Skip to comments.The Outfitters Lament: Too Few Kids With Guns
Posted on 02/09/2010 9:34:53 PM PST by sinanju
"The Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show is a sportsman's paradise, but one where trouble is brewing.
There were lots of kids here with their families, walking the nearly 300,000 square feet of the State Farm Show Complex. They were checking out the newest fishing lures, gun blinds and camouflage clothing. But many of the outfitters who set up booths at the show and sell mountain-lion stalks in New Mexico, bear hunts in Maine and African safaris are worried that they're in a dying business. Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show
State Farm Show Complex Through Feb. 14
"Most kids wouldn't know a deer from a dog," said Jim Paine of Illinois Trophy Bowhunters, an outfitter in west central Illinois. "It's sad."
Indeed, many of the outfitters said that the majority of their clientele are 50-year-old men, a growing number of women, but very few kids. Most pinned the blame on one thing: video games.
"Why are they going to come out and freeze in a blind all day and maybe get one shot when they can sit in their living room and shoot all day long?" asked Brad Bowser, owner of a Linneus, Maine, guide service. Mr. Bowser's daughter, Sienna, is 14 and hunts regularly, but she said that she's an anomaly among her friends.
Video games are the easy villain, but the problem goes much deeper..."
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
This article points out a number of possible reasons.
Well Obama has been the best gun salesman in history. I know people who bought guns or who may buy guns who never considered owning a gun. If the eocnomy gets worse - which I think may happen - a lot more people will be hunting to put food on the table.
The younger generation isn’t as patient as its parents,
On the other hand, I’ve heard that when video game aficionados do shoot, they shoot better than their computer-free counterparts. Maybe Grandpa needs to take Sonny out on a break from the Nintendo to do skeet or some other game of shooting skill.
A F'n retarded statement.
ASHCROFT AMENDMENT NO. 342 — (Senate - May 13, 1999) X. RESTRICTING JUVENILE ACCESS TO CERTAIN FIREARMS
``(I) except when a parent or guardian of the juvenile is in the immediate and supervisory presence of the juvenile, the juvenile shall have in the juvenile’s possession at all times when a handgun, ammunition, large capacity ammunition feeding device or semiautomatic assault weapon is in the possession of the juvenile, the prior written consent of the juvenile’s parent or guardian who is not prohibited by Federal, State, or local law from possessing a firearm or ammunition; and
00115 13-May S. 254 On the Amendment S.Amdt. 342 Agreed to
Ashcroft Amdt. No. 342; To amend chapter 44 of Title 18, United States Code, to enhance penalties for the unlawful use by or transfer to juveniles of a handgun, ammunition, large capacity ammunition feeding devices, or semiautomatic assault weapons, and for other purposes.
Fred Thompson’s vote:
(”Thompson (R-TN), Yea”)
Clarification: Thompson voted against S.254 but voted in favor of harsher penalties for parents of young people carrying firearms without notes from their parents (S.Amdt. 342).
US real per capita income is lower. Who can afford guides/outfitters?
Oh I’m convinced hunting is going to gradually die out - different rates in different places, of course.
In coastal states with large urban populations (especially those where law can be made by direct vote, like California) I expect hunting will be banned within decades -also places Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, etc.
It will always be legal in Wyomoing, Montana, the Dakotas, and most of the South, probably.
Fishing will follow to some degree but much, much more slowly.
The key issue, and this is often missed, is that the population is increasingly becoming middle class/upper middle class suburban with a certain culture and ethos.
Even if their parents had hunted in younger years, the overwhelming predominant view of people under 30 in suburban/urban metroplexes is that hunting is some weird Backwoods redneck activity - obviously stronger the farther politically left one is, but it’s not limited to the left.
Not that the outdoors aren’t popular - but you don’t see Red Bull Sponsoring hunting, there are no Mountain Dew commercials with cool teens with guns, and there are no shooting events in any “EXTREME!” games I’m aware of.
