Outdoor Life

THE BOOMER BOMB

You probably rejoice when you spend an entire day afield without bumping into another hunter. Encountering strangers—especially when they’ve stumbled across your secret spot—spoils the solitude we seek in the outdoors.

So you’d be hard-pressed to find any sportsman or -woman who wants more competition in the woods. Yet, more hunters is precisely what we need right now.

Here’s why: Baby boomers make up our nation’s largest cohort of hunters, and they’ve already begun to age out of the sport. Within 15 years, most will stop buying licenses entirely. And when they do, our ranks could plunge by 30 percent—along with critical funding for wildlife management, advocacy for hunting, and a tradition that’s probably pretty important to you. In other words, the clock is ticking. And unless we act now, we might not recover from the fallout.

BABY BLUES

Hunting participation peaked in 1982, when nearly 17 million hunters purchased 28.3 million licenses. Hunter numbers have steadily declined since.

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