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STATE WILDLIFE AGENCIES RESOURCE ALLOCATION TO HUNTING AND SHOOTING SPORTS PARTICIPANT

RECRUITMENT, RETENTION, AND REACTIVATION (R3) EFFORTS

Introduction
State fish and wildlife agencies rely on a viable population of active and engaged hunting and shooting
sports participants to remain effective in their missions to manage and conserve wildlife and other
natural resources. It is no secret that sportsmen and women have footed the bill for wildlife
conservation and management for decades (Anderson et al, 1985; Schmidt, 1996; Enck et al, 2000;
Jacobson et al, 2006). In 1986, license fees (both fishing and hunting) supported 53% of agency budgets
(Heberlein, 1991). Twenty-five years later, in 2011, revenues from license sales accounted on average
for 48.7% of state wildlife agency budgets (National Shooting Sports Foundation, 2011). Funds from
Federal Excise taxes on sporting arms and equipment accounted for an additional average 25.7% of
those same budgets (National Shooting Sports Foundation, 2011). For nearly three decades, sportsmen
and women have funded close to an average of 75% of agency budgets.
Hunting and shooting sports participation numbers have been declining since the 1980s. Hunting license
sales have dropped by more than two million over the last three decades and as a result, state wildlife
agencies have faced continually decreasing budgets (United States Fish and Wildlife Service Historic
Hunting License Data, 2014b). Agencies depend on hunters and shooting sports participants not only to
fund agency budgets, but also to help manage wildlife populations and to provide political support for
the agencies efforts (Diefenbach and Palmer, 1997; Enck et al, 2000).
Over the last two decades, state fish and wildlife agencies have increasingly recognized the decline in
license sales and responded by developing programs, marketing campaigns and initiating other projects
to try to reverse the trend. Agencies often classify these efforts into categories of participant
recruitment, retention, or reactivation (R3) depending on the goal of the program or initiative. Previous
research by the Wildlife Management Institute (WMI) documented more than 400 programs and efforts
within the United States that have targeted the recruitment, retention, and reactivation of hunters and
shooters (Wildlife Management Institute, 2009). Sections 4 and 10 of the Wildlife Sport Fish Restoration
(WSFR) Program dedicate funds specifically for agencies to conduct both basic and advanced hunter
education programs, which include many of the 400 programs mentioned previously. In 2013 alone,
close to $106,150,000 of Section 4 and Section 10 dollars were allocated to agencies [United States Fish
and Wildlife Services, Hunter Education (WR Program) Funding, 2014a].
Each of these R3 efforts requires allocation of resources for program administration, instruction,
equipment, infrastructure, and evaluation. Ultimately, such efforts may cost more funds than the
revenue that they generate and state agencies risk wasting substantial amounts of resources on
ineffective management practices. If agencies better understood the amount of resources dedicated to
these programs and projects, they could set and work toward goals to increase efficiency and become
more effective in their pursuits to maintain a viable population of hunting and shooting sports
participants.
To begin this process, the amount of resources dedicated to hunting and shooting sports R3 efforts
needed to be quantified. The Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports (CAHSS)
commissioned this survey as the first effort to begin to understand the true amount of resources
expended on R3 programs by state fish and wildlife agencies at a national level. With an organized
approach to quantify resources allocated to R3 efforts, agencies can then begin to evaluate the
effectiveness, efficiency, and cost benefit of using funds for these efforts.
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Methods
This is the first national survey designed to quantify resources dedicated by state fish and wildlife
agencies to hunting and shooting sports participant R3 efforts. Survey authors spent more than twentyfive hours developing drafts of the survey. Questions were designed to document the resources
dedicated to R3 efforts nationwide in fiscal year 2013.
Resources were defined as either actual dollars spent on efforts or the number of full-time employees
working on those efforts. Respondents were asked questions regarding efforts in four categories: hunter
education, hunting R3, archery shooting R3, and firearms shooting R3. These categories were selected
following phone and personal interviews with state fish and wildlife agency employees who administer
hunting and shooting sports programs in their state. The results of these interviews suggested that the
four categories were the most generally applicable across the varying budget processes of the 50 state
agencies.
Financial expenditures were classified into seven activities which included staff salaries, events and
programs, infrastructure, research, evaluation, marketing and communications, and other. These
activities were defined based on the format of the most widely used federal grant applications from
state agencies and later refined from input submitted by state R3 program managers. Definitions of the
activities are included in Table 1 in Appendix A. Expenditures were quantified in $10,000 increments.
Survey authors decided that this would provide an adequate level of resolution to review allocations to
the different activities and categories while requiring minimal effort for survey respondents to estimate
expenditures. Full-time equivalents (FTE) were calculated based on a 2,080 hour work year, similar to
the methods state agencies use to report on federal grants through the WSFR program.
After the initial draft of the survey was complete, a group of select state fish and wildlife agency
employees reviewed the draft to ensure question clarity and adequacy in quantifying resources. The
result of these efforts was an eleven-question survey on budget allocations, full-time employee
responsibilities and funding sources. A copy of the survey is included Appendix B of this report.
The web-based survey instrument, Survey Monkey was used to administer the survey. Representatives
of the 50 state fish and wildlife agencies received an invitation to complete the survey electronically.
Invited participants were selected based on their positions within the 50 agencies. WMI and CAHSS
provided an initial list of contact information. Most employees were responsible for administering
hunting and shooting sports R3 programs in each respective state. CAHSS drafted and sent a letter
regarding the survey and encouraging agency participation to all 50 state fish and wildlife agency
executive directors as well. Over time, this list was further refined until all 50 states were contacted with
an initial survey invitation. A copy of the letter to the executive directors from CAHSS is attached in
Appendix C.
Respondents had approximately eight days from the initial invitation to complete the survey online and
received two reminder emails for survey completion thereafter. Phone calls were made to nonrespondents approximately four weeks after the initial invitation. Survey administrators and CAHSS staff
continually contacted participants until a response was received from all 50 state fish and wildlife
agencies.

