Survey: Rifles are Tops with Deer Hunters

Centerfire rifles were the most popular choice for deer hunters during the past
season, according to a recent national survey.
An April 2008 survey by Southwick Associates of 3,700 deer hunters nationwide showed
that 28 percent of those who pursued America’s top big-game quarry used rifles to
harvest their deer.
Bows were the second most popular choice, used for deer hunting by 21 percent of survey
respondents last season. Muzzleloaders, the choice of 18 percent of hunters surveyed,
were not far behind.

Fewer hunters used shotguns (15 percent) or handguns (5 percent). In some areas, especially
more densely populated regions, rifle hunting is not allowed, so hunters must use
a shotgun, bow, or muzzleloader to harvest their deer.
Another 12 percent of survey respondents reported that they did not hunt deer at all
last season; and 1 percent listed their top weapon choice as “other.” Deer hunters
were asked to select their top choice of weapon, in order to allow the survey takers
to account for hunters who participate in multiple deer seasons—for example, general
gun, bow, and muzzleloader.

Source: Rob Southwick at