Introduction to Hunting
Cameron Brown, B.S.
Hunting as a form of outdoor recreation can be traced back to the medieval era when feudal lords organized hunts to entertain guests. However, it wasn't until the late 19th century that hunting was viewed by North Americans as something other than a method for acquiring food. The formation of the Boone and Crockett Club in 1887 legitimized hunting as a form of sport in North America.
In 1955, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS link) began conducting a series of surveys on the number of individuals who participate in the activity of hunting. The USFWS conducts a new survey once every five years. The most recent survey was completed in 1996. The survey shows that 11.3 million individuals participated in a big game hunt in 1996. Sampling methods show that 5 percent of all big game hunters in 1996 were people with disabilities.