Presenter: Howie Harshaw, PhD, Associate Professor
University of Alberta
We surveyed Canadian waterfowl hunters in November 2016—January 2017 (n = 1280) to better understand their hunting trip preferences using a discrete choice experiment. Canadian waterfowl hunters prefer bigger harvests (six birds), journey times of one hour or less, easy to moderate site access, seeing upwards of 250 birds on shoot days, and experiencing none to medium levels of competition. We identified 6 latent classes of Canadian waterfowl hunters (2 more than we found at a continental scale). We did not identify any significant variation between the classes in terms of the distributions of age, income, number of days hunted, self-identification as a conservationist, and hunting bag preferences. Canadian waterfowl hunter preferences seem to be similar to those of North American waterfowl hunters. Canadian hunters have less strong preferences for six-bird harvests than the lower U.S. states. Although there is variation in preference for harvest size between the flyways at a continental level, this flyway variation is not evident among Canadian waterfowl hunters. Implications for the management of waterfowl hunting in Canada will be discussed, including strategies to increase waterfowl hunting participation.