Thursday, July 31, 2014

The results are in..

Earlier this week the results from the first ever national dove hunters survey were released. A collaborative effort between the USFWS, the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies and the National Flyway Council, the study appears to be a stab at taking the temperature of the dove hunting community. You may have received one of the questionnaires (I did, and yes, I did fill it out). Approximately 30,000 were mailed and about 12,600 were returned.  Those targeted were selected at random from state HIP databases.

Most of the reported results fell short of anything shocking, not that there was a reason to expect otherwise. There were a few interesting bits, though. The average age of respondents was 45, which could mean that teens and early twenties hunters didn't get the survey or didn't have time to fill it out (kids lead such busy lives these days), or it could mean that there just aren't many younger dove hunters. One of those would be bad.

More than half filling out the survey travel at least 50 miles to hunt. That's either a lot of dedication or a way to stretch the time out of the house a bit longer.

And to quote from the FAQ, "More than 85% of respondents “mostly” or “always” use lead shot to hunt doves, and the majority believe that lead shot substitutes are too expensive." If you don't think lead substitutes are expensive, you're probably hunting in Argentina anyway. The switch to non-toxic shot for dove is out there on the horizon somewhere and in the meantime I'll either become a better shot or figure out which day of the week I won't eat.

You can read the full results here.

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