one the guide would get him one. he went and got his own no trophy but nice. but this is what hunting is going to .

From: South Farm
22-Jan-21
"Hunters against other hunters will be the death of hunting. If we are divided we will fall."

I hear this all the time and I have to laugh. In reality, what that statement is REALLY saying is "Give up your personal convictions, do like I do, CONFORM to my way of thinking, and we'll have unity". Our current administration is toting this, after continual bashing and stonewalling the previous administration every step of the last four years now somehow they expect us to all hug and get along and have "unity"! ISLAM preaches it, as does BLM and a host of other groups I don't agree with. Hell, even groups that supposedly support sportsmen do it...take the NRA for example. The fact is there will never be unity because one side shouldn't have to cave-in to another's to find peace. I shouldn't have to burn my recurve and hold hands with some guy that shoots a crossbow and sits on a corn pile just because we're both supposedly "hunters". That will never happen, and if hunting dies because of it then it deserves to because it's morphed into something it shouldn't have. The key root of hunting is "hunt"...you want my support then put more emphasis on the hunt rather than the kill.

22-Jan-21
One word...complacency.

From: Live2Hunt
22-Jan-21
South, I was just going in here to say almost the same thing. Everyone who makes that statement I'm willing to bet is not a bowhunter anymore.

From: bigdog21
22-Jan-21
south farm I under stand but one mans hunt and anothers could still be miles apart how far dowe half to go back to make it hunting ame cams ,feeders, tree stands, compound, longbows, speers. way to many diffrence, and a guy with a crossbow but no food plot are game camera, and feeders is still more a hunter than others just a diffrent weapon to kill, and if in the woods there not much diffrence in the compound and a crossbow just the cross guy is not going to get a second chance.

22-Jan-21
Great posts South Farm and Luve2hunt, you guys nailed it.

22-Jan-21
Dave your wrong. If I look down on a rifle hunter for hunting with a gun not a bow then I'm the problem. Nobody has to hunt for food any more. We chose to.

22-Jan-21
I hunt with a bow only. Sometimes a recurve most of the time a compound. I dont rifle hunt because its not what I want to do, but if I tell a man he is less than me because he hunts with a rifle than I'm the problem.

22-Jan-21
Crossbows are not the problem, their inclusion and invasion into the general archery seasons create the rift.

From: South Farm
22-Jan-21
Maybe I didn't make my point clear enough...it's not as much about the method, but more about the madness. Hunting has evolved into a score-keeping high-fiving in-your-face game where inches and "getting it done" at any cost is more important than things like woodsmanship, pursuit, and reflection. I guess to put it simply, it's become too commercialized, and I don't think one man should have to give up what he stands for to support another. I'm not sayint that's right or wrong, but rather trying to make the point of why unity is nothing more than a pipe dream. It's not human nature to be forced into unity; it has to be happen naturally...and when you're as divided as we are the only way that unity can happen is for it to be forced. Good in theory, but not in reality.

Best way to support hunting is slink off to the woods and do it, quietly, personally, and quit worrying about everybody else. The world doesn't care about what it doesn't see and hear. It worries about what it percieves based on what it sees on TV, Youtube, and Facebook. Pop culture and social media is reality to the masses and it drives their daily agenda. Nobody has a problem with some shadow in the woods with a bow in it's hand. The natural world doesn't exist in their minds, it's foreign and scary to them...and the perfect place for us to hide.

22-Jan-21
I agree. Watching TV instead of hunting is something I dont do. Neither is chasing deer with dogs, but that's what some guy loves to do. There are alot more kids in the woods because of the guys on tv.......it sucks but its a fact.

From: Sand man
22-Jan-21
Fully auto crossbows?!

From: South Farm
22-Jan-21
If there's a lot more kids in the woods then there's nothing to worry about. Hunting isn't dying...it's just "changing". But, just like so-called modernd country music it will morph into something the rest of us will just shake our heads at and wonder what in the hell happened?!?

That reminds me, I got a new Willy CD I need to go listen to, "First Rose of Spring".

