Study shows waterfowlers dropping out

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 8, 2012 - 2:16 AM

There was an uptick in deer and small-game license sales among young Minnesota hunters from 2003 to 2010, but duck numbers went the other way.

hide

A waterfowl hunt in South Dakota

Photo: Dennis Anderson, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

While young Minnesotans appear to increase their interest in pursuing deer and small game during their initial years in the field, the same hunters in significant numbers drop out of waterfowling, according to recent Department of Natural Resources license data reviewed by the Star Tribune.

In a comparison of small-game and deer-hunting license sales with sales of waterfowl stamps over an eight-year period beginning in 2003, young hunters slightly increased their interest in small-game hunting and nearly doubled their participation in deer hunting, according to the DNR data.

Yet license sales to young waterfowl hunters as they aged through the period dropped by nearly 20 percent.

License sales to Minnesota waterfowl hunters have been at or near record lows in recent years, and wildlife managers have struggled to rekindle interest in the sport amid declining duck numbers.

Traditionally, Minnesota has put more duck and goose hunters in the field than any state -- more than 125,000 at one time, compared to about 70,000 now.

In the newspaper's study, significant percentages of middle-age and older waterfowlers whose license purchases also were tracked between 2003 and 2010 dropped out of duck and goose hunting by the end of that period.

Yet as the years progressed, both age groups increased deer-hunting license purchases, and only the older set -- age 58-65 -- bought fewer small-game licenses.

A separate study released Friday by the DNR at its stakeholders meeting in St. Paul suggests that as many as 60 percent of waterfowlers who have dropped out of duck and goose hunting are unlikely to return to the sport unless a son, daughter or other family member shows an interest, or unless duck numbers jump significantly.

The percentage of waterfowlers unlikely to return to the sport might be even higher for young duck and goose hunters who drop out, because they haven't yet fully developed wildfowling traditions.

License sales tracked by the newspaper found that the number of Minnesota hunters who were at age 40 and purchased small-game licenses in 2003 -- 4,615 in all -- didn't decline as that group reached age 47 in 2010.

The same age group increased its deer-hunting license purchases by 10 percent.

Yet about 20 percent fewer of these middle-age hunters purchased state duck stamps when their group was age 47 than when it was age 40.

Hunters who were 58 in 2003 and who bought deer-hunting licenses that year also boosted their ranks by 2010 -- 4,511 to 4,786.

Yet waterfowl-license purchases among that group fell by about a third.

Combined with the DNR's study of lapsed waterfowl hunters, the prospect that the state might see a recovery in waterfowl hunter numbers anytime soon seems, at best, uncertain.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

Cincinnati - M. Leake 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Minnesota - T. May 6:05 PM
Baltimore - M. Gonzalez
NY Yankees - C. Capuano 6:07 PM
Toronto - M. Buehrle
Philadelphia - D. Buchanan 6:10 PM
NY Mets - J. deGrom
Boston - A. Ranaudo 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - C. Archer
Miami - T. Koehler 6:35 PM
Atlanta - E. Santana
Cleveland - D. Salazar 7:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Vargas
Detroit - J. Verlander 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - S. Carroll
Texas - S. Baker 7:10 PM
Houston - B. Oberholtzer
Chicago Cubs - K. Hendricks 7:15 PM
St. Louis - S. Miller
Colorado - C. Bergman 8:40 PM
Arizona - J. Collmenter
Oakland - J. Lester 9:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
Los Angeles - D. Haren 9:10 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Washington - J. Zimmermann 9:10 PM
Seattle - F. Hernandez
Milwaukee - W. Peralta 9:15 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Atlanta 24 FINAL
Jacksonville 14
Detroit 23 FINAL
Buffalo 0
Indianapolis 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 35
Kansas City 14 FINAL
Green Bay 34
NY Jets 7 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
St. Louis 13 FINAL
Miami 14
Carolina 10 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
New England 13 FINAL
NY Giants 16
Washington 24 FINAL
Tampa Bay 10
Baltimore 22 FINAL
New Orleans 13
Chicago 13 FINAL
Cleveland 33
Denver 27 FINAL
Dallas 3
Minnesota 19 FINAL
Tennessee 3
San Francisco 40 FINAL
Houston 13
Arizona 9 FINAL
San Diego 12
Seattle 31 FINAL
Oakland 41
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Houston 7:00 PM
Sporting Kansas City
Ottawa 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 9:00 PM
Phoenix
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close