Friday, September 05, 2008

High Gas Prices and Pheasant Hunting

We recently published a article on how hunters were using some of our hunting directories to search for local alternatives for their hunting trips this year. Typical searches on these sites are most often for hunters planning a over the road trip 100's of miles from their home. This year however a much higher precentage of searches done on and are from local hunters searching their local area for hunting opportunities. That article seems to be reinforced by the following article released today by the National Shooting Sports Foundation:

NEWTOWN, Conn. -- For many hunters, that 300-mile drive to deer camp may be put on hold this year. Unwilling -- or unable -- to spend more on gasoline than licenses and lodging, many hunters are checking out their options closer to home.

Recent surveys have shown that this is a national trend among American hunters. According to research conducted by Southwick Associates', "40 percent of hunters indicated that rising gas prices will cause them to reduce their outdoor activities or reduce their travel distance."

Realizing that gaining access to both public and private land can be one of a hunter's most daunting challenges, some state fish and game departments have developed innovative programs to address the problem.

Pennsylvania, for example, provides the public with detailed maps that show areas accessible by local hunters. These include state game, forest and park lands, and national forest property, totaling over 3.5 million acres. Through a "landowner cooperator" program, an additional two million acres of private property have also been opened up to the state's hunters.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) recently unveiled a state-of-the-art mapping program using Google Maps. It's a user-friendly service especially valuable for those new to hunting or new to the state. "Every hunter knows scouting is key to success, and these Google Maps make it easy to start scouting at home," said Matthew Keenan, ODFW's Access and Habitat Program Coordinator. The map features state wildlife areas, national wildlife refuges and private lands open to hunting through the state's Access and Habitat and Upland Cooperative Access programs. Each area even has a descriptive bubble that provides information about the principal species hunted, size of the area, access periods and special regulations.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG), working with sportsmen and landowners, provides sportsmen access to private land and through private land to public lands with a program called "Access Yes!"

"The 'Access Yes!' program is an exciting opportunity to get sportsmen and landowners together to improve habitat, increase hunting access and benefit private landowners. An additional benefit is that landowners and sportsmen get to know and respect each other," commented Jim Unsworth, deputy director for IDFG.

In 2008 IDFG has made 444,735 private acres accessible to sportsmen and access to an additional 381,310 acres of public ground by working with private landowners. "We are doing our part to keep our hunters hunting at home in Idaho," said Unsworth.

These programs, and similar ones in other states, have received significant funding from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, through its Hunting Heritage Partnership Program.

Here is our article on how gas prices are effecting hunters:
Hunting For Local Hunting Locations- Gas Prices Squeeze Hunters
Will high gas prices be the end of hunting? Probably not but hunters may be hunting closer to home this year.

PRLog (Press Release) – Aug 04, 2008 – With gas prices up at all time record highs hunters are finding it much more expensive to get to those remote hunting locations. "We are bracing for a tuff season" says Tennessee hunting guide Brett Gill. Hunters aren't willing to travel as far and much of their disposable income is being consumed by their trucks and cars." According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation 18.5 million hunters contribute more than $30 billion annually to the U.S. economy and support more than 986,000 jobs. Hunters not only spend money on guns and shells they also drive larger vehicles and travel long distances staying at hotels and dining out.

If there is a silver lining to the high gas prices it may be for many of the local hunting clubs. Many hunters are starting to look towards more local hunting opportunities in stead of a long road trips to far away locations. According to a hunting directory that allows hunters to search for pheasant hunting clubs in their area, they are seeing a large increase in the number of short radius searches. In other words hunters are not looking at far away trips like they use to. "The most popular search seems to be within a 100 mile radius of home" says webmaster Matt Brown. Another hunting site confirms this. "Many of our searches appear to be local hunters looking for hunting locations in their home state" These types of searches seem to be up 30% over last year.

Will high gas prices be the end of hunting? Probably not but hunters may be hunting closer to home this year.

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Foremost Hunting is a directory of hunting locations organized by US state. In addition to our extensive list of hunting guides and outfitters we also offer a hunting community that allows hunters to connect, share photos, videos and stories for free

Here is a quote from the Washington Times:

Southwick Associates Inc., the pollsters of outdoors activities, confirm what so many of us fear: The high price of gasoline could seriously impact even short travels among anglers and hunters - and in some cases curtail them altogether.

The bright side to all this may be that for those willing to drive a ways there may be some deals on hunting packages. Stay tuned!


marg crown said...

For those people close to Maine, or Mass, please take the time to check out Evergreen Valley. www.evergreenevtoa. There is great bird, deer, and moose hunting, with extremely reasonable rates. This place is truly beautiful, it is definitely a place to look at.

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