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The following schedule is subject to change (as of October 11, 2016). Please check back for updates. For more information about this meeting, go to: www.seafwa.org/conferences/2016
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Tuesday, October 18 • 11:20am - 11:40am
Education/Outreach. Impacts of special hunting clinics on the recruitment and retention of youth and young adult hunters in South Carolina

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AUTHORS: Brett Stayton, Clemson University; Lincoln R. Larson, Clemson University; CPT John W. Downer, II, SC Department of Natural Resources; LT Kimberly D. Leverich, SC Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Hunter recruitment and retention is a high priority within the wildlife management community yet hunting participation remains low among youth and young adults, groups whose attitudes and behaviors will substantially impact the future of hunting. Wildlife agencies across the US are therefore introducing a variety of hunting clinics designed to foster mentoring opportunities and skill development. However, little research has evaluated the effects of these clinics on the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of new hunters. Using a longitudinal data collection approach, our study examined the effects of different types of hunting clinics held during 2015-16 in SC: one group clinics targeting youth (n = 77) and their parents/guardians (n = 63), and a special clinic designed for college students (n = 19). Youth clinics primarily attracted individuals already socialized into hunting, though they helped to reinforce positive perceptions of hunting, and produce significant gains in confidence with respect to hunting-related skills. Almost all youth (96%) planned to hunt following the clinic, most of them (86%) with the adult that accompanied them to the clinic. The college student clinic targeted non-hunters (only 14% of attendees had previously hunted) and revealed even more pronounced gains with respect to perceptions of hunting, confidence in hunting-related skills, and ability to overcome hunting barriers. The young adult clinic also increased the likelihood of future hunting participation. As the study continues, we will investigate hunting behaviors one year after the clinics and identify optimal strategies for fostering enduring connections between youth, young adults, and hunting.

Tuesday October 18, 2016 11:20am - 11:40am

Attendees (8)