COVID-19 has changed life for people around the world. In America, it is inspiring many people to turn to the outdoors to escape the confinement of their homes. Some are taking it a step further and either getting into hunting for the first time or getting back into the sport. Either way, the popularity of hunting is on the rise.
More Americans are hunting in 2020 than in any other year in recent times. Whether they are seeking the peace of the woods, trying to put food on the table, or both, they are buying firearms and getting out there.
Fox Business reports that Brian Murphy, CEO of American Outdoor Brands thinks that this spike in popularity is permanent. According to him, they expect some return to indoor activities once the pandemic wanes. However, hunting and firearms will remain popular. He reasons that many people who have never hunted are trying it for the first time this year. He’s correct. Hunting license sales are up 12 percent this year.
According to the Associated Press, the popularity of hunting had been declining steadily for years. In fact, many predicted that the decline would be both steady and permanent until this year.
According to that same Associated Press report, hunting license sales are up 10 percent over last year. New license sales are up 80 percent which may be more than any other time in history.
It isn’t only licenses that are seeing a spike in sales. Gun sales are on the rise as well.
Popularity of Hunting Partially Responsible for High Gun Sales
Brian Murphy should know a thing or two about trends in hunting and other outdoor sports. American Outdoor Brands encompasses some of the biggest names in outdoor gear. For instance, the conglomerate contains Smith & Wesson, Thompson Center Arms, Frankford Arsenal, Schrade, and Old Timer. That covers, firearms, ammunition reloading supplies, and knives and tools. If people are hunting more, American Outdoor Brands benefits from it across the board.
It isn’t just the new popularity of hunting that has Americans buying more guns. Many people are buying firearms for self-defense. With the civil unrest earlier this year, some Americans armed themselves to better protect their homes and families. Others are worried that firearms will become sparse under a Democrat president, so they are getting theirs while the getting is good.
The same Fox Business report says that over 20 million firearms have been sold this year so far. November, which saw the smallest increase in purchases over last year, showed a 49 percent increase in sales.
In fact, gun sales are up so high at the moment that ammunition manufacturers can’t keep up with the demand. Vista Outdoors, a shooting sports company says they currently have $1 billion in back-ordered ammo.