From: Will
22-Jan-21
SF, I like the thing you noted about convictions. I'd actually suggest we encourage caring about each other because of our differences - and recognize that those differences which convictions create literally are things we can learn about and from and thus help build a stronger community.

That's why, despite leaning left, I think the modern "cancel culture" style approach to things is dumb.

That is a cool take you laid down there, thanks for writing it out. I appreciate it.

22-Jan-21
"Hunting has evolved into a score-keeping high-fiving in-your-face game where inches and "getting it done" at any cost is more important than things like woodsmanship, pursuit, and reflection. I guess to put it simply, it's become too commercialized" Exactly, well put SF

From: Rocky D
22-Jan-21
“Further, other hunters that aren’t willing to call him out, and other like him, are complicit.”

KS, I say you are complicit by not holding the Dems accountable for their actions toward the president over the last four years and you are complicit to whatever occurs over the next four.

From: Matt
22-Jan-21
"I hear this all the time and I have to laugh. In reality, what that statement is REALLY saying is "Give up your personal convictions, do like I do, CONFORM to my way of thinking, and we'll have unity"."

There is a fine line between holding onto one's convictions and promoting policy based on aesthetics and not being able to see the bigger picture.

From: Live2Hunt
22-Jan-21
The main reason I went back to a recurve was because of all the new allowed weapons, the cost to keep up, the craziness of trophy only and feeling like being pushed to shoot only book animals. It has gotten crazy for sure. I hunt hard and go at it hard, but stepping back has sure made it more enjoyable.

From: JL
22-Jan-21
Before this thread gets twittered......

Next time ya go to your local sporting goods store on a weekend, holiday, or maybe in the evening, take note of how many young kids or teenager-looking folks are hanging out in the hunting or camo clothing section checking out the merchandise. Are they buying something hunting related or just window shopping? I think that anecdotal observation might be interesting.

From: Rocky D
22-Jan-21
Matt, Silence is compliance! The thought that the left is the only ones that can see the big picture is an elitist mentality at best and at worst it is a direct insult to those on the right. As far as policy based on aesthetics I would say that is the pot calling the kettle black. There is a reason that you are the minority on here and it is not because you are more intelligent than the others on this site! Nor is it because you voted Democrat. Why don’t you go read that piece of journalism called the 1619 project that is being solicited as history so it can help continue to shape your “big picture” worldview. Actually, you and your ilk undermine your own position with your lack of objectivity, arrogance, and air of superiority!

From: Matt
22-Jan-21
"Matt, Silence is compliance! The thought that the left is the only ones that can see the big picture is an elitist mentality at best and at worst it is a direct insult to those on the right. As far as policy based on aesthetics I would say that is the pot calling the kettle black. There is a reason that you are the minority on here and it is not because you are more intelligent than the others on this site! Nor is it because you voted Democrat. Why don’t you go read that piece of journalism called the 1619 project that is being solicited as history so it can help continue to shape your “big picture” worldview. Actually, you and your ilk undermine your own position with your lack of objectivity, arrogance, and air of superiority!"

What a load of $#!+ that is. My point was that we have seen what happens when gun hunters don't support bowhunters, when bowhunters don't support houndsmen, and when houndsmen don't support trappers. I am not an "all under the same tent" guy, but history has borne out how factionalism has already caused the demise of certain forms of hunting.

Oh, and to set you straight on two other things: I didn't vote democrat and, based on your literary diarrhea above, I can only assume I am in fact more intelligent than you.

But go on arguing against crossbows from the perspective of a bowhunter while the ARA groups are working together to outlaw both.

From: Rocky D
22-Jan-21
Matt, love your elitist obsession with your own intellect. At no time on this thread have I made a negative comment on any legal method of hunting so talk about a baseless comment. I want even talk about IQ because it probably something that you know little.

From: Matt
22-Jan-21
"Hunters against other hunters will be the death of hunting. If we are divided we will fall."

