Hunting participation in the United States, including Illinois, has declined over the past several decades. During the last 10 years, hunting license purchases among Illinois residents has decreased by 10%. Illinois and other states have committed to recruit, retain, and reengage hunters. Declining hunting participation may limit the effectiveness of hunting as a management tool. Our goal is to determine the impact of demographic, experiential, personal, and regulatory constraints on hunting participation during the 2017-2018 hunting seasons in Illinois. In 2018, we randomly sampled 6,102 Illinois residents that purchased an Illinois hunting license between 2006 and 2016. A mail-based questionnaire was used to determine their hunting participation and constraints to hunting participation in Illinois. We received 1,367 questionnaires for a 25% response rate. Constraints to hunting participation among Illinois residents was analyzed using bivariate analyses and logistic regression models. Among respondents, 56% indicated that their hunting effort over the last 5 years had decreased. Less than half of respondents (45%) hunted during the 2017-2018 hunting seasons in Illinois and hunting participation rates decreased drastically among hunters that do not hunt every year. The leading causes for decreased hunting effort were: hunting skills and knowledge, health problems, and frequency of hunting participation. Our model correctly classified hunting effort among 71% of respondents. In conclusion, we found that past experience and personal constraints had the greatest impact on hunting effort among Illinois residents during the 2017-2018 hunting seasons.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference 2020|
|State||Published - 2020|