New OSCF Research Shows Decline in General Population Support for Fishing, Target Shooting and Hunting

Middlebury, CT – A comprehensive research study conducted by the Responsive Management for Outdoor Stewards of Conservation Foundation (OSCF) sought information on the current attitudes of American adults toward fishing, shooting, hunting, and trapping.

The project was a continuation of similar studies conducted by Responsive Management and provides trend data dating back to 1995. As the oldest study of American attitudes toward these activities, it is a useful tool for understanding both historical trends and the current feelings of Americans.

The report’s results paint an ominous picture for those who work in the outdoor industry. General population support for fishing, target shooting, and hunting has declined since the last time the study was conducted. For example, approval for both legal recreational fishing and recreational target shooting decreased by three percent (3%), while approval for legal hunting decreased by four percent (4%).

“The percentages may seem small at first glance, but this study is representative of 253 million adult Americans (ages 18 and older), so four percentage points equals more than 10.1 million Americans,” said Mark Damian Duda. , who has been the Executive Director of Responsive Management since 1985. Mark continued: “The findings are concerning, but having this knowledge will enable the industry to make changes to stop or reverse the loss of support. The most important thing we can do next is learn the specific reasons why Americans no longer approve of these activities at the rate they used to.”

Outdoor Stewards of Conservation Foundation Vice President Jenifer Wisniewski, who is also director of marketing for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), said of the findings: “It was a shock to see a loss of support on a large scale , but it certainly acts as a wake-up call for the entire outdoor industry to do better.For our part, TWRA has been working more closely with industry partners to promote the positive contributions of men and women in the air. With the release of this report, I believe this should not only continue, but should be expanded across the country.”

The research project was funded through a Multi-State Conservation Grant administered through the USFWS and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Comprehensive and top-of-the-line reports entitled “American attitudes toward legal and regulated fishing, target/sport shooting, hunting, and fishingthey are available, free of charge, at


Outdoor Conservation Stewards Foundation (OSCF) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that uses research-based outreach and communication programs to recruit the next generation of HATS (hunters, fishers, trappers, and shooters) and promotes the fact that HATS are the primary funders and stewards of land, fish, and wildlife conservation in the United States. . Learn more about OSCF programs like “Fill a bag while you fill your label,” “Go with!” and “Connecting with Conservation” by visiting and following on Instagram @OutdoorStewards. Contact Jim Curcuruto (203) 450-7202 for additional information.

Responsive Management is an internationally recognized survey research firm specializing in attitudes toward natural resources and outdoor recreation issues. The company’s mission is to help natural resource and outdoor recreation agencies, businesses, and organizations better understand and work with their constituents, clients, and the public. For more information, visit