LITTLE ROCK (AGFC) – A recently released nationwide scientific survey by Responsive Management
shows that 79 percent of Americans 18 and older approve of hunting, up
five percentage points from 74 percent in 2011. This marks the highest
level of support for hunting since 1995, according to data compiled by
Source: Responsive Management, 2013
Management has been tracking trends in public approval of hunting since
1995, which has remained generally consistent during this time: 73
percent in 1995, 75 percent in 2003, 78 percent in 2006, 74 percent in
2011, and now at 79 percent (see graph below). At 79 percent, approval
is the highest since Responsive Management has tracked it. The reasons
for this increase are still unclear, but it may be related to the recent
increase in hunting and shooting participation that has occurred.
Source: Responsive Management, 1995, 2003, 2006, 2011, 2013
Since 2006, hunting participation has increased by 9 percent, according to the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation produced
by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2011. Meanwhile, shooting
participation has increased by 18 percent since 2009 according to
Responsive Management. Other studies on public opinion on hunting
conducted by Responsive Management show that the strongest correlation
with approval of hunting is knowing a hunter--over and above demographic
variables or any other factor. With the increased number of hunters in
the field and sport shooters at the range, it is possible that this
increase is being reflected in support for hunting as well.
most recent study found that more than half of Americans strongly
approve of hunting (79 percent strongly or moderately approve). At the
other end of the spectrum, 12 percent disapprove (strongly or
moderately) of hunting. Another 9 percent gave a neutral answer.
February 2013, the study surveyed 1,306 Americans 18 and older using
random digit dialing and supplemental cell phone sampling. The sampling
error is +/- 3.00 percentage points. The survey was the fifth in a
series of surveys by Responsive Management to track trends in public
approval of hunting.