Declining hunting participation, particularly among young adults, negatively impacts state and federal agencies’ ability to achieve wildlife management objectives and generate revenue for conservation activities. This study focuses on one promising audience - college students – in an attempt to address these declines and build support for hunting and wildlife conservation. It aims to identify opportunities for recruiting new college-aged hunters and retaining or reactivating individuals with previous hunting experience. This will be accomplished by working with multiple state agencies and public universities in a two-phased project to:
Survey diverse undergraduate students at participating universities to assess their hunting-related perceptions and behaviors, highlighting R3 programming and outreach opportunities (beginning Spring 2018), and
Utilize this information to develop, implement, and evaluate R3 workshops for college students without (or with very little) previous hunting experience (beginning Fall 2018).
The project goal is to reveal best practices for cultivating and sustaining positive perceptions of and participation in hunting among college students across geographical and cultural contexts. As a research technician for this project, my duties include:
Working with the project leaders at NC State to synthesize and analyze survey data across all states focused on students’ beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors with respect to hunting and wildlife conservation.
Participating in meetings with the larger project team (including about 40 human dimensions researchers and agency professionals from around the country)
Helping the team with the development of a technical report and outreach materials and sharing important findings with key stakeholder groups (e.g., state wildlife agencies, government officials)