Snowboarding is cool, mountain biking is cool, base jumping is cool, hunting is spectacularly UNCOOL - this aspect really is separate from the whole PETA nutjob issue (but especially among women the whole PETA thing/unrealistic view of nature is going to contribute to hunting being banned, from a political standpoint.)
The same effect is less pronounced and slower, but exists, for fishing.
I went to high school in Rural Pennsylvania - school was closed first day of Deer Season because so few teachers would be there anyway. Lots of kids hunted. I sort of hunted a little bit in junior high, but the only kids hunting in high school were from families where the parents worked in the families, etc. Because of academics, etc. the boys I ended up hanging around with were mostly doctor’s kids (huge hospital in town) - mind you politically we were all rabid Republicans. But none of them hunted or fished...at all. And so I stopped hunting and fishing.
In college at MIT and Cornell (and Cornell, being 1/2 a State School, does NOT have a student body comprised entirely of gay communists, despite what you may read on FR) not only did I not hunt or fish, I never HEARD of any other students hunting or fishing, and the subject of either was NEVER brought up in conversation...EVER.
There was a brief blip after “A River Runs Through It” of Yuppies going into Orbis, dropping a couple thou on a full expensive fly fishing setup, taking some lessons, going fishing once, and then quitting. But it wasn’t sustained.
I have started fishing a lot in the last decade, but the last couple of years have just been so busy it’s been tough to find time.
I’ve been in the outdoor business for 20 years and the blame for the dying trade shows is the trade shows and the large mfg’s who sponser them.
Fishing and hunting marketing has become all about the high dollar trips to exotic locals. Or about selling people crap that does not work. It needs to be about the 1000’s of local opportunities in individual communities accross the US.
The Great Lakes region for example has brought back a world class trout fishery but all you read about in outdoor rags is the 3 to 6,000 dollar a week Alaska trips and 90% of what they tell you to bring is crap you’ll never use.
Everyone is still hunting and fishing but we’re not going to outdoor show’s to have crappy products thrown at us like a sleazy used car convention.
Indeed. If you want to hunt PDs on private land in South Dakota, through an outfitter, it will cost you around $400 per day. There are plenty of dog towns on public lands, but you need to know where they are and how to get there... hard to do if you are not local; this is yet another reason to just forget the whole thing and stay home, in front of a TV.
I agree with you. I used to catch Reds on a hand reel trolling a shrimp along the docks when I was a kid...now I would need $300 in gear if I listened to the marketers. Also, I think people have wised up to these big game hunts. Deer are one thing, but I don’t consider it a skill to shoot the broad side of a zebra or water buffalo with a 3x9 Leupold while it is standing in the middle of the Serengeti next to 300 of its friends.
If you have never been to Kenya, the Nairobi airport has a fence around it to keep the zebra, elephants and giraffe from wandering on to the runways. It is nothing like waiting for a deer. It is about as exciting and rare as running into a drunk at Mardi Gras.
I have scaled back to dove hunting mostly...they have the best chance, plus it is more social ;)
Seriously, Scent-Lok shorts?
It’d be cheaper to buy a used Wack-a-Mole game. ;-)
They are excellent on a date to your favorite Mexican restaraunt.
They have pushed the outdoor con too far.
Sales people in this business tell me “I Can sell a dead horse to a cowboy”.
The cowboys are not only broke now but they have caught on to the con and won’t be back.
Well count me as an exception. I don’t hunt, and never have, but I did grow up around guns in the south.
I’ve since moved all over and live outside Chitcago, with some of the worst laws in the country, but I still get plenty of shooting in.
I’m a 23 year old who loves shooting games like Modern Warfare, but that doesn’t compare to being at the pistol range and putting shots on target.
Kids growing up hunting is great, but the 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with hunting. We need more kids growing up at the pistol range, shooting trap, and entering marksmanship events and 3 gun competitions with Evil Black Rifles.
In today’s society, how many people there are bagging deer at 4am matters a lot less to me than how many are carrying when they walk home late at night or have a short barrel 870 handy when the Mormons decide your home looks appetizing.
