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Tuesday, February 7 • 2:00pm - 2:20pm
Technical Session. Age-Period-Cohort Modeling to Project Size, Composition, and License Revenue Contributions of Michigan’s Future Hunting Population

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AUTHORS: Brent Rudolph, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Richelle Winkler, Michigan Technological University; Chris Henderson, Michigan State University

ABSTRACT: Michigan has a strong hunting tradition, ranking among the top states nationally for annual deer hunting participants. As is the case for most states, however, hunting participation has been declining in recent years. We developed an Age-Period-Cohort regression model utilizing 19 years of Michigan resident firearm deer hunting license sales (1995 through 2013) to assess trends and project the future hunting population. We assessed differences by gender and regionally from county to county. Results identified cohort effects across all regions, indicating strong generational influences on hunting participation. Males born between 1955 and 1970 have an increased likelihood to hunt, with these cohort effects minimizing the typical effects age has on decreasing participation. Projections indicate nearly 22% of the male firearm deer hunting population in 2035 will be ≥65 years old, compared to 13% at present. Recent female cohorts (born since 1987) show an increased likelihood to hunt in comparison to prior generations. Projections indicate females may constitute about 20% of the firearm deer hunting population in Michigan by 2035, compared to just 10% at present. Despite these effects, the reduced likelihood recent male cohorts (born since 1980) have to hunt is projected to drive a >20% decline in the overall firearm deer hunting population by 2035. The attendant projected drop in license purchases equates to a $6,500,000 reduction in revenue, or about 18% of the recent overall budget for Michigan’s Wildlife Division. Efforts to improve recruitment and retention will be challenged to counter significant generational effects, though continuing to facilitate participation of young females represents the best opportunity. We encourage agencies to also use projections such as ours to explicitly plan how to meet wildlife conservation goals and the changing needs of a demographically different hunting population in the face of declining traditional revenue sources.

Tuesday February 7, 2017 2:00pm - 2:20pm CST
Grand Ballroom E