When HunterSurvey.com and AnglerSurvey.com sought to determine how much weight the “Made in U.S.A.” tag carried with sportsmen when making purchases of outdoor equipment, they found most respondents agreed that U.S.-made products were of better quality and it was important to buy them. They also discovered there is only but so much most hunters and anglers are willing to pay for that label.

When asked how important it is to buy fishing tackle or hunting equipment that is made in the U.S.A. nearly 89 percent of anglers said it was very or somewhat important, while 94 percent of hunters said it was very or somewhat important. At the same time, 47 percent of those anglers feel U.S.-made tackle is generally better in quality and 63 percent of hunters believe U.S.-made hunting gear is better than equipment made overseas.

So how much more are sportsmen willing to pay to support American jobs? If the Made in U.S.A. product is five percent or less in cost, 85 percent of anglers and 89 percent of hunters report will buy the American-made product. But after that, numbers begin to drop sharply, and once the U.S. product exceeds 20 to 30 percent in cost, only 34 percent of anglers and 36 percent of hunters say they are willing to pay the difference.

“All things being equal, sportsmen appreciate American quality and are certainly eager to support American jobs; however, it doesn’t take much of a price difference before economic realities set in and hunters and anglers are forced to make important decisions about how much they will spend,’” said Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates, which designs and conducts the surveys at HunterSurvey.com and AnglerSurvey.com. “There is a reason why imported products take up so much retail space. Hunters and anglers, like all other consumers, want to get more for their limited dollars. As long as U.S. production costs remain high, whether related to taxes or other factors, imported products will continue to own a large share of the U.S. market.”

To help continually improve, protect and advance the shooting sports and outdoor recreation, all sportsmen and sportswomen are encouraged to participate in the surveys at HunterSurvey.com, ShooterSurvey.com and/or AnglerSurvey.com. Each month, participants who complete the survey are entered into a drawing for one of five $100 gift certificates to the sporting goods retailer of their choice.

Logos courtesy Southwick Associates

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  • It is sad that money ends up being the deciding factor on hunting and fishing products. Sportsmans say, “USA made is really important, quality is better, but I think I’ll go with the cheaper, poor quality, overseas made product to save $10.” Logic just is not there and it is a shame that people think that way. Everyday I try to convince sportsman that USA made is better for everyone, but it is hard sometimes. Id say just ask the people at Rocky Boots how important it is to have American Made product not that all their jobs were shipped overseas? Or the people who worked for Levis, people need to look harder at what they purchase, their job is on the line.