As we continue on with this fall’s waterfowl-hunting seasons, the DNR has tallied and released hunter numbers and harvest estimates from 2018. Bottom line: There were fewer small-game hunters in all; fewer duck hunters who harvested more ducks; and more Canada goose hunters who more geese.
Throughout the month we’ll take a closer look at the results, but for now here’s the DNR news release:
2017 small game hunter survey results released
Small game license sales were down about four percent in 2017 compared to the previous year, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources annual small game survey.
Results for 2017 include, by species:
Small game license sales have been declining over time, and this year’s results continue that trend; however, the annual survey does not ask hunters the reasons why they did or did not hunt.
“Given the long-term trends for small game hunting, none of the results are surprising for us,” said James Burnham, hunting and angling recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) coordinator. “Declines in small game hunter numbers show the importance of introducing folks to hunting, and small game hunting offers a tremendous opportunity to show safe and fun hunting practices.”
The DNR aims to increase participation rates in small game hunting by working with conservation partners to show the appeal that small game hunting can have for young adults who already spend time in the outdoors. Efforts will center on serial events that connect new hunters to mentors and get folks out to enjoy the tremendous resources that Minnesota offers. Additionally, the DNR has recently formed a 21-member R3 citizen council to help grow hunting and angling participation and awareness.
More about the DNR’s efforts to increase the numbers of hunters can be found at mndnr.gov/R3.
The DNR annually surveys small game hunters to make estimates of both hunter numbers and harvest trends. For the 2017 season, 7,000 small game license buyers were surveyed of which 4,163 surveys were returned and usable. The complete report is on the DNR website at http://bit.ly/DNRWildlifeResearchReports.