SUBSCRIBE    ARCHIVES   
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 27, 2021

- COMPETITION -
PROOF Research’s Weapons Test Specialist, Greg Hamilton, and Nightforce team member, Sean Murphy, repeated last year’s top honors in the Tough Man Challenge at the Grunt Style Vortex Optics Mammoth Sniper Challenge held at Fort Gordon, Georgia.
- EVENTS -
On Tuesday, Feb. 2, conservationists around the globe will celebrate World Wetlands Day (WWD) to recognize the importance of these valuable ecosystems to people, wildlife and the planet.
The 8th annual Jim Shockey Classic Military Tribute Golf Tournament will be held on March. 28 and 29, 2021, at the Wild Dunes Resort in Isle of Palms, South Carolina. The two-day event raises money to support sending service members on world-class hunts.
Celebrate World Wetlands Day on Feb. 2 by joining Conservation Nebraska and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission in a fun virtual presentation about the wetlands near Lincoln.
- FISHERIES -
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) partnered with The Town of Montverde, Shelley’s Environmental Systems and the private owners of a now-defunct citrus grove to help rebuild fish attractor locations in Lake Apopka.

- GIVEAWAYS -
TrueTimber teamed up with Winchester Repeating Arms to host the 21 Days to WINchester giveaway. One lucky winner will be randomly selected to win a Winchester XPR Strata MB in TrueTimber Strata camo and a $500 TrueTimber gift card.
- HUNTING -
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces the state’s first Primitive Deer Hunt will be open Feb. 1-3, 2021 statewide. Hunters with a valid hunting license, or those exempt from the hunting license requirement, may use primitive bows or muzzleloaders to hunt sika and white-tailed deer during these days.
- INDUSTRY -
Savage Arms announced two new awards for its bolt action rifles. The Model 110 Ultralite has been chosen by On Target Magazine as its 2020 Editors’ Choice Award. And Savage received the 2021 Predator Xtreme Readers’ Choice Award for bolt action rifles.
Swanson Russell received five honors at the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) Region II awards for exemplary work in agricultural communications.

Ripcord Arrow Rest welcomes the newest addition to our team, BuckVentures.
- NEW PRODUCTS -
Moultrie introduced a new flavor to its granular-attractant line. Moultrie’s Peanut Butter Granular Attractant is a deer favorite that combines the powerful smell of PowerDraw with the high protein and fat content of roasted peanuts.
Rambo Bikes has three new exciting bikes, the Venom, Megatron, and Prowler, launching for 2021.
For the first time, anglers everywhere can now find the Slam Shady, a translucent pearl base with silver and gold metal-flake, fish-catching color at their favorite fishing shops, including online outlets and at zmanfishing.com.

- NOW STREAMING -
WAYPOINT continues to build the best in class library of outdoor content with the recent addition of Spanish Fly, the fan favorite show starring legendary fishing guide Jose Wejebe.
On the latest episode of the Bass Pro Shops Fisherman’s Handbook, take a look at some favorite fishing trips from the state of Alabama. We start with an outing with Wade & Clark on Wilson Lake outside of Florence, AL.
- ONLINE -
Although the 2021 SHOT Show in Las Vegas was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ShootingIllustrated.com will be providing coverage on all the newest products from around the shooting industry throughout the year.
- ORGANIZATIONS -
The COVID-19 Pandemic shut down many activities in the archery industry in 2020. While this created hardships for archers, coaches and club leaders, many found ways to adapt and overcome with creative solutions including virtual training, education and competition opportunities.

- PUBLISHING -
The February 2021 issue of Shooting Illustrated includes a review of the Wilson Combat WCP320. The latest handgun from Wilson is a customized version of the SIG P320, with impressive features and the classic Wilson Combat look.
The February 2021 issue of Shooting Illustrated is loaded with great content for shooters, including a review of the Wilson Combat WCP320. The latest handgun from Wilson is a customized version of the SIG P320, with impressive features and the classic Wilson Combat look, including the company’s X-Tac checkering pattern and marque on the slide.
- RECREATION -
“A day on the ice is a great way to get out, recreate responsibly and enjoy some socially distanced fun,” said Joe Larscheid, chief of fisheries for the Iowa Department of Natural Resource. “Dress warm, have fun, and stay safe on the ice this winter.”
- STATE PARKS -
An approximately 3-mile segment of Van Buren Trail State Park (or snowmobile trail LP 595) in Van Buren County, Michigan, is temporarily closed due to construction activity by American Electric Power.

