Survey Says Hunters Expect Outdoor Companies to Support Conservation

April 16, 2018 | by National Deer Alliance

Over the last two weeks, we asked our newsletter subscribers about the importance of manufacturers and retailers supporting conservation efforts. Specifically, we wanted to know if hunters make gear and equipment purchasing decisions based on a company’s financial support of (or lack thereof) conservation efforts.                                           

A majority of subscribers (64%) responded that they consider what companies financially support conservation efforts when deciding to who to purchase products from. When rating this importance on a 1-10 scale, most subscribers stated an importance level of 8 or 10, with each level receiving 19% of the responses. As one respondent put it, “If companies don’t support the conservation organizations that I support, I won’t buy from them, plain and simple.” Another took it a step further. “I absolutely only buy from companies that directly support conservation. Companies that sponsor a lot of so called "hunting celebrities " are usually on the bottom of my list. What a waste of money!”

More than 75% of respondents believe that manufacturers and retailers of hunting-related sporting goods share some responsibility of financially supporting conservation efforts. Financial support does not include paying taxes through the Pittman-Robertson Act, which is a tax passed on to consumers, but rather includes voluntary monetary donations to conservation causes.

Further, nearly 93% of respondents think that it would be beneficial to consumers to have a resource that lists manufacturers and retailers that support conservation initiatives financially. Even more, over 80% of respondents would consider contacting manufacturers and retailers that they purchase from to encourage those companies to financially support hunting and wildlife conservation, if there was an easy way to do so. One person wrote, “I would love to have a list of companies that support conservation efforts, and if I had an easy way to encourage them to do more, I’d be all in.”

Finally, 83% of respondents who are asked noted that they typically “round-up” their purchases from retailers of hunting-related sporting goods at checkout to support conservation. Surprisingly, 30% of respondents have never been asked to consider "rounding up" their total at checkout to support conservation.

A few important points can be compiled from the survey results. First, hunters are absolutely willing to contribute even more to conservation than what they already do. Hunters already support conservation efforts through the purchase of hunting licenses and tags, as well as through taxes on hunting-related sporting goods. But, hunters are willing to contribute even more by seeking out manufacturers and retailers who voluntarily and financially support conservation efforts.

Second, there is plenty of room for financial support of conservation efforts to grow. Hunters are willing to look for companies that already financially support conservation efforts, or contact companies who don’t to encourage them to contribute to the cause. If a resource existed that listed supporting companies, hunters would seek those companies out to make their purchases. One respondent summed it up best by writing, “It just makes financial sense. If hunter number decline, their customer base declines, along with sales and profits. Isn’t this common sense?”

Ideally, more profits for manufacturers and retailers would result in more funds being pushed towards conservation efforts. Unfortunately, over 30% of respondents have never been asked to consider "rounding up" their total at checkout to support conservation. But, of those who have been asked, nearly 83% typically agree to round-up their purchase. So, if more retailers would ask consumers to consider "rounding up" their total at checkout, in addition to contributing funds and products directly, many more dollars could be put towards conservation.