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Tuesday, January 30 • 10:40am - 11:00am
UNGULATES: Retention of Youth Deer Hunters in Nebraska

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AUTHORS. Nathaniel B. Price, University of Nebraska; Christopher J. Chizinski, University of Nebraska; Kevin L. Pope, Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and University of Nebraska; Joseph J. Fontaine, U.S. Geological Survey and University of Nebraska

ABSTRACT. Deer (white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus and mule deer O. hemionus) is the most sought after game by hunters in Nebraska, as reflected by annual statistics of permit holders. In addition, deer hunters in Nebraska exhibit the greatest year-over-year retention among all hunting permit types. In 2010, Nebraska reduced the base fee for a resident youth (ages 10-15) deer hunting permit from $29 to only $5. This reduction in price of the youth permit resulted in a 37% increase in the number of resident youth deer hunters in 2010. However, the significant cost difference between youth and general (ages >16) deer hunting permits may be a barrier to the continued participation of some youth deer hunters. Using data from the Nebraska Game and Park Commission's electronic licensing system, we tracked the permit purchase history of yearly cohorts of 15 year olds for 2008 through 2016. We used mark-recapture modeling to estimate the probabilities of survival (i.e., retention) and probabilities of permit purchase (i.e., detection) as a function of age, gender, and calendar year. We estimated that on average each year 87% of female youth and 90% of male youth are retained as deer hunters through the 15 to 16 year old transition. For retained youth hunters, we estimated the probability of purchasing an adult permit at age 16 to be 89% for females and 92% for males.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 10:40am - 11:00am CST