Comprehensive Evaluation of the Nebraska Outdoor Enthusiast

The decline in hunters and anglers is a concern to natural resource management agencies nationwide. Fishing and hunting license sales and taxes on fishing and hunting equipment are vital sources of funding for wildlife management agencies, and in many cases, management objectives are met under the stewardship of sportspersons. The dependence on hunters and anglers by management agencies like the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission makes the North American Model of Conservation unique, but vulnerable to declining participation in outdoor recreation. Hunter Education programs, Family Fishing Events, Outdoor Expos, and other programs can increase participation in outdoor recreation; but to ensure the future of hunting and fishing in Nebraska we need to understand how hunters and anglers use Nebraska’s fish and wildlife resources, how they perceive the outdoor opportunities available in Nebraska, and most importantly what differentiates the types of hunters, types of anglers, and movement among groups including non-participants, those that do not yet participate through license purchases.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service supports the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation Survey in a nationwide attempt to understand the sporting public. Conducted every five years, the National Survey identifies generalizations concerning patterns of outdoor enthusiast participation in the USA. Many state agencies, including the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, conduct surveys to individual license holders. State surveys are often highly directed because of the extraordinary effort necessary to survey completely, limiting their applicability across user groups and state boundaries. Given the challenges of both national and state surveys, there is a need to bridge the information gap and understand hunters and anglers, as well as hunter education participation, at spatial and temporal scales that may more directly assist in creating hunting and angling opportunities.

Goals

Working in conjunction with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and researchers from the School of Natural Resources and Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, we are analyzing a comprehensive database on license holders and hunter education participants in Nebraska with the goal of helping inform and direct wildlife and fisheries management, as well as recruitment and retention efforts within the state.
Project Website
FishHunt
Figure 1- A hypothetical relationship between different sporting groups including a group that has never participated (Recruit) and a group that has participated in the past but is not currently actively participating (Non-participant). The size of the circle indicates the relative size of the group that is exposed to recruitment and retention efforts and the size and direction of the arrow indicates the degree of movement between groups.
Figure 1- A hypothetical relationship between different sporting groups including a group that has never participated (Recruit) and a group that has participated in the past but is not currently actively participating (Non-participant). The size of the circle indicates the relative size of the group that is exposed to recruitment and retention efforts and the size and direction of the arrow indicates the degree of movement between groups.
Principal Investigator(s)
-Christopher J. Chizinski
-Joseph J. Fontaine
-Kevin L. Pope


Project Duration
January 2010 - January 2019

Funding
-Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

Project Location
Statewide Nebraska
Cooperators