Rocky, the above was the comment that you jumped in to denigrate. Please explain to me how, by supporting an objection to solidarity among hunters based on method, you are not negatively commenting on other methods of hunting.

Is this a separate but equal thing?

From: Bou'bound
23-Jan-21
Blaming crossbows for the death of sport hunting is like Saying the reason for global warming is someone left their toaster on

From: Rocky D
23-Jan-21
Matt, actually this is the comment That spiked the response.

"I hear this all the time and I have to laugh. In reality, what that statement is REALLY saying is "Give up your personal convictions, do like I do, CONFORM to my way of thinking, and we'll have unity"."

I had written a longer response but figured that it was a lost cause because we are not changing anyone’s mind.

23-Jan-21
Crossbows are not the cause of death of hunting. Their inclusion into general archery seasons is however a major cause of serious hunter division. Hope it all works out.

From: Franzen
23-Jan-21
Selfish hunters. You know them when you see them... the guy that's happy when average joe drops out of an LE hunt, so he maybe gets to go on 6 LE hunts this year instead of 5.

From: Rocky D
23-Jan-21
“the guy that's happy when average joe drops out of an LE hunt, so he maybe gets to go on 6 LE hunts this year instead of 5.“

Franz, your statement is divisive because the majority of this sight are average Joe’s! Please do not begrudge someone for playing the points game for years until it starts paying off. Also, don’t draw conclusions on people who have either worked hard to achieve some level of financial success. There are others who prioritize a significant amount of their income for hunting instead of the many other monetary pitfalls.

The only person that I should compare myself to is me and that should be to determine if I am a better person today than I was yesterday. Average Joe’s can make the same sacrifices that everyone else makes to provide themselves more hunting opportunities!

23-Jan-21
I think many on here are looking for excuses or perceived barriers to hunting. The fact is, fewer and fewer make hunting for sport a priority these days. Especially with the younger generations where killing simply is not cool.

There is no fault, no blame, simply a change in personal priorities. Is that so bad?

From: Bigpizzaman
23-Jan-21
Death of hunting? Infighting amongst hunters, Consessions made to antis and hunters not embracing it.

From: Rocky D
23-Jan-21
BPM, why is it that it is hunters that have to make concessions?This is the same argument that that left uses against conservatives. Sadly, I think that the right is tired of them always being expected to compromise.

From: Franzen
23-Jan-21
Case in point Rocky D. "The only thing I should worry about is me." Some just can't see the forest for the trees.

From: LBshooter
23-Jan-21
Well I see the death of hunting caused by several reasons adding up to deal the death blow. 1. Greed, in that land is out of reach for many hunters to lease. A buddy asked if I wanted to go in on a lease with four others for 20 acres, 8k for the year, I kindly passed. Also, the expense of equipment, bows, boots etc... All of this deters new hunters. 2. TV hunt shows, the majority give unrealistic views to the new Hunter of what hunting is. 3. The DNR , here in Illinois they are slaughtering the herd in the name of controlling CWD. Hunted hard this year, and saw very few deer do to the cull three years ago, and they are shooting again this year. The word is they want to take the herd down by 17 % and it looks like they are doing a good job. Also, to many shotgun seasons here and shotgun during the rut. 4. Hunters, to many guys thinking that their way is the only way to hunt, compound guys don't like xbow guys etc... Divided we are screwed. 5. Last but not least, recruitment of the younger generation. It's like watching Barrett Jackson car auction, in another 10/15 years what millennial is going to pay 100k for a 69 camero, or 250k for a Ferrari ? The younger kids don't care about cars. And when the old guys go those cars are going south. Same with hunting, not enough younger folks who are going to pay the frieght to hunt, once that happens the antis will swoop in. I will always hunt, and if forced due to bans etc..l I will outlaw it. As Pat said, it's in my being to hunt and the freezer full of meat is a great thing. So whenever possible , take a young person hunting and hope they get it. This pandemic I think has put more folks out hunting, have to wait for the numbers to be crunched but in the next 20 years it will be interesting to see where it goes. Also, for you western hunters, wolves are going to end it in some places if they are left unchecked. Jmo

23-Jan-21
The plunging testorone levels ( this is a real thing) of young men..look around you with pretty rare exceptions these you people are noodles...you have to be pretty robust to like the challenges of hunting and like it

From: bigdog21
23-Jan-21
LB what deer 20 years ago I would see 20 a day now lucky see 20 all season.

