Title:  Predicting Whether Landowners Choose to Allow Hunting on Their Property
Author(s): Conner R. Burke - North Carolina State University; Nils Peterson - North Carolina State University; Chris Moorman - North Carolina State University; Chris DePerno - North Carolina State University; Chris Serenari - North Carolina Wildlife Resources; David Sawyer - North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
Year: 2016
Abstract: The long-term feasibility of recreational hunting as the primary means of game species management depends on urban sprawl and landowner preferences. We expand efforts to model landowner decisions about allowing hunting by considering small properties and geographic variables. We surveyed North Carolina landowners (N=1,525), and used binary logistic regression to identify key geographic, social, and demographic variables that best predicted whether properties were hunted. Housing and road density slightly increased around hunted properties. Odds of hunting were 2.3 times higher on properties owned more than 30 years compared to properties that had changed ownership recently. Properties used to earn income, and those owned by older landowners were more likely to be hunted. Landowners who grew up in rural environments were more likely to allow hunting on the properties they now own (odds ratio = 1.4). Property size had a weak negative relationship with whether a property was hunted, suggesting that it may be less important than previously believed and future research should ensure it is not confounded with duration of property ownership. Our sensitivity analysis suggested a geographic radius of 1.24 miles around properties produced the best-fit model. Future research will explore non-linear relationships with independent variables and modeling multiple geographic scales simultaneously. These findings should help wildlife management agencies by identifying areas where regulated hunting may have limited management effects and also highlight where efforts to protect hunting access are most critical in a rapidly changing landscape.

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