Rehashing the Rehashables
We received some great comments from this piece last time, so I'm re-posting the basic questions. Your feedback on this would be greatly appreciated.
1. In the United States there are an estimated 80 million gun owners, of which 11 million buy big game hunting licenses. Yet, only half a million or so are currently participating in organized events with any regularity. The statistics published by manufacturers prove that most gun owners, especially hunters, shoot only one box of ammunition all year, give or take.
How do we close this gap? How do we get gun owners and hunters more active? What programs will get them out to the range and participating more?
2. We have hunter's education and NRA basic courses for rank beginners. There are formal competitions and advanced classes for motivated and sophisticated shooters. But we have almost nothing for "middle of the road" folks, for people who are no longer beginners but aren't really active or advanced shooters and not interested in competing.
What would be an ideal format to attract the annual deer hunter with a few years (or 20 years) experience who isn't an active or advanced shooter and has no desire to become one?
Consider that for many hunters and most gun owners coming out for one or two events in addition to sight-in day would *double* their annual range time. A "middle" format event successful enough to attract most hunters four times a year would lead to an additional Billion rounds of ammunition being used! This would greatly benefit the shooting industry (additional sales), ranges (more activity) and the conservation groups (additional Pittman-Robertson funds generated.)
3. At what level are the marksmanship skills of typical big game hunters? If we took a statistically valid sample of hunters, what would their median shooting skill level be? And how do we improve this?