Annual survey of BHA membership shows commitment to public service, resources, hunting, fishing, advocacy
MISSOULA, Mont. – Backcountry Hunters & Anglers members depend on North America’s public lands and waters for their time afield. Their diets rely on wild game and wild harvested foods. They’re young. They’re politically active and politically diverse, not gravitating to any one party or shunning party affiliations outright. They serve in the military at rates more than twice that of the U.S. average.
This is the portrait of the BHA membership as revealed by BHA’s 2021 membership survey, the annual demographics study of the growing organization of public lands sportsmen and women.
“Why are North American hunters and anglers a growing force in decisions surrounding policy and management of our public lands and waters?” asked BHA President and CEO Land Tawney. “Look at BHA’s membership demographics for the answer.
“We’re young, we’re driven, we have intimate knowledge of our shared landscapes…and we can’t be pigeonholed into any political stereotype,” Tawney stated. “We believe in public service, in working together in the name of the greater good. And together, BHA’s members are creating a new playbook for the administration of our public lands and waters – one that will ensure that healthy fish and wildlife habitat, important landscapes, and critical access opportunities endure for the sake of our kids, grandkids and irreplaceable outdoor heritage.”
BHA’s 2021 membership survey results include these highlights:
- Age breakdown: 67 percent of respondents are younger than 45, 16.5 percent are 45-54, 10 percent are 55-64 and 6.5 percent are 65 or older.
- Political diversity: 28 percent of respondents are Independents, 21 percent are Republicans, 19 percent are Democrats, 6 percent are Libertarians and 1 percent are Green. (25 percent identify as “none of the above” or declined to answer the question.)
- Public lands users: 27 percent of respondents spend 100 percent of their time afield on public lands and waters. 85 percent spend at least half of their time afield on public lands and waters.
- Wild game: 29 percent of respondents source at least half their diets from wild game or wild harvested foods, while 59 percent of respondents source at least a quarter of their diet from wild harvested foods.
- Military service: 16 percent (more than twice the U.S. average) are active duty military, reservists or veterans.
BHA has established chapters in 48 states, 2 Canadian provinces and one territory, and Washington, D.C., and BHA members are located all over the world. The response rate for the 2021 survey is 37 percent.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the voice
for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife.