Focus: Fall Hunting Preview

What Products And Game
Are Hunters Pursuing?

By Rob Southwick And Cody Larrimore

Experienced retailers already know what their customers will demand in this coming fall hunting season. However, to provide insight to help dealers prepare for this profitable time of year, we’ll examine the hunting products purchased most often — along with the top targeted species. Such hunting market observations are available through Southwick Associates’ HunterSurvey market research panel. This panel tracks consumer buying habits in all facets of the hunting market, including brands, sales by retailer and more.

Ammunition, which may come as little surprise to you, ranks the highest in purchase frequency (72% in 2015). However, for example, only 27 percent of rifle ammunition purchased is used for hunting; the rest goes to target shooting. The second most selected (hunting) category is hunting gear and supplies, which can be broken down into the graph “Top 5 Hunting Gear & Supplies.”

For a deeper look, two-thirds of trail camera purchases are for a single camera, while a quarter of purchases involve two cameras. Moultrie and Wildgame Innovations lead all brands with over 45 percent of the market, combined. The average cost of trail cameras purchased in 2015 was $100. Retail channels and other details are available, too.



Popular Game

Now that you’ve seen a glimpse at what hunting products are being purchased most often, we’ll now take a look at the species pursued most frequently. It’s no surprise whitetails remained the most targeted U.S. species in 2015 with 46 percent of all trips targeting them. True, a higher percentage of hunters will target whitetails, but considering many of these same hunters will also target other species during the year, whitetails represent nearly half of all activity nationally. From our research, it’s surprising almost half of all deer hunters only pursue whitetails one to five days each season (40.8%). Other top species targeted are small game (23%), turkey (21%), predators (16%) and waterfowl (14%).

The amount of information available on various product categories and types of hunting and shooting is immense — more than can be shared here. To learn more, including custom research options such as market sizing and identifying the product features customers want most, contact Nancy Bacon at Southwick Associates ( or visit

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