- STATES -
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will host a virtual meeting at 6:30 p.m., Feb. 23, to review the recently completed hunting and trapping seasons, discuss possible changes to rules and regulations, and address other topics as requested and time allows.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is accepting comments on proposed changes to catfish bag and length limits and paddlefish licensing on the Missouri and Big Sioux rivers, through Feb. 15.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is seeking people who enjoy the outdoors, camping and meeting new people, to consider becoming volunteer campground hosts for the upcoming recreation season.
Last year, a little over 7,200 Iowa taxpayers helped boost wildlife conservation with donations to the Fish and Wildlife Fund on their state tax form, representing about 0.5 percent of total taxpayers in Iowa.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Dan Eichinger recently approved two real estate transactions that have secured permanent trail easements, which will help ensure trail connectivity in the western Upper Peninsula.

- TELEVISION -
Top pros and avid fisherman share adventures and trade competitive secrets on World Fishing Network’s Reel Fishing Wednesdays block of programming from 6–10 p.m. ET.
This week on MOJO TV, Kyle Barefield of MOJO TV and his friend Cole Barthel hunt with time running out. Will dreams become reality or will the whitetails win this round in Oklahoma
History’s top 10 machine guns are featured on American Rifleman TV, along with the Colt Gold Cup Trophy in 45 ACP.

$90,000 is up for grabs at the Armageddon Gear AG Cup. It’s an invitation only Precision Rifle Tournament with the highest cash payout in the history of the sport
- WILDLIFE -
The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies is pleased to announce the release of a new report “Advancing the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy into a New Decade".
- YOUTH PROGRAMS -
Hamilton Co. Fox Archery Club held the third Indoor Regional for Illinois S3DA at White Co. Archery range in Carmi, Illinois. The host club provided additional safety precautions by limiting line space, running two separate lines at different times for the allotted number of archers and providing a deep cleaning between the two shooting times.
 

Editor’s Note: This first appeared in our companion service, The Hunting Wire (www.huntingwire.com)


With a record setting year for the firearm industry behind us, many industry professionals are starting to ask; “Now what?” Before answering that question, let’s take a look at some statistics that made 2020 a record year.

The boom in gun sales emptied racks in gun shops across the country. What can we do to turn the new owners into enthusiastic shooters?

Using adjusted FBI NICS data as a proxy for firearm sales, 2020 recorded a massive 60 percent increase over 2019. The record 21+ million adjusted background checks in 2020 bested the previous record high of 15.7 million set in 2016 by 34 percent. Recent survey data shows that approximately 40 percent of firearm purchasers in 2020 were buying their first gun, which equates to more than 8 million first-time gun owners.

Record growth was also realized in hunting license sales as double-digit gains have been reported during the first three quarters of 2020 over 2019. To put that in perspective, data from the most recent USFWS National Survey showed a 16 percent decline in hunting participation from 2011 to 2016. Should the 2020 increases hold through the 4th quarter, it will equate to more than one million additional hunters that went afield in 2020 over 2019. All these additional hunters will need plenty of gear, which means plenty of new sales. The lifetime retail sales value for a million new hunters, on just their primary hunting related equipment purchases, is more than $20 billion.

So “Now what?”.

With the lingering pandemic and the new political administration there is no shortage of uncertainties for 2021. One thing that is for certain, is the fact that if the firearm industry does not engage with, and recruit the millions of people that purchased their first gun in 2020, a major opportunity will be lost.

Just because these folks have purchased their first gun and perhaps gone to the range or field a few times doesn’t mean that they are fully committed to gun ownership. In fact, past industry research conducted by Responsive Management has shown that many first-time gun owners will lapse out and not become active participants if someone doesn’t reach out and help them along the way. So right now, January 2021, is the time to get started and welcome these new gun owners to our community and provide them with information and invitations.

The good news is that engaging these new folks is something we all can, and should, do in 2021 – and it’s really not all that hard. The responsibility of recruiting first-timers into life-long gun owners and active participants falls squarely on the shoulders of firearm industry professionals and current gun owners.