24-Jan-21
I did not know low T would be a serious factor, you may be right though. I wonder how low T influences the choice of weapon?

From: Bou'bound
24-Jan-21
If every year there was one more hunter that died or quit than the number that was recruited and joined our ranks eventually the sport goes extinct. Without replacement all things end. There is now way inflow is greater than outflow at this time. More importantly it hasn’t been for quite some time and there’s no projections that model that out differently going forward

24-Jan-21
I guess the question becomes, what will be the numbers when inflow matches outflow?

From: Rocky D
24-Jan-21
“Case in point Rocky D. "The only thing I should worry about is me."

Franzen, the word compare is different than worry! My point was that we should not compare ourselves to others to makes us feel superior to others based on our methods!

From: Jaquomo
24-Jan-21
"In 1991, 25% of hunters fell in the 25-34 age group, accounting for the largest share of the hunting population. That number declined to 16% in 2016, and there were similar decreases in the 18-24 age group. Meanwhile, there has been a corresponding aging in the group. In 1991, 23% of the hunting population were between 45 and 64. That percentage doubled to 46% in 2016"

On average, we are losing around 400,000 hunters per year.

Not a winning formula.

24-Jan-21

FORESTBOWS 's embedded Photo
FORESTBOWS 's embedded Photo

From: Jaquomo
24-Jan-21
Forest - where did you get that data? It doesn't match anywhere close to that from NSSF and USFWS. The USFWS data from the most comprehensive study ever done shows 11.5 million in 2016, and individual hunters (not license sales) has decreased since then by about 350-400K per year. Nowhere is there any credible evidence that individual hunter numbers are increasing.

Edit - Never mind, I found it in Statistica, where David Lange never lists any sources. I tend to trust USFWS data gathered from every state, with specific sources listed.

24-Jan-21
Your saying we have lost 12 million hunters in the last 30 years.

From: Bou'bound
24-Jan-21
That number makes no sense if it is net. If it is gross and offset by some, but a lesser number of replacements, it is possible

From: writer
24-Jan-21
Lack of interest from upcoming generations and political correctness by the urban areas.

From: Jaquomo
24-Jan-21
The loss has been accelerating over the past 10 years as the overall population age-out and there arent enough younger hunters to compensate. The "Boomer Bubble".

This is what USFWS found in their state by state survey: "The agency's 2016 survey suggested a steeper decline to 11.5 million Americans who say they hunt, down more than 2 million from five years earlier. “The downward trends are clear,” said Samantha Pedder of the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports, which works to increase the diversity of hunters.Feb 2, 2020

From: SteveD
24-Jan-21
I'm not buying it.Those type studies/stats can be and usually are skewed to the groups interest etc. It's hype and even so if that would be the the case, how many acres of HUNTABLE land are we Losing every year? Samantha should be damned concerned about that.

From: Thornton
25-Jan-21
I don't see a downward trend in Kansas. Public dove fields and duck marshes get sacked. I've seen near fights break out, and dozens of trucks lined up on one small area. Every creek bottom and pasture is leased for deer and every pond or watershed lake for waterfowl.

From: Rocky D
25-Jan-21
Fact, we’re losing hunters at an alarming rate. Debating that issue means nothing. The bottom line hunters and hunting doesn’t appeal to non hunters enough to slow down the dwindling numbers. If we don’t change the message then we will continue lose those numbers. Today’s society is all about fashion not function so somehow we must make hunting look cool.

25-Jan-21
In PA I'm seeing Jaquomo's survey results. The walking trails have more people on them as do the biking trails. It's just no longer a great American past time as in the past or a necessity for food. My grandson is a junior in high school and in his home room class there are three boys that hunt and no girls. And we are still considered a rural community.

