When starting a new program and engaging a population many have not interacted with, it is critical that data is collected to best analyze the shooting athletes hunting motivations, their hunting history, and demographic information.
During dove season, we found that of the 58 shooting athletes that participated, 91% of them were males (9% female). We found that 84% are 16 years and younger (16% are ages 16+).
We found that 86% of these athletes have hunted in the past. Of that percentage 54% have been hunting for less than 3 years and that 52% of participants go less than 3 times a year.
Many hunters face barriers to getting out and hunting. New hunters and returning hunters are no different. Both populations face difficulties in accessing the sport. The top 3 barriers these hunters face are 1) Not knowing where to go. 2) Not enough access to quality hunting land. 3) Lack of people to go with. We can help them learn about public hunting opportunities and WIHA. We can also help grow their social network of hunters by engaging them with opportunities like these dove hunts.
Of these youth, 98% of them expressed that they are interested in hunting more. 100% of them communicated that they have a supportive network of family and friends.
Why Does This Population Matter?
This youthful population has proven to us that they have dabbled in the hunting world and are interested in doing more. However, youth today are at a disadvantage. Many of them were not brought up in hunting households, do not have a mentor to teach them how to hunt, and do not have developed skills to plan and organize a hunt. These athletes have confirmed the importance in engaging shooting sports programs. When asked why they wanted to participate in the PIO shooting sports outreach program, participants made their hunting motivations very clear.