Who is Today's Bowhunter
- September 7, 2018
- By Team Realtree
Bowhunting, an endeavor that is both time- and gear-intensive, tends to attract sportsmen and women who are more passionate than most folks when it comes to their outdoor pursuits. To many of them, bowhunting is a lifestyle.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the U.S.’s nearly 6 million bowhunters and try to better understand who they are and what their other interests include.
A 2018 demographic profile from the National Sporting Goods Association in its report, “Sports Participation in 2018, Shooting Sports” prepared for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, confirms one unmistakable trend: the growing involvement by women who hunt with bow and arrow. The study revealed that of 5,900,000 bowhunting participants, 1,655,000, or 28.3%, were female.
Also revealed in the study:
- The 25 to 34 age group comprised more than one-fourth (25.9%) of all bowhunters.
- Of particular interest to media buyers and retail managers: Participation in bowhunting crosses all market sizes, with 34% of all bowhunters living in a market with a population of 2 million or more.
- Bowhunters as a group are more diverse than ever, with 8.6% identified as African American and 6.8% as Hispanic.
- The South Atlantic region of the U.S. is home to nearly one-fifth (19.4%) of all bowhunters, followed closely by the East North Central region at 17.1% and East South Central at 15.8%.
A related NSGA study released earlier this year tallied cross-participation by bowhunters in other activities. Not surprising but certainly notable is the fact that 81% of bowhunters also hunt with a firearm, 51% participate in freshwater fishing, and 51% take part in target archery.
To see more data as well as other high-level cross-participation activities by bowhunters:
At nearly 6 million strong, bowhunters cross many demographics and have a wide variety of outdoor interests. Who are they?
Under $25K 25.7%
Where They Live
New England 1.5%
Middle Atlantic 11.6%
East North Central 17.1%
West North Central 6.9%
South Atlantic 19.4%
East South Central 15.8%
West South Central 11%
Top Cross Participation Activities
% Bowhunters Participating in … Total U.S. Participation
Hunting with Firearms 81% 6%
Freshwater Fishing 50.7% 10.1%
Target Archery 50.6% 2.7%
Camping 44.5% 14.3%
Exercise Walking 41.9% 35.4%
Hiking 34.7% 14.9%
Target Shooting 34.3% 6.8%
Boating 32% 5%
Exercising with Equipment 31% 18.8%
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