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Poll finds rifle hunters, shooters consider scopes essential gear

February 7, 2011 |  2:09 pm

Kathy Hansen, right, tests a Trijicon rifle scope at January's Safari Club International Convention in Reno.

Scopes are considered to be essential gear for sportsmen who shoot or hunt with rifles, as evidenced by the number of respondents to a recent survey. Conducted by HunterSurvey.com, the poll revealed more than 92% of rifle owners own at least one scoped rifle, and nearly three out of four own multiple scoped rifles, while only 7.7% responded that they do not own a scope.

Scopes are also a prominent purchase for many shotgun and handgun owners. While both types of firearms are generally used with open sights, 28.7% of shotgunners and 24.5% of handgunners say they own at least one scoped model.

"While firearms and ammunition purchases have been extensively analyzed, not a lot is known about scope ownership and usage," said Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates, which creates and manages the surveys. "This information can be valuable to manufacturers and particularly retailers who now know nearly every rifle buyer is also a potential scope customer as well."

Of those sportsmen surveyed, 26.2% said they intend to purchase a scope in 2011, while 32.5% are not sure.

Launched in 2006, AnglerSurvey.com and HunterSurvey.com help the outdoor equipment industry, government fisheries and wildlife officials, and conservation organizations track consumer activities and expenditure trends. The results are scientifically analyzed to reflect all U.S. anglers and hunters.

Those who hunt, fish and target shoot are invited to participate in either or both survey sites. Respondents are entered in a monthly drawing for one of five $100 gift certificates to the sporting goods retailer of their choice.

-- Kelly Burgess
twitter.com/latimesoutposts

Photo: Kathy Hansen, right, tests a Trijicon rifle scope at January's Safari Club International Convention in Reno. Credit: Max Whittaker / Reuters


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