Wondering what happened to all those people that used to ride their scooters in front of your car? They’re out hunting with crossbows now.
There was a meteoric 13.5% increase in the number of people hunting with bows from 2008 to 2009 because several states lifted bans on them in the past two years, according to a recent Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association survey of 40,141 people. Mark Hughes, owner of Bowhunters Superstore in Pennsylvania˜where a ban was lifted last year˜says crossbow sales boomed because they’re an easy way for people to hunt without much skill. “It’s just point and shoot,” he says._
But bow-hunting isn’t the biggest riser˜that crown belongs to cardio kickboxing, where participation jumped 20.1%. That comes alongside a drop in sports like Tai Chi (-6.4%) and general martial arts (-3.8%). Joe Dunphy, a master with the U.S. Martial Arts & Tai Chi Academy, says this is because of a trend toward less-physical activities. “We’ve seen fads come and go, but Tai Chi is forever,” he says. Use of scooters without a motor, meanwhile, dropped 20.8%, a slump that can largely be attributed to their surge in popularity several years ago that was impossible to sustain. As for America’s favorite sport, participation in touch, flag and tackle football are all down more than 10%. But that doesn’t mean the game’s popularity is suffering. “People like watching people get hit instead of getting hit themselves,” an SGMA spokesman says._
Hmmm…bowhunting with a crossbow versus scooters, cardio kickboxing and flag football. Even with the debate over crossbows versus compounds I know what most of us would choose… The real question is do the numbers represent mainly new hunters to the sport or simply current hunters taking advantage of a new opportunity? Real growth or just a wash?