Hard Times Equals More Hunters

Roger C. from Massachusetts writes to ask about hunter numbers. “Hunter numbers have dropped in my state by a lot over the past 10 years or so. If this is happening in other states, we are in big trouble. So, my question is, are hunter numbers going down everywhere? I’d think that with the high unemployment more people would be hunting for meat.” 

Dr. Dave Samuel

Roger, you are right. In the past 10 years, hunter numbers in Massachusetts are down by 23 percent. In the Northeast only Delaware and Maryland are worse, with 45 percent losses. But, these states are not the norm. Most states are showing increases, and nationwide over the past 10 years, hunter numbers are up 6 percent. Top growth states are Alaska (76 percent increase), Arizona (69 percent), Illinois (62 percent), Mississippi (59 percent), South Dakota (58 percent), and New York (45 percent). 

Many states are doing various things to recruit hunters, but Arizona does more than any other state. And with a growth of 69 percent, the effort and money they are investing in the future of hunting in Arizona is obviously working

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Dr. Dave writes a weekly column for sportsmansguide.com. If you have a question for Dr. Dave, e-mail your question to Dr. Dave in care of Tom Kacheroski, manager of Guide Outdoors & Social Content at www.sportsmansguide.com to tkachero@sportsmansguide.com. Dr. Dave studied deer for 30 years as a wildlife management professor at West Virginia University. In addition he has been a bowhunter for over 40 years, with deer being his main prey. He’s also an outdoor writer and has been with “Bowhunter” magazine for 31 years.

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One Response to “Hard Times Equals More Hunters”

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    Charles Rodriguez

    Mass. has such draconian gun rules that hunting in Vermont and New Hampshire; a short drive away is preferable