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Wednesday, January 31 • 9:40am - 10:00am
GENERAL FISHERIES & WILDLIFE: Hunter Preference of Harvest Reporting Methods on Public Lands in Illinois

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AUTHORS. Ryan J. Conat, Craig A. Miller - Illinois Natural History Survey, University of Illinois

ABSTRACT. A multiple harvest reporting system is used for hunters in Illinois. Currently, Illinois harvest reporting methods on public hunting sites include: check-in stations, telephone check-in, online check-in, online windshield cards, and site-specific harvest reporting (i.e. clipboard harvest checks). The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is interested in condensing the harvest reporting system to one statewide method for public land in Illinois. We sampled 2,830 purchasers of 2016 Illinois hunting licenses from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources licensing database that indicated hunting public land in Illinois. Licensees were mailed a 4-page self-administered questionnaire designed to query hunters about the harvest reporting systems used on public land in Illinois. We received 1,580 questionnaires, 1476 of which were usable, for a 57.7% response rate. We tested variables related to a hunter’s preference for harvest reporting systems to be used on public land in Illinois. Respondents indicated preferring telephone check-in (38.1%) the most often, followed by online check-in (25.4%), check stations (21.3%), and the online windshield card system (15.1%). Additionally, hunters were significantly more likely to prefer a harvest reporting system if they had experience using that system. During the 2016-2017 season, hunters averaged 45.5 years (± 16.45, n=1,464) of age. Hunters age 31-40 preferred online check-in the most (34.6%), while only 18.1% of hunters older than 60 years of age preferred online check-in harvest reporting most. Survey respondents also gave their attitudes towards statements regarding the harvest reporting system on a 7-point scale (1 = “strongly disagree,” 4 = “unsure,” and 7 = “strongly agree”). The majority of hunters (68%) agreed that with the statement, “The IDNR should require only ONE statewide harvest reporting system for all public access lands”. These findings further our understanding of factors that contribute to hunter preference of harvest reporting methods

Wednesday January 31, 2018 9:40am - 10:00am CST