Since it is the time of year to make resolutions, why not commit to one that will make a difference and resolve to make 2021 “The Year of Recruitment”.

There’s nothing quite as inviting as asking new shooters or hunters to accompany you to the range or the field. As pro shooter Rob Leatham’s fond of saying, “never took anyone to the range who told me they didn’t have a great time.”

For those of you that have decided to resolve to help recruit the next generation, feel free to read on for some suggestions on how to, not only keep your resolution, but have fun in doing so.

PLANNING

January is the time of year when many of us are developing our strategic plans and finalizing our budgets for the upcoming year so be sure to include resources for your recruitment efforts. Much work has been done by the conservation community on recruitment and it has been proven that ‘one-and-done’ efforts do not work, so be sure to plan for a long-term recruitment focused commitment.

COMMUNICATIONS

Through enewsletters, websites and social channels you are already communicating with your customers on a regular basis. Be sure to provide content that will speak to the needs of first-time gun owners as well. Many people purchased their first firearm for personal and home protection, however many of them also have an interest in the recreational side of gun ownership. Information on firearm safety, proper maintenance and where to get training or how to learn to hunt are important to include. Companies such as Ruger, Smith & Wesson and Federal Premium are already providing such information to new gun owners as an easy way to engage them, as well as, gain brand recognition, customer loyalty and market share.

FIND PARTNERS

State wildlife agencies and conservation organizations such as Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, Pheasants Forever, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Delta Waterfowl are already actively recruiting new hunters and target shooters so it will make for an easy partnership. The National Deer Association (formally QDMA) is expanding their Field to Fork program and has worked with several industry manufacturers on internal learn to hunt opportunities. Media will be helpful partners to expand your reach as well. For his part, the editor of The Hunting Wire, Jay Pinsky, is willing to support your recruitment efforts any way he can.

RECRUIT FROM WITHIN

A fun, easy and effective way to get involved with recruitment efforts is to offer your staff the opportunity to learn to hunt or shoot. Being in the firearm industry you will more than likely have plenty of staff that currently participate and are willing to teach their co-workers. You may be surprised though at the number of people you’ve worked alongside for years that are just waiting to be invited to learn to hunt or shoot so don’t be afraid to ask them. Documenting your internal efforts with a video and social media postings and sharing your story with your customers will position your organization as a leader of this effort.

CHALLENGE YOUR CUSTOMERS

There are more than 50 million Americans that enjoy participating in hunting and target shooting each year. Many of these active participants are already recruiting the next generation but communicating the need for them to reach out to these new gun owners is important. You can obtain a vast amount of authentic stories and images from your current customers by simply asking them to submit their recruitment stories. Incentivizing the ask as part of a contest or sweepstakes has proven successful as well.

YELL FROM THE MOUNTAIN TOP

After you have gone through the effort to recruit new participants, be sure to spread the word and tell the story of your successes to as many people as possible. The more folks that hear about successful recruitment, the more they will be willing to get involved as well.

STICK WITH IT

We’ve all had well intended resolutions that have gone unfulfilled and there are plenty of excuses not to keep this resolution. Social distancing requirements and lack of ammunition are barriers to large scale in-person recruitment efforts but sooner or later they will subside. Bottom line is that the industry has never had so many new gun owners ready and willing to become active participants. If we all stick with our resolution and make 2021 “The Year of Recruitment”, the industry will prosper for decades.

SUPPORT

The lifetime retail sales value of these 8 million new gun owners is well over $100 billion so be sure your organization has a strategy to engage, recruit and make them lifelong participants and customers. Due to substantial revenue losses in 2020, traditional recruitment efforts from conservation groups and trade associations have taken a hit so it is more important than ever for you to get involved. Feel free to reach out (203-450-7202) to learn more about how your company can position itself to take advantage of the largest opportunity ever presented to the hunting and firearms industry.

— Jim Curcuruto

Curcuruto is a noted Hunting and firearm industry consultant. He also happens to be a senior member of The Hunting Wire’s Voice of Leadership Panel.

 
Outdoor Wire - 155 Litchfield Rd., Edgartown, MA 02539
Copyright © 2021, OWDN, All Rights Reserved.