At least in one sporting goods store, hunting may be on the way out

The Sunday paper “outdoors” section carries an article or column almost every week that laments the threat to the sport of hunting whether it’s the threat to wildlife, the hunting environment, or the lack of young people interested in it.

So, perhaps, Dick’s Sporting Goods testing the idea of getting rid of its hunting gear shouldn’t be all that surprising.

To be sure, the test is only happening in 10 stories, and Dick’s has more than 700 of them. But there’s more money now in team athletic wear — soccer and baseball clothing has picked up while football has declined — and other higher-margin items.

Dick’s stopped selling assault weapons in February after the massacre at the high school in Parkland, Fla. Then in August, it announced its test.

“We are downplaying the hunt business based on what’s going on, not only from our policy on firearms, but just the industry is challenged,” CEO Edward Stack said in a conference call on Wednesday to discuss the company’s latest earning report, which wasn’t good. “We have been seeing the gun and electronics piece coming for some time. I mean, right after the election, you go back and take a look at others in this industry that were public, the manufacturers the quarter or so after the election, those businesses started to have a problem.”

Stores couldn’t keep a gun or ammo in stock when a president was in office who called for gun control in the wake of massacres. Once a president more favorable to guns was elected, gun makers and stores started to tank.

You can make a lot of money in fear.