pheasant hunting hunter

Hunting Surge: COVID-19 Isn’t Keeping Hunters Out of the Field This Fall


By Larry Keane

Autumn looking seasons are quick approaching and if early numbers on looking license gross sales are any indication, the coronavirus pandemic isn’t preserving America’s outdoorsmen and ladies from planning to go to their camps, stands and fields.

Beginning in March and April earlier this 12 months, COVID-19 unfold throughout America and has led to a surge in firearm gross sales that hasn’t been seen earlier than. According to retailer survey data, greater than 5 million of the greater than 13 million gun consumers in 2020 had been first-timers. Hunting actions had been listed by purchasers as one of many main reasons for consumers to leap off the fence and head to the gun retailer.

Through all of the uncertainty and unrest in U.S. cities, America’s hunters are heading open air and to the fields and countryside.

Licenses Selling Fast

deer hunting hunter fall season

Nick Leghorn for TTAG

Hunting and fishing companies are seeing a continued uptick within the variety of licenses offered for these actions.

“I think it would be fair to say that (the pandemic) played a major role,” Mike Park, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Communications Director, told PennLive. “However, with COVID-19, people have found more time on their hands and have been seeking outdoor recreation close to home.”

Pennsylvania, considered a looking bellwether state, has already seen a considerable enhance within the variety of looking and fishing licenses offered this 12 months. The Pennsylvania Game Commission reported a rise of practically eight % throughout all licenses offered, together with a virtually 5 % enhance in licenses particularly for hunters. That totals 162,747 extra looking licenses bought this 12 months in comparison with 2019.

North Dakota can be seeing a major bump as deer looking license gross sales are up. A file variety of hunters have utilized for licenses there. Early numbers from Iowa, Michigan, Maine, Wisconsin and states throughout the nation show related traits.

Pheasant hunting hunter

Dan Z. for TTAG

During the continued development of historic firearm gross sales in 2020, retailer information reveals looking as a number one cause for a brand new firearm buy. Among these surveyed, shotguns and trendy sporting rifles (MSRs) had been among the many hottest choices. MSRs are essentially the most popular-selling centerfire rifle in American with greater than 18 million in circulation at this time. In addition to being an efficient self-defense firearm, MSRs are light-weight, correct, have low recoil, are available quite a lot of looking calibers and are adaptable with quite a few improve choices, making them extremely fascinating for America’s hunters.

New Hunting Generation

This fall isn’t simply a good time to take a rifle or shotgun out for a hunt. It’s a chance to convey somebody new alongside and introduce them to looking. NSSF launched the +One Movement to do exactly that, and the advantages are immeasurable. Providing an opportunity for somebody new to affix for a hunt can create a lifelong leisure marksman or hunter and even state wildlife departments are incentivizing introducing somebody new to maintain the traditions going.

father son hunting hunters


Jared Wiklund of the St. Paul, Minn., chapter of Pheasants Forever praised the became greater looking traits and the impacts and connections between future generations of hunters and the power to get open air.

“People are reconnecting with the land,” Wiklund defined. “This absolutely will be long-term, because the more people buy licenses, the more money there is for public land. The more public land there is, the more people want to be outside. We are seeing a huge influx of people getting outdoors.”

Creative possibilities to foster the expansion of the American looking number living from throughout the nation embrace “youth hunting weekends” in Vermont and the “Liberty Hunt” weekend in Michigan, what place hunters ages 16 years outdated or below who’ve disabilities, or members of the deaf and exhausting of listening to group, can be part of a hunt.

Pheasant Hunting In Wheelchairs disabled

Duane Townsend, left, shoots a pheasant at Special Friday Pheasant Hunts, sponsored by Southern Tulare County Sportsman’s Association, at Lake Success Recreation Area in Porterville, Calif. A Utah man who has been in a wheelchair for greater than three a long time has created a pheasant hunt for individuals like him who need assistance stepping into the outside. (Chieko Hara/The Porterville Recorder through AP)

“People with disabilities can experience difficulties with mobility, climbing into a tree stand, sighting in game, hearing game approaching or holding a firearm,” Michigan DNR Wildlife Division’s Hannah Schauer stated of the event. “The Liberty Hunt provides opportunities for veterans and others to get outdoors and try a new sport or continue to enjoy one they love.”

With thousands and thousands of recent Americans shopping for firearms for looking and buying looking licenses, the pastime and traditions of American looking and leisure shooting are rising.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.


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