Canadian Forest Service Publications

Trends in hunter participation in Alberta, 1990 to 2000: an analysis of the hunter licensing system databases. 2005. Watson, D.O.; Boxall, P.C. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Northern Forestry Centre, Edmonton, Alberta. Information Report NOR-X-404. 42 p.

Year: 2005

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 25904

Language: English

Series: Information Report (NoFC - Edmonton)

Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (download)

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After peaking in 1965, the number of active hunters in Alberta has been declining steadily. The authors used data from the Alberta Client Licensing and Survey System database (1990–1997) and its replacement, the Recreational Licensing Management System (1998–2000), to determine trends in hunting participation in the province. The aim was to derive hypotheses to explain the decline and perhaps identify policies that might help to mitigate it. On the basis of this analysis, the decline in numbers is expected to continue, in part because the number of new entrants decreased over the study period and in part because new entrants quit at a higher rate than hunters from the initial (1990) cohort. Both gender and age seemed to play a role. Specifically, females were more likely to quit hunting than males, even though the proportion of new entrants who were female increased over time. New entrants were generally younger than hunters in the 1990 cohort, and although new entrants overall quit at a higher rate than hunters from the 1990 cohort, younger new entrants were more likely to continue as active hunters than older new entrants. Although the distribution of hunters in rural and urban settings differed, place of residence did not seem to be a factor in the decline. The data were also analyzed according to animal species sought. Bird game hunters represented a much smaller proportion of each cohort than big game hunters or mixed hunters (those hunting both big game and bird game). Bird game hunting underwent a substantial decline over the study period, whereas big game hunting increased in importance. The report concludes with suggestions for future work to clarify the reasons for the changes in hunting patterns over time and to determine the effect of these changes on animal management.