The University of Arizona

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Cohort Driven Social Change: Starting to Understand the Broad Shift Away from Hunting and Angling.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Speaker: Loren Chase, PhD
Date: Wednesday, February 24th, 2016
Time: 3:00-4:00PM
Location: ENR2, S107
Abstract: Modernizing forces such as urbanization, diffusion of affluence, broader educational opportunities, and the growth of technologies are changing the nature of wildlife conservation in North America.  Concurrent with the modernization process is a ubiquitous decline in hunting and fishing, with a resulting reduction in wildlife conservation revenue.  Stemming this decline is of keen interest to state wildlife agencies as evidenced by vast agency and NGO resources invested in, proliferation of, hunter recruitment and retention programs. Yet, despite its salience to wildlife agencies, little is known about the nature of the participation declines. To elucidate the complexities of this multifaceted issue, we conducted an age-period-cohort analysis on hunting and fishing license sales in several states. We found evidence that age affects participation during the college years, and in late adulthood beginning about age 70. Period effects were variable across states, but offered unique insights into incidences that immediately affect participation. Cohort effects were the most prominent in that individuals born between approximately 1958-1978 were the most likely to hunt and fish. These data definitively demonstrate hunting and fishing are not tied to a specific life stages; rather, there is a cohort of Baby Boomers moving through different life stages, and they just happen to be in their mid-fifties currently.  All reasonable models project participation in hunting and angling will continue to decline into the foreseeable future. Because this model is predictive, this information will be beneficial to agencies as they strategically plan to diversify client-bases and wildlife conservation revenue sources while preserving the hunting heritage.