Why don’t African Americans Hunt?

6 10 2009

By Donny Adair, President

African American Hunting Association, LLC

 

Dre and I walked for 4 hours soaking in many of the exhibits at the annual sportsman’s exhibition this past February. One constant was that we didn’t see any other Black people among the thousands who were talking to outfitters from all over the world, attending workshops and seminars and visiting with vendors. Dre, a wonderful thirteen year old boy whom I was fortunate to get matched up with by the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program, asked me the question I have been asking for years. “Why don’t African Americans participate very much in outdoor sports, especially hunting?

According to the most recent U.S Census estimates on the distribution of the U.S. population by race/ethnicity (2007) there are 37 million African Americans or about 12 percent of the total population. According to the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife data for the same year, only 1 percent of those who hunt are African Americans.

In the spring of 2008, in response to what I perceived as an opportunity and a need, I created the African American Hunting Association (AAHA) Website aahunt.com. The response from people all over the world has been exciting. The mission the African American Hunting Association LLC (AAHA) is to increase the number of African Americans and urban residents living in the United States involved in hunting, game management, shooting sports, and conservation. The values AAHA is founded on include the rights of all Americans to hunt for food and for sport, the rights of individuals to own and use firearms and other weapons in accordance with the Constitution of the United States and all applicable federal, state and local laws.

Also, last summer Greg Gordon owner of, NLE Media, who built the website, introduced the idea that we should co-produce an outdoor television show aimed at African Americans, who represent a vast untapped consumer market. Well, one thing led to another, and now we have completed the first season of 13 shows, which can be viewed on the website and DVD’s of the show can be purchased. The shows feature host Donny Adair, my 23-year old son Donnell, and other young African American hunters and fisherman. Donnell has been shooting since he was 6 years old and began hunting at age twelve .The hunts and fishing adventures were videotaped in Oregon (our home state), Idaho and Mississippi, which I call my adopted home state. The game harvested includes Chukar, Pheasants, Ducks, Geese, Blacktailed Deer, Whitetail Deer, Salmon, Sturgeon and other warm water fish. AAHA and NLE Media are now seeking sponsors to take their 30-minute show to the television airwaves.

The AAHA invites everyone who supports the mission, goals and objectives of our organization to participate with us regardless of their individual race, ethnicity, national origin, gender or sexual orientation. It is a multi-cultural organization. All are welcome to join AAHA. The goals and objectives are work to promote better understanding and acceptance of the sport of hunting at the local, regional and national level; and to increase involvement of African American individuals and families in hunting and associated outdoor sports such as camping, hiking, fishing biking, photography, etc. The AAHA will increase the opportunity for African American hunters to obtain state of the art or the best hunting equipment each hunter can afford. The AAHA will provide increased opportunities for African Americans to enjoy the great outdoors, regionally, nationally and internationally.

For more information contact Donny Adair at donnyadair@yahoo.com.

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26 responses

8 10 2009
W. David Coleman

There was a big paradigm shift after the civil rights movement paved way to accessible jobs. Many of todays African Americans who are now in there 60’s and 70’s looked at hunting as a low class activity because that is what their fathers have done. Although their fathers did not have the opportunities and access to the employment opportunities hunting was considered a lower class sport. I’ve often asked these same men why not hunt now. The answer is pretty simple. They’re embarrased that they don’t know how to hunt and most of the sports celebrities and entertainers don’t hunt. If more people knew about people like Bo Jackson and a few others that hunted, I believe that this particular activity will pick up in the community.

4 01 2011
Frank Drumright

I have been waiting for a long time for someone to get a real club for us!! It’s a great thing u have started

1 05 2011
T. Gilmore

Go down south you will find the black hunter, alot of us.

22 05 2011
donnyadair

Thank you T. You are so right and my friends in our adopted home state of Mississippi would agree. My guys in Fitler, Cary, Rollingfork, Anguilla and Louise are great to be with on a cold December morning. Please find a copy of the article in the November 2010 issue of Outside Magazine about us. While there are a lot of Black hunters in the south, we are only 1% of the 12.5 million hunters nationwide. That’s a fact! I want to change that!

26 06 2011
V. Rivers

I just want to congratulate and commend Mr. Adair on his efforts. This is something that is really needed on so many levels. In the South, this is our heritage.
I’m originally from the lowcountry of South Carolina. I’m a black man.
I grew up in a small town about 30 miles north of Charleston. In my old neighborhood, everybody hunted or fished or knew someone that did.
It wasn’t until I moved to North Carolina after college;that I realized that many of the people that I met were surprised that I hunted. Strange since NC is not exactly a bustling urban mega-state. Very happy to find this site. There is not a day that I don’t think about hunting and fishing. The food that it provides is better than most of what you will find in your local grocery store. The relaxation that comes from being away from the office and in the outdoors with family, friends or even solo cannot be measured.
I still have the Savage 20ga singleshot shotgun that I parents bought for me on my 12th birthday in 1980. That gun has a 3″ chamber, and will still flatten a gobbler at 30 yards! I have proved it several times.

