Business Blog

Strong Growth in Female Hunting and Shooting Numbers


Understanding trends in hunting participation is the lifeblood of a successful outdoor business. You have to know who you’re talking to in order to develop effective marketing messages. One emerging trend that is no secret is the rise of female participation in the hunting and shooting sports. But saying there are “more” females in the ranks of outdoors enthusiasts just doesn’t cut it. What does “more” mean? Who’s counting? How are these numbers quantified?


Thankfully, we have answers. The 2015 edition of the Hunting and Target Shooting Participation report, issued by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, is a good place to start. Since 2001, the NSSF has partnered with the National Sporting Goods Association in its participation studies to help members understand the current landscape while using historical data to identify trends.


The 2015 report presents an optimistic overview of the health of shooting sports, reviewing the results of participant data across all of the major shooting categories. Here are some of the most intriguing takeaways regarding the female hunting and shooting market.


  • From 2006 to 2014, the total number of shooters in the U.S. has grown by 13%, to more than 31 million today. Female participation during that time has grown by 52%, with more than 8 million women, or 25%, now comprising the shooting population.


  • From 2001 to 2014, female participation in hunting has grown from 10.2% to 18.4%. This means that some 3.3 million hunters in 2014 were female. That number represents a remarkable 83.4% growth in female participation.


  • Breaking down the above point, the number of females hunting with a firearm has increased from 1.6 million in 2001 to nearly 3.1 million in 2014, an 87% increase.


  • Bowhunting participation shows even more incredible growth on a percentage basis: In 2001 there were 395,000 female bowhunters, and they made up 8.4% of all bowhunters; by 2014 that number grew 167% to 1,056,000. So, of the estimated 5.5 million bowhunters, females now make up 18% of the population.


What is your business doing to cater to this rapidly growing demographic? Do you have ideas for products specific to the female hunting and shooting market? If so, check out our licensing opportunities page, and then get in touch with a Realtree Licensing account manager. We look forward to speaking with you! 


Related Articles:

Women Impacting Shooting and Hunting Industry

The Impact of Women on the Firearms Industry

Female Hunter Numbers Growing Fast