A reasonably equipped hunter, with a common scope and with a rifle on a minimal rest (like a tripod) should be perfectly able to hit a deer (let alone zebra) at the effective range of his rifle and ammo - something like 800-1000 yards. Squirrels and PDs are often hunted at 300 yards (which is the effective range of .223, considering the wind - need heavier 25-06 if you want more range) and by my latest measurements a squirrel is much smaller than a deer :-)
I have scaled back to dove hunting mostly...they have the best chance, plus it is more social ;)
I haven't figured out yet how (or why) to mount a 6-20x40 EFR scope onto a shotgun, and without the scope I'm not playing :-) I prefer accuracy, not speed of action. It doesn't mean, of course, that in season a dove should feel safe in my presence - I always have the upland bird stamp. But that dove will be taken not with a shotgun at 50 yards but with a 17HMR V-Max at 200.
1. Gentrification of the sport. Lures are too expensive (flyfishing is dirt cheap)and guns are ridiculous. Let’s not even get into ammo.
2. By the way, the threads that sport such opinions as “Glock is the only pistol worth owning” and other opinions that serve to exclude the average kid or single mom from becoming involved in shooting sports are self defeating. I would be willing to bet that there are large numbers of people who have been chased away from the shooting sports due to the percieved cost. It is, in fact, difficult to buy a bad gun anymore. CAD driven lathes and other machine tools have made accurate shooting available to everyone at every budget level.
So Freepers, on the gun threads, watch your language as you may be driving away potential shooters.
3. Reloading, like shooting, has become a bit gentrified with many bragging on the high dollar cost of their reloading outfit. There is a time and place for this braggadocio, but threads looking for assistance in this area are not the time or place to trot out your gold plated outfit.
My outfit is a Lee Classic Loader which I bought for 19.95 at Midwayusa. It produces wonderfully accurate ammo faster than a single stage outfit. It is a complete reloading outfit and needs only a cheap plastic faced hammer to use (you can also use a wood branch out in the field. Works fine). No need to get anything costlier for a while. As a bonus, it fits in your field bag, rather than being bolted to a bench.
4. Single moms don’t appear to be teaching their children to shoot or fish. They need to. For the girls especially, it is a good dating skill and they should be taught early to do both well.
5. Disneyfication of nature is a big problem. Children need to be taught that this is not real, but fantasy.
6. Get rid of your video games. They are so incredibly boring. And they keep kids from playing outside.
Freepers, take your children and neighbor’s children fishing and hunting and do us all a very big favor. I do this frequently and it is fun and a wonderful to teach a child to do these things. Don’t leave it to someone else, do it yourself.
A couple of other comments:
1. I have a single stage press and a hand held press, both Lee Precision. I use the Lee Classic Loader exclusively now.
2. Pellet guns are a great way to start children shooting. I think in most areas a kid can go out with an air rifle and bag some squirrels or rabbits without getting on the wrong side of the law. Check with your local constabulary.
Get the kids out in the field. Nobody else is going to do it.
Man, I thought it was the Amish causing all the trouble! Or maybe it's the Amish doing the terrorism and the Mormons doing the crimes? It's just so hard to keep up these days
AMEN! There are no video game machines in our house. I play a couple on the computer (Quake, Doom, Halo. I like killing bad guys) after the Girl goes to bed but that's it. I want her out running in the yard.
Freepers, take your children and neighbors children fishing and hunting and do us all a very big favor. I do this frequently and it is fun and a wonderful to teach a child to do these things. Dont leave it to someone else, do it yourself.
Make sure you get them out where there are fish to catch. Even if they are not keepers the thrill of catching one will keep bringing them back.
I went a bought a boat a while back and keep it at the marina. While I'm getting ready to get out the Girl is fishing off the dock for the little blue gill. She is 9 now and has been baiting her own hook and taking her own fish off since she was 7.
I still need to get her (and I) some gun safety training and then we'll take up shooting.
You are doing a very good job. Keep it up and both of you have fun!!