I had the pleasure of speaking with Donny Adair, President of the African American Hunting Association (AAHA). The African American Hunting Association was established in 2008 with a mission to increase the number of African Americans and urban residents living in the United States involved in hunting, game management, shooting sports and conservation. I caught up with Donny right before he was heading to the Pacific Northwest Sportsmen’s Show being held in Portland Oregon.
At the beginning of the conversation I quickly realized that we shared a common desire and that is to connect with people just like us. As a matter of fact the desire to connect with other black hunters was one of the primary reasons the AAHA was established. When asked why it’s hard to get black people engaged and connected Donny shared that he’s had varying degrees of success. Through the years he’s found that getting black hunters to share information is surprisingly difficult, “Hunting clubs sometimes revolve around land ownership, people have what they want and they’re not interested in sharing information. Sometimes there’s a lot of suspicion, some don’t want you to know they have guns.” Ultimately the challenge is that “Blacks have a different worldview of firearms”.
In 2015 Donny published a book called “From the City to the Woods: An African American Family’s Hunting Experience”. The book is a great resource, provides encouragement, and addresses issues that normally aren’t discussed like do black people hunt, “why don’t they hunt”, ideas about how to find hunting partners, what does it cost to get started. Advice about purchasing a firearm or bow, etc…
Through the struggles and challenges the best days for the AAHA are yet to come. With plans for an updated website with easier access to information, a focus on engaging through social media channels, and merchandising programs; I see the AAHA continuing to make strides towards achieving their mission.
If you’re interested in connecting with the AAHA or sponsorships you can connect with Donny via the AAHA Facebook page.
According to the US Census bureau there are approximately 340,000 African-American hunters in the US, but even at those levels that represents only 2% of all African Americans and .1% of the US population.