If a state representative elected to opt out of participating in the survey, he or she was asked to
recommend another person in the agency to complete the questionnaire. In several cases, a team of
employees worked together to collect the survey data and then submitted one response on behalf of
their state agency. States often requested additional electronic formats of the survey to facilitate this
collaboration and were provided both Microsoft Word and Excel documents.
All responses were downloaded from Survey Monkey and entered into Microsoft Excel for analysis.
More than 45% of survey respondents received an email or phone call after submitting their results to
clarify responses. Most queries concerned a discrepancy in the reported number of hours a full or parttime employee worked in a week. Additionally, some states listed employees as working more than an
equivalent of 100% between the different R3 categories and, as a result, were asked to revise their
submissions. After these clarifications were made, respondents received a copy of their individual
response to ensure accuracy in final data collection.
Throughout these exchanges, survey administrators extended every effort not to influence states
responses. Administrators clarified terms, definitions and intent of questions. However, when states
asked assistance in categorizing efforts or budget expenditures, survey administrators refrained from
filtering responses.
After all responses were entered into Excel, survey results were pooled and analyzed at the regional and
national level. At no time will results be reported on at the individual state level, per the request of
CAHSS and individual state agencies. A previous study conducted by WMI in 2009 classified states into
four regions (Wildlife Management Institute, 2009). For comparison purposes, this schema was also
used for the analysis of the results of this survey. Please note, these regions are subjective and not
classified by any other factors such as population or hunting license sales. Regions include:
Midwest
CO
IA
IL
IN
KS
KY
MI
MN
MO
ND
NE
OH
SD

Northeast
CT
DE
MA
MD
ME
NH
NJ
NY
PA
RI
VT
WV

Southeast
AL
AR
FL
GA
LA
MS
NC
OK
SC
TN
TX
VA

Western
AK
AZ
CA
HI
ID
MT
NM
NV
OR
UT
WA
WY

WI
Results were analyzed in the four categories of R3 efforts previously mentioned, as well as individual
activities to evaluate differences in resource allocations. The surveys final question asked respondents
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to address any questions or concerns with the survey itself. These comments are included in Appendix D
and will be further discussed in the Discussion and Recommendation portion of this report.
Results
Total Budget Allocations
Respondents were asked to quantify resources based on the four categories: hunter education, hunting
R3 efforts, archery shooting R3 efforts, and firearm shooting R3 efforts. In FY 2013, state fish and wildlife
agencies together spent more than $24,570,000 on hunting, archery shooting and firearm shooting R3
efforts. State agencies spent an additional $37,560,000, or 1.5 times as much, on hunter education
efforts. Figure 1 reports the percent of cumulative resources allocated to the different categories.
Figure 1. Percent of cumulative resources allocated by state fish and wildlife agencies to hunting, archery
shooting and firearm shooting R3 and hunter education efforts.

Figure 2 reports the regional allocations of resources specifically to the R3 categories. Regionally, the
midwestern states spent the most on combined R3 efforts dedicating more than $10,000,000. The
midwestern states also spent the most dollars on archery and firearms shooting efforts and spent
slightly less than the southeastern states on hunting R3 efforts. The southeastern states contributed the
most to hunter education efforts too, surpassing the midwestern states total amount by about
$1,000,000.

Figure 2. Regional* allocations of resources to R3 efforts by state fish and wildlife agencies (does not
include hunter education).

Figure 3 reports the distribution of dollars for all R3 efforts into the seven different possible activities.
Approximately 60% of the total resources allocated were dedicated to staff salaries, events and
programs. Agencies spent, on average, approximately $195,000 on staff, or salaries. Less than 2%, or
$390,000, was dedicated to program research and evaluation.
Figure 3. Distribution of dollars for R3 efforts by state fish and wildlife agencies by budget activity.

Total Full-Time Equivalent Allocation


Figure 4 shows the number of full-time equivalent (FTEs) employees dedicated to each of the R3 efