Outdoor recreation facilitates important connections to nature and wildlife but is perceived differently across population segments. As such, we expected that current and past socio-demographic characteristics of individuals would influence intention to participate in outdoor recreation. We solicited 5,000 U.S. residents. (n = 1,030, 23% response) to describe their perceptions of hunting and birdwatching. The influence of current and childhood community size (i.e., urban-rural residence gradient) was examined as a potentially important predictor of intention to participate in hunting and birdwatching within the context of theory of planned behavior. Hunting attitudes and personal behavior control were more positive when respondents maintained a residence in rural areas. Alternatively, birdwatching attitudes, norms, and perceived behavioral control did not differ with community size. Therefore, programs aimed at increasing participation in outdoor recreation should carefully consider the importance of socio-demographic variables in the context of their objectives, especially for recruiting urban hunters.