From: PECO
25-Jan-21
crossbows and e-bikes

From: Jaquomo
25-Jan-21

Jaquomo's Link
Steve, the USFWS survey was the most comprehensive ever done on hunting, attitudes, and participation. It tracks with most states data too. As Thornton notes, some areas do have more hunting pressure, but that doesnt mean more hunters. It means hunters are being compressed, and also more hunters are hunting multiple states.

Where I hunt elk is a limited unit so tag numbers stay the same, and it is almost all public land. But every year the crowding gets worse. Why? Because of beetle kill deadfall limiting access, and NF closing off roads, which also limits access and constricts more hunters. So while leasing affects access in some places, other factors affect it elsewhere.

But the data from across 50 states doesn't lie, and you can find tons of links to different studies with a simple Google search. Unfortunately, most are PDF so I can't attach them here.

From: sitO
25-Jan-21
Google "Spike in Hunting and Fishing 2020" (for some reason I can't attach link)...lots of interesting reading. Several of the articles quote your points Lou, but if nothing more 2020 has been a glimmer of hope as far as recruitment and long-term possibilities IMO.

25-Jan-21
One of the biggest issues or threats I see right this moment, is states legislating game management. It simply goes against the North American Model and puts game management in the hands of yuppies who don’t have a clue.......

From: SteveD
25-Jan-21
Many here must be hunting behind "locked up" or posted private land. The public land here in the upper mid west for the most part gets hammered, no shortage of hunters whatsoever. All those surveys need to account for the amount of accessible land, regardless of the "concern" of 'huge"loss of hunters Damn simple solution if one just uses some reason and logic in the equation.

26-Jan-21
How much land is being lost? To urbanization, I don’t think it’s nearly as much as politics and agenda would have you believe. It’s just not happening on at a high rate nor, is it happening on public ground.

How much land is no longer available to hunt versus 30 years ago? I’d venture to say less then half that allowed hunting, no longer does so. Due to leasing, owner interests changing, and the over all lack of respect landowners receive from those they let hunt.

From: Jaquomo
26-Jan-21
Steve, did you read my link? You are from WI. The link is about the dramatic loss of hunters in WI. The USFWS nationwide survey cited loss of available land to hunt as one of the primary reasons for the hunting decline. The "concern" about loss of hunters is about revenue, and also about the loss of strength as a lobby.

You might learn a lot if you did some actual research instead of jumping to conclusions.

From: Glunt@work
26-Jan-21
"What will be the Real Death of Hunting?"

A mix of all sorts of things mentioned in this thread but on the death certificate it will say "Covid 19".

From: JL
26-Jan-21

JL's Link
Attached is a 2017 USFWS news release on their survey (4 yrs old). There should be a new one conducted this year. Below is a snip from that 2017 survey. A few thoughts.....ya need to read the whole press release. You have to slice out the fishing and other non-hunting data from the actual hunter data. The survey shows hunter access is a big concern. It also shows folks are spending less as costs rise. IMO the NR license fees and outfitter prices are a big part of this cost increase and hunter decline. It would be nice to know if the use of outfitters has decreased and DIY-ers has increased. That would support part of the speculation on the reasons for the decline in hunters.....fewer NR's are hunting and those that are going DIY is increasing.

""The survey, the 13th in a series conducted nearly every five years since 1955, shows that the most substantial increases in participation involve wildlife-watching—observing, feeding and photographing wildlife. The report indicates these activities surged 20 percent from 2011 to 2016, from 71.8 million to 86 million participants during that time. Expenditures by wildlife watchers also rose sharply—28 percent—between 2011 and 2016, from $59.1 billion to $75.9 billion. Around-the-home wildlife-watching increased 18 percent from 2011, from 68.6 million in 2011 to 81.1 million participants in 2016. More modest gains were made for away-from-home wildlife watchers: 5 percent increase from 2011 to 2016, from 22.5 million to 23 million participants.

