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Tuesday, February 7 • 1:40pm - 2:00pm
Technical Session. Assessing Compliance with Electronic Deer Harvest Registration

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AUTHORS: Ben Beardmore, Bob Holsman, Brian Dhuey, Dan Storm - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Wisconsin eliminated mandatory in-person deer registration stations in 2015, and moved to online or phone-in harvest registration instead. Because data from mandatory check stations has historically served as the back-bone for deer population estimates, verifying that hunters were participating in the system became critical for ensuring that deer population estimates continued to be accurate. Given the considerable change to the Wisconsin culture of registering harvested deer and the challenges of assessing registration compliance when physical tags no longer existed, social science staff were asked to devise a way to help assess the compliance rates with electronic deer registration. Drawing insights from research on socially undesirable behaviors, we developed and tested a novel questionnaire design that would allow us to measure compliance rates within the deer hunter population without individuals having to implicate themselves as having failed to register a deer. Preliminary results of the study revealed high rates of compliance in the first year of E-registration and were consistent with findings from a comparison of registration data with hunter reports of deer harvests on surveys. This approach holds promise for using surveys to capture noncompliance rates on a whole suite of behaviors in the future.

Tuesday February 7, 2017 1:40pm - 2:00pm CST
Grand Ballroom D