Wildlife management often requires accurate estimates of hunter participation and species harvested. Sending pre-season hunting cards for recording activity can improve the accuracy of estimates. This research note examined the influence of record cards on the shape of waterfowl hunting survey response distributions. Data were obtained from a 2013–2014 mail survey of 1,796 waterfowl hunters in Illinois. Results indicated that individuals who received a record card were: (a) more likely to report small harvest and days hunting values (beginning of distribution), and (b) less likely to give responses that contributed to heaping (middle of distribution) compared to non-record card recipients. Record cards did not influence the end of the distribution, as frequency functions for all respondents were long-tailed distributions. Results imply that record card responses are more accurate than non-record card responses. Non-record card estimates were approximately 10% biased. Results supported continued use of record cards to limit bias.
- Harvest surveys
- long-tailed distributions
- record cards
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nature and Landscape Conservation
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law