Hunting & Conservation

Contributed Paper
ROOM: HCCC, Room 20

8:10AM Recruiting, Retaining, and Re-Engaging New Hunters in Illinois By Creating an Adult Learn to Hunt Program
Kristen Black; Daniel J. Stephens; Craig A. Miller
Illinois hunters have long been faced with common constraints to hunting, lending to a state- and nationwide decline in hunter numbers. In 2017 the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Natural History Survey came together to pilot an adult hunter recruitment workshop series. Adults are the target audience for several reasons, including control of disposable income, decision-making abilities, potential to mentor youths and other adults almost immediately, and involvement in legislation about hunting and conservation. These 2-day events aimed to address constrains to hunting like not knowing where to hunt, how to begin, or why hunting is important. From the first year of workshops, we found 69% of participants had friends or family who hunted, 94% were interested in hunting for reasons associated with being in nature, and there was a significant increase of people interested in squirrel hunting after they had experienced a squirrel hunt during the workshop (χ2=0.001). A series of changes to the workshop structure and content will occur in 2018 to resolve issues encountered during the 2017 season. This presentation will delve into program successes and needed improvements, and serve as an educational opportunity for other state hunter recruitment programs aiming to use a science-based approach to recruit new hunters, retain current hunters, and re-engage lapsed hunters (R3).
8:30AM Guiding Hunter Recruitment, Retention, and Reactivation: A Market-Driven Approach
Daniel J. Stephens; Kristen Black; Craig A. Miller
Hunters in Illinois have long faced constraints to hunting. Socioeconomic and demographic trends suggest that the public is becoming isolated from the relevancy and importance of hunting. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Natural History Survey have partnered on an adult hunter recruitment initiative aimed at addressing a long-term decline in hunter numbers. In order to develop an objective strategy to mitigate the decline of hunting participation in Illinois, an analysis of market segments, messaging, and imagery is needed to guide hunter recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) efforts. Using web tracking, hunter harvest surveys, license buying data, focus groups, and socioeconomic data the Learn to Hunt program was able to define distinct market segments, market characteristics, and marketing themes. These market segments are defined as: locavores, nature lovers, competitors, and social enthusiasts. Web tracking through newsletters, social media, and program website analytics allowed for testing the response rate of various messages and imagery. Moving forward, R3 programs will need to develop a comprehensive marketing plan that cumulatively addresses market segmentation aimed at testing the effectiveness of various messaging themes and imagery.
8:50AM Nebraska Angler Motivations, Wildlife Value Orientations, and Barriers to Hunting
Katherine A. Graham; Matthew P. Hinrichs; Alisha S. Grams; Christopher J. Chizinski
In the United States, the total number of people participating in hunting has declined by approximately 18% since 1991. Changing demographics of the US population, suggests that declines in hunter participation will continue as the population becomes increasingly urban, suburban, and older. To begin to address this decline, there is an increasing focus on the recruitment of non-traditional demographic groups into hunting. In Nebraska, women compose 22% of the individuals purchasing fishing permits, the greatest percentage of any sportsperson group, but female anglers in Nebraska are more likely to only purchase fishing permits (i.e., less likely to cross buy). To better understand the lack of participation in hunting by female anglers, we sought to examine underlying motivations of female anglers, barriers to hunting, and wildlife value orientations. We sent a web-based survey with an email invite to 4000 active female anglers who only participate in fishing (i.e., purchased ONLY a fishing license two to three times between 2010 – 2016) and 4000 active male anglers who only participate in fishing (to allow for comparison). The survey was open for 30 days from the day it was sent out, with 3 reminders sent to non-respondents. We used Likert-scale questions to identify wildlife value orientations, motivations for fishing, and barriers to hunting. Results agreed with previous research in that women tended to rank social motivations as most important, while men ranked appreciative motivations as most important. Additionally, women were more likely to be classified as pluralists, while men were more likely to be classified as utilitarians. Finally, work and family commitments and cost associated with hunting were indicated as the greatest barrier to females, particularly those with children. Findings from this study can assist wildlife managers and R3 coordinators with outreach strategies and facilitate future female hunting participation.
9:10AM Hunters’ Responses to Urine-Based Scent Bans Tackling Chronic Wasting Disease
Hwanseok Song; Katherine A. McComas; Krysten L. Schuler
Researchers have suspected that urine-based lure products collected from captive cervids could be potential media contributing to the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer. Although multiple state wildlife agencies have taken the precautionary approach to prohibit the sales or usage of these products, it is not well understood whether hunters will accept and willingly cooperate with these policies. To address this gap in literature, this study examines hunters’ attitudes and behavioral intentions toward a hypothetical policy proposing to ban urine-based products and how risk beliefs, trait psychological reactance, and hunting experience affect these responses. We recruited 739 members of an online advocacy group of deer hunters to complete a web-based survey with experimental elements. Findings reveal that, overall, participants held positive attitudes toward the proposed policy to ban these products and high intentions to cooperate. Participants also characterized CWD as a dreadful, increasing risk that was well known to science and observable. These risk beliefs were positively related to attitudes and behavioral intentions to comply with the policy. In contrast, trait psychological reactance and prior experience using urine-based scents were negatively related to attitudes and behavioral intentions. Implications for policy communication and stakeholder engagement are discussed.
9:30AM Preferences for Northern Bobwhite Management Strategies Among Texas Landowners and Managers
Rene X. Valdez; Nils Peterson; Markus Peterson; Tarla Peterson; Robert M. Perez
Northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) populations are in decline due to factors including habitat loss and deterioration. Private land management is critical to bobwhite conservation. Decisions to manage wildlife habitat on private lands are complex and little research has been conducted regarding how private land managers and landowners make decisions about whether and how to restore northern bobwhite habitat. To begin addressing this gap we used a choice-based conjoint approach to determine how Texas landowners and land managers weigh the importance of northern bobwhite hunting opportunities, costs, and labor when making habitat restoration decisions. We also used a latent class analysis to break respondents into “segments” based on their valuations of these attributes. Our results indicate that avoiding a small number of hunting opportunities may be more important than attaining a high number of hunting opportunities, and that minimizing labor input may be more important than providing policies with increased management cost shares. The results of our latent class analysis indicate that managers and landowners can be grouped into several segments, and that most segments do not place a high value on high hunting opportunities and instead are more interested in minimizing costs and labor input. Finally, we discuss the management preferences and practices of the segment most interested in high bobwhite hunting opportunities and potential outreach strategies for segments of opportunistic and pragmatic managers who are not seriously interested in bobwhite hunting opportunities but may be swayed to manage for bobwhite habitat if their costs or labor inputs declined.


Contributed Paper
Location: Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland Date: October 10, 2018 Time: 8:10 am - 9:50 am