More Americans also went fishing. The report indicates an 8 percent increase in angling participation since 2011, from 33.1 million anglers to 35.8 million in 2016. The greatest increases in participation—10 percent—were seen in the Great Lakes area. Total expenditures by anglers nationwide rose 2 percent from 2011 to 2016, from $45 billion to $46.1 billion.

Hunting participation dropped by about 2 million participants but still remained strong at 11.5 million hunters. Total expenditures by hunters declined 29 percent from 2011 to 2016, from $36.3 billion to $25.6 billion. However, expenditures for related items such as taxidermy and camping equipment experienced a 27-percent uptick, and hunting trip-related expenses increased 15 percent.""

IMO....loss of hunters is situation/state specific. I can use MI and WI for midwest examples. There might be a loss of access in the southern urban/suburban parts of the states and it's harder for those folks living down there to hunt local so they slow down or stop hunting. That makes sense. In the northern parts of those states where there is less people and an abundance of state and fed lands to hunt, hunter loss due to access wouldn't likely be a reason for any loss. Folks who live out west with larger land access wouldn't see this problem.

Here's another theory.....I'd speculate a lot of the hunter loss nationwide occurs from hunters who live in these urban/suburban areas. It's harder for them to hunt local and the costs to go out of state is increasing.

26-Jan-21
What percentage of leased land is outfitter leased vs hunter and club leased? I know it varies by area, just wondering if there are any real facts concerning leasing.

From: 12yards
26-Jan-21
Hunter numbers will continue to die off as us baby boomers die off, then we will level off at a lower number. Democrats will continue to win elections and they will slowly take animals off the huntable list until it is all considered cruel and hunting will be banned and all firearms will be confiscated. As more and more leftists die on the highways from striking abundant deer and other animals, and fewer leftists are born due to them not reproducing for a variety gender confusion issues, Republicans will slowly win back offices in government. Hunting seasons will again be instituted to decrease nuisance animal populations. Gun ownership will not be allowed so every Pope and Young record will fall. Trad archers will continue to hate compound users who will continue to hate crossbow users who will hate arrowgun users. Fixed head snobs will hate lazy slobs that use mechanicals and EFOC aficionados will scoff at light arrow users.

There, figured that all out.

26-Jan-21
A lot of good information in this thread, no real solutions.

From: Bou'bound
26-Jan-21
not every problem has a solution. Some things just naturally evolve (devolve) until the prior state is not the current state.

Bottomline is there are too few hunters to matter as a group...........waning mass = waning clout = waning acceptance = waning voice = waning relevance. The reasons for that are multi-facted and all noted above. You are not going to address all those reasons. Natural evolution.

There are a lot of things that people did 100 years ago that no longer are done or remembered as they became unnecessary, unpopular, or under-subscribed to. Evolution.

26-Jan-21
I agree with the evolution. As others have pointed out, there are many causes, most do not have, or require, a solution. As I mentioned early on, we are half way there, in the evolution to little interest in hunting. Getting to this point in the decline took about 45 years, perhaps we have 45 left,.... just maybe. I will never know.

From: JL
26-Jan-21
From a psychological angle....maybe the everyday folks' strong desire to get out and hunt is satisfied by the ease of watching a hunting shows on TV or YT?? They get their "fix" and the desire (or motivation) to get out and hunt is dulled. Just a different, possible angle to look at it from.

From: Jackaroo
26-Jan-21
Cell phones. Anyone under 40 has one grown into their hand. They panic with no WiFi or cell signal, start to sweat and shake.

From: SteveD
26-Jan-21
Jaquomo, It mentioned 600,00 gun hunters.If the loses that you saying are happening numbers are skewed. In the Early 70's there was 500,000 gun license's sold give or take.Thats a net gain since of 100,000 hunters. There is no shortage of hunters nor will be in my time or yours. If those stats are going by total percentage of the population there will alway be a so called "drop" in the number percentage wise. Population in the nation is growing at at faster rate. Think about it. Thats my conclusion after reading much the has been published etc. Lots of factors are not ever included in those "alarming" drop of numbers etc. Shift in type of hunting and license bought such as small game, waterfowl. And as far as political clout the non-hunting public has always been the majority and always will be, fact. Anyway numbers have to decline as the population grows and land is restricted or unavailable to hunt anymore.

