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Monday, January 25 • 3:00pm - 3:20pm
Understanding The Social Habitat of Hunters In Michigan

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AUTHORS: Chris Henderson*, Michigan Tech

ABSTRACT: Participation rates in consumptive activities such as hunting and angling have been declining across much of the country in recent years, leading to many changes in management of wildlife, decision-making, and governance by state wildlife management agencies. States have invested millions of dollars in hunter and angler recruitment efforts that have not always been effective at increasing long-term participation. A comprehensive understanding of the various social factors that influence hunting can help wildlife managers, non-governmental organizations, and private citizens work together to the benefit of rural communities, public lands, wildlife, and the ecosystems on which they depend. In order to assess patterns associated with hunting participation in Michigan, my research uses a hierarchical model to incorporate variables at multiple scales that influence hunting behavior at the individual level, and collectively comprise the "social habitat" of hunting. I analyze the entire population of Michigan in the year 2010 based on population data from the U.S. Census Bureau and hunting license sales data from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, determining the log likelihood of each individual having purchased a hunting license based on a series of predictor variables at micro, meso, and macro scales of influence. I found that sociodemographic characteristics of communities, ecological and landscape variables, and regulatory frameworks have a significant relationship with hunting, and that analyzing them within a multilevel context allows for integration and interaction within those contexts.

Monday January 25, 2016 3:00pm - 3:20pm EST