Great site Mr. Adair. I will be a constant visitor.

-V. Rivers

22 08 2011
donnyadair

Thank you for sharing your hunting heritage with us. I gave my now 24 year old son a 20 gauge single shot when he was 12 too. It kicked like a mule and he doesn’t like to hunt to this day, but he is a great fisherman and camera man videoing our adventures. It looks like i am going to have to take a trip back there to hunt and film you brothers and sisters in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida next year.

2 07 2011
donnyadair

Thank you Mr. Rivers. I retire from public service with the City of Portland, Oregon at the end of December 2011. Then I’m going to grt this tv series on the air. If you know of any potrntial sponsors let me know.

19 08 2011
H. Wilkins

H. Wilkins
I have been and avid hunter here in VA, NC since the age of 10 hunting with family members. The problem’s that I see now is that a lot of blacks that did hunt and don’t now is because of land. Back then when I was a kid, you could hunt on your family land as well as your “black neighbors land” without even asking. Now, a lot of the land that blacks worked so hard for are gone. Either taken because of taxes or family members who did not appreciate the outdoors and sold their land. I would like to thank Mr. Adair for his hard in help keeping the dream alive of getting african americans back to the outdoors. God Bless

22 08 2011
donnyadair

Thank you Mr. Wilkins. You hit the nail o the head! Please send me your eamil and land address to my email donnyadair@yahoo.com. I am going to isse mebership cards soon and thet will be free to charter members of the African American Hunting Association.

19 11 2011
joe@Air Rifle reviews

Hello and like to say thanks for such a great blog ! the effort is apparent with such insight , I did not know such an association existed this is why i love blogs , real people real life. Thanks again.

23 11 2011
donnyadair

Thanks for the hit and the comment. More to come in the future as I retire from my job as a public servant next week!

17 02 2012
Eric Morris (Black Wolf Hunting Club)

It boils down to two things, perception and culture. Hunting is perceived as a white man’s sport why? Because that’s who people see when any reference is given to hunting. There are plenty of resources available for Blacks to hunt today but perception is keeping most out of the woods. I’ve been told cuntless times that “Ah man, we (black people) don’t hunt.” It appears as if Black people are more concerned with looking cool, playing sports, having the fanciest house, having the latest model of car, and the size of some freaking rims. These material things mean nothing.

What’s frustratng is when you see a guy who is from the deepest of woods get a little status or position and shy away from hunting. Many blacks want to distance themselves from their hunting hertitage in favor of fitting in with more “modern” activities and past times.

The Black culture also disconnects itself from hunting. Blacks are quick to put their kids into basketball and football, hoping that they’ll be the next great thing but slow to introduce their kids to firearms and the sport of hunting. For some reason, many blacks view guns as a source of power rather than a tool . I taught my daughter at age 8 that a gun is nothing different than a hamer, or chain saw, or stick. It’s a tool.

28 04 2012
Arlene

Great blog with a wealth of education information, hunting and fishing is for everyone………including women. Your blog has inspired my grandsons to now have an interest in hunting.

28 04 2012
donnyadair

Arlene, thank you for sharing your comments with all of us. Good luck to your grandsons and kep checking our site for new information. We are currently setting up our membership system.

Donny Adair, President AAHA

14 10 2012
Calvin Baker, Jr.

I have been searching for a hunting club here in southeast Louisiana to no avail. Being a resident of Louisiana and over sixty years old, my lisence for fishing and hunting is a mere five dollars. If I choose to hunt in Mississippi it will cost over $300 just for a lisence plus another $800 per year to join a club. Not to mention the cost of travel. It would be nice to hunt in my own backyard for a change.

19 10 2012
Frank L.Drumright

I live in the state of New Jersey, and I have been looking for a hunting club for black people . I would really like to get more info on your club and up coming events. I would really like to thank you for showing black men that there is more to life then just strip clubs where black men can enjoy life outdoors

17 01 2013
D. Mason

I think the numbers are low becuase we are not as nor do I think we participate in survay’s about it. I know alo of us that hunt. There is a difference. We hunt hard and discuss it amongst ourselves. Low key, I have had good firends that I never new hunted for years and vice-versa. Just not something we talked about. However, my white fiends that hunt will let you know thatis their passion day one; they travel to visit the outdoorshows; wear camo; are vocal about their passion (truck stickers, apparel) and they usually are vocal in aligning it thier poilitcal beleifs (i.e. NRA) with what they see as an outdoors life style.. My black frinds and relatives that hunt (or me) just don’t do that. Are folks they happen to hunt. It is some thing they like to do, not what they DO. One or two might have sticker on a window, but I have never seen them in camo aside from the field nor do I see them making a special effort to go to the gun shows or deer classics.