From: Jaquomo
26-Jan-21
Steve, "I'm" not saying the losses are happening. Its bean counters in every state, and big data collecting organizations like NSSF, USFWS that produce hard data showing hunter numbers are declining. Both in raw numbers and as a percentage of the population (which decreasing even faster). What IS happening is that more hunters are hunting multiple states, so I some places appear to be more crowded, and they are. But someone who buys licenses in six states does not equate to "six hunters". That's why data using license sales is misleading in terms of the overall trend.

Hunter numbers peaked in the early '70s with over 15 million, and have been declining ever since (per Department of the Interior). Again, that's not "me" saying it. It is everyone involved in tracking hunting trends across the country. Believe what you wish.

From: JL
26-Jan-21
Jaq sez......."But someone who buys licenses in six states does not equate to "six hunters". That's why data using license sales is misleading in terms of the overall trend."

That's actually a great point. If there is a large number of multiple state hunters and each state is counting that NR hunter as part of their total hunter numbers...then ya, that skews the true number of individual hunters nationwide. To take it a notch further, if it is indeed happening that way, the national hunter decline could be worse than what we think or know.

From: Jaquomo
26-Jan-21
As far as I can see from the published numbers from the credible studies (USFWS), they are based on residents only. But some published numbers consider "total license sales" rather than collecting the resident-only hunting license data from all 50 individual states and cobbling it together. Total license sales obviously skews the numbers upward.

There is no question that 25% fewer hunters hunting on significantly less available hunting land while traveling to multiple states can make it seem like that one guy is really six guys. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting guys like Treeman or Zack Walton in the fall. ;-). Thirty years ago, hardly anybody hunted more than a couple states - their home state and maybe their vacation trip "out West".

And here in the West, even with millions of acres of public land, the vast areas now behind locked gates and millions of acres of dead and fallen trees might as well be closed off to that 45% of hunters who are older and not going to backpack in 5 miles. So in my LE elk unit where license numbers are static, 1000 hunters now seems like 3000 compared to how it was before the beetles and USFS attacked hunting access with full vigor.

Perception is not necessarily reality.

From: SteveD
26-Jan-21
So remember back a few years "studies" stated that for the most part certain pain meds weren't addictive.

From: JL
26-Jan-21
Jaq....you mention the fallen trees. At my bro's place in Montana where there was some huge fires a couple of years ago, the USFS came in and dumped stumps and logs across one of the old logging two-tracks in their neighborhood to supposedly return it to its original state. That was one of the main two-tracks they used to hike into the bush. In this case....the USFS is the problem and not the solution to hunter access.

From: Bowboy
26-Jan-21

Bowboy's Link
Yep and PETA garbage articles like this don't help!

From: Jaquomo
26-Jan-21
Steve, this is simple math. If a state sells licenses to 100 people one year and 95 the next year, and 90 the year after, the net loss is 10 people buying licenses. These aren't "studies". Its simple data mining, and the data is readily available if you bother to check. Take a few minutes to download the USFWS report, read it, then come back and tell us where they are grossly wrong. Same with the data from your home state.

From: TrapperKayak
27-Jan-21
JL, don't forget who the USFS is run by. In the 90s under Slick Willie, more,USFS lands were closed to logging and gates closed to logging across the west than you can shake a stick at. This had a double negative result...1) Timber grew to the point where very little undergrowth browse and sedge was available, reducing the food supply for deer and elk, and both populations declined; 2) Hunter access into public lands was severely limited compared to ungated access. making hunting impractical to many. Thank you Bill...expect more of the same under Joe the environmentalist and expert on wildlife management.

  • Sitka Gear