Business Blog

Youth Hunting and Shooting Participation


The youth market. Manufacturers want to develop products for it. Retailers try endlessly to sell to it. Advertisers scheme on how to target it (or at least how to target the youth market’s parents). But what is this “youth market” and how big is it?


For the purpose of this discussion, let’s look at some statistics from the National Sporting Goods Association. In the Shooting Sports portion of the study, Sports Participation in 2001-2014, a youth is defined as a participant age 7 to 17.


To understand the size and scope of the youth market, here are the average number of participants in several hunting and shooting categories over the course of 14 years, along with a breakdown of males vs. females. 


Youth Hunting Participation 2016 | Realtree B2B


Digging a little further into the data, when comparing youth male vs. youth female participation, here are a few additional stats worth noting:


  • In 2001, about 93% of youth hunting participants were male and 7% were female, but in 2014 the ratio was about 76% to 24%.
  • Participation in all types of shooting sports among youth is on the rise: in 2006, there were 4.1 million youth participants, but by 2014 that number had grown to just over 5 million.
  • Participation in the 4-H Shooting Sports program grew from 114,500 in 2010 to 320,400 in 2012.
  • The number of Hunter Education graduates grew from 588,600 in 2010 to 634,300 in 2012.
  • Apprentice hunting license sales through the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s national initiative, Families Afield, saw an increase from 118,800 in 2008 to 199,400 in 2012.


Editor’s Note: Check back here often at the Business Blog for more reporting on industry trends that can help you identify new opportunities in the outdoors market. Speaking of opportunities, if your business isn’t already licensing products with Realtree, you’re missing out. Check out our Licensing Application Form and then let’s talk about how we can help grow your business!