Guiding Hunter Recruitment, Retention, and Reactivation: A Market-Driven Approach

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2018
EventThe Wildlife Society 2018 Annual Conference - Cleveland, United States
Duration: Oct 7 2018Oct 11 2018
Conference number: 25


ConferenceThe Wildlife Society 2018 Annual Conference
Abbreviated title2018 TWS Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • INHS


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