I think we are passionate and enthused, but we are not as visible. Nothing wrong with that at all. I am like that. Hunting and fishing what I do, but I’d rather wear some khaki’s and a buton down to the mall than jeans, boots and a mossy oak vest. Just me, but it explains why there is the perception.

17 01 2013
D. Mason

Moderator: I accidentally posted the above while editing, please replace with this: I think the numbers are low becuase we are not as vocal about hunting nor do I think we participate in survey’s about it. I know a lot of us that hunt. There is a difference. We hunt hard and discuss it amongst ourselves. Low key. I have good friends that I never new hunted for years and vice-versa. Just not something we talked about. However, my white friends that hunt will let you know that is their passion from day one; they travel to visit the outdoorshows; wear camo; are vocal about their passion (truck stickers, apparel) and they usually are vocal in aligning it thier poilitcal beliefs (i.e. NRA) with what they see as an outdoors life style.. My black frinds and relatives that hunt (or me) just don’t do that. We are folks they happen to hunt. It is some thing they like to do, not what they DO, not the driving force in their life style. One or two might have sticker on a window, but I have never seen them in camo aside from the field nor do I see them making a special effort to go to the gun shows or deer classics.

I think we are passionate and enthused, but we are not as visible. Nothing wrong with that at all. I am like that. Hunting and fishing what I do, but I’d rather wear some khaki’s and a buton down to the mall than jeans, boots and a mossy oak vest. Just me, but it explains why there is the perception.

30 01 2013
Natalie

I every time used to read post in news papers but now
as I am a user of net so from now I am using net for articles, thanks to web.

25 03 2013
Everett

Incredible! I’m really enjoying the design of your web site. Are you using a custom template or is this freely available to all individuals? If you really don’t want to
say the name of it out in the general public, please e-mail me.
I’d really like to get my hands on this template! Thank you.

25 03 2013
donnyadair

The format and custom design is by NLE Media. Check out my friend Greg Gordon’s website NLEMedia.com

31 03 2013
W. David Coleman

We must re-educate our communities, families and ourselves. Hunting may have some upfront cost, however, once some of the initial equipment has been purchased, it gets cheaper over time. Not everyone will enjoy being about with GOD’s playground. I’m not shocked that we don’t hunt because we have closed the door to this avenue due to miss-perception (i.e., it’s not cosmopolitan, not sexy, not cool, not fashionable). I go to an outdoor jazz festival every year that takes place in a park in late spring. I typically see African American women attending this venue in high heels and skirts or dresses that are inappropriate for the venue. Now just think, they are out there hunting, but the game is walking on two (2) legs. The fellas are typically on the prowl also because this is what outdoor life means to some of us. We again have to teach the fundamentals of life to our children and stress the importance of education. I’ve just read a booklet titled “One-Third Of A Nation” published by The Commission On Minority Participation In Education And American Life”. Although the book is 25 years old (published in 1988) which reviewed the progress over the last 30 years in dismantling barriers of the full participation of minorities in the American Dream. We ourselves have kept the barrier up towards hunting and GOD’s Great OUTDOORS.

W. David Coleman

“I say enjoy it now and move around because when your card is called you will have all the time in the world at looking up at the sky, that’s what most people in the cemetery are doing now, but it’s too late.”

W. David Coleman

21 10 2013
F.A. Whittington

I am a black hunter, I been looking for a clubs in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina, no luck. If any one has any information on any clubs please send me an email at fawjr61@gmail.com.

22 12 2014
Richard

Okay, to some of you, grow the hell up. To the rest of you, kudos. I have a lot of black friends, the hunt every hunting season. fish, ride in jacked up four wheel drives, mud bog, four wheeler ride, get muddy, dip snuff. So yes, in the south, many blacks are as redneck as any white person, and have been so for a long time.

22 12 2014
Richard

As matter a fact, if you are Black, post your 4×4 Pictures, your big buck kills, your big Bass catches. Please?

26 03 2015
Rashad

I would love to start a chapter here in St Paul, Minnesota. I am looking to buy 40 acres.. let me know what I need to do. Thanks Rashad

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