A new report produced by onX and the research professionals at Southwick Associates, both long-time partners of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, indicates the pandemic triggered a five percent increase in the number of hunting licenses sold. And on top of that, the growth fueled a 25 percent increase in new hunters.
“These new participants cited that above anything else, COVID afforded them more free time to spend in the field,” the report states. “This may have been the push they needed—the extra free time and encouragement to be outside rather than inside— to dedicate themselves to a new endeavor.”
onX itself reports an increase of 300 percent in active users of its product in early 2020. That growth is one of five trends the onX report highlights about new hunters including technology helps bridge the experience gap, meat is a motivating factor, mentorship is critical to success, public lands are essential and video content fuels hunter education.
The findings also echo the fact that many people suddenly saw the world around them with a new perspective and made efforts to get outside and experience it. Yellowstone Park had 110 percent higher visitation in October 2020 than one year earlier. Colorado had 18.3 million visitors to its state parks in 2020, marking a 23 percent increase from 2019. Visitation to Pennsylvania state parks boomed by seven million and Great Smoky National Park had 2.3 million more visits between June and December than the ten-year average for the same time period.
Multiple media sources, including RMEF on multiple occasions, also reported on the growth of hunting and its beneficial impact on conservation.
Go here to view the onX report.
(Photo credit: Idaho Department of Fish and Game)