Business Blog

2019 Bowhunter Survey


With bow season already underway in a few states and about to begin in the rest, now is as good a time as ever to take a look at a snapshot of buying behavior and brand loyalty of some of Realtree’s most avid bowhunting fans and customers.


We recently posted a survey at realtree.com and on our Facebook page, and the response, predictably, gave us lots of information in a very short time. Realtree enthusiasts are eager to share information on anything to do with their favorite season, and bowhunters are especially passionate about their sport.


More than 3,200 bowhunters answered our survey that covered everything from species hunted to gear purchases, shopping habits and brand preferences. Let’s review some of the biggest takeaways here, and make sure you check out the accompanying infographic as well.


Nearly 93% of respondents report that they hunt whitetail deer, so let’s presume that most of the rest of the survey ties back to America’s No. 1 big-game animal.


Who They Are          

Let’s get a quick look at who responded to our survey. Males made up 93% of respondents, with 25% of them age 45-54, 22% of them 55-64, 21% of them 35-44, and 14% of them 25-34. Respondents were spread across all 50 states, but Pennsylvania, always well-represented in the hunting community, brought 7% of respondents, followed by Michigan at 5.5%, Texas and New York at 5%, and Wisconsin, Georgia, Ohio and Missouri all between 4% and 5%.


Bowhunters in the Realtree online community are clearly committed to their sport. Bowhunting is more than a passing fancy for a large contingent of survey responders. Nearly one-third of them say they take to the woods more than 25 times a season, and another 23% get out 10-16 times.


They’re also mobile, way more mobile than the average hunter when it comes to traveling for bowhunting. While most data shows that 11-15% of hunters make at least one out-of-state trip annually, 38% of our respondents report crossing state lines to hunt.


Choose Your Bow …

While 80% of our survey respondents report hunting with a compound bow, 41.4% hunt with a crossbow, 7.6% hunt with a recurve and 4% hunt with a traditional bow. Because responses tallied more than 100%, clearly hunters are purchasing multiple and different types of bows; 60% report owning two or more bows.

2019 Bowhunter Survey - Top Bow Types


One-fourth of respondents are loyal to Mathews products, followed closely by Bear at 23% Hoyt at 20%, PSE at 19.4%, Barnett at 14.5% and Bowtech at 11%.

2019 Bowhunter Survey - Top Bow Brands


Specific to crossbow purchases, of the 1,700-plus crossbow hunters who responded, more than one-third have purchased the Barnett brand, and another 16% have bought Ten Point.

2019 Bowhunter Survey - Top Crossbow Brands


Deciding factors in making that big-dollar purchase? Respondents could check all that applied to them, and nearly 63% said they shop on price, but 57% said brand reputation matters. As for bow mechanics, accuracy was the No. 1 concern, with 70% identifying this trait, followed by durability (59%), noise level (also 59%), weight (57%), handling comfort (56%) and speed (49%).


… And Your Arrows

Easton is the leader among survey respondents, with 64% saying they’ve purchased the iconic brand, while Carbon Express is not far behind at 58%. Gold Tip is next at 32%, followed by Beman at 21% and Cabela’s at 15%.

2019 Bowhunter Survey - Top Arrow Brands


Broadheads Galore

Muzzy and Rage are nearly deadlocked in broadhead purchases at 56.1% to 54.6%. The G5 brand is next but at only 24.8%, followed by New Archery Products at 23%, Grim Reaper at 16.7% and Wasp at 14.2%.

2019 Bowhunter Survey - Top Broadhead Brands


Word of Mouth Matters

Manufacturers, take note: The No. 1 source of information relied on the most to make a bow purchasing decision is a friend’s recommendation, with 60% of survey-answering bowhunters stating that it was a major factor in their choice. Respondents could choose more than one answer in this category, so other strong influencers include Internet (Facebook, Twitter, Brand Website) at 49.8%, their dealer at 48.7% and magazines or other printed media at 44.2%. Interestingly, television only influenced buying decisions for 18.4% of survey respondents.



Looks Matter, Too

Asked if a purchase made in the past 24 months had a camo pattern, 71% said yes. Of those respondents, 64% said they have a preferred camo, and of those, 72% said that Realtree was their choice. Biased? No, just brand loyalty!



Dressed for Success

There’s no shortage of choices for hunting clothing purchases these days, and answers to the question of where bowhunters typically buy their apparel are wide and varied. Multiple answers were allowed here, and the results included:

Cabela’s                      62.9%

Bass Pro Shops           53.2%

Walmart                      38.4%

Amazon                      23.0%

Local Dealer               22.9%

Academy                     22.8%

Dick’s                         21.0%

Other                         16.7%

Gander Outdoors        14.0%

Fleet/Farm Store         9.0%

2019 Bowhunter Survey - Top Hunting Shopping Stores


Editor’s Note: Do you have a brand that would benefit from being in front of Realtree’s massive online community? Let’s talk about how our business can help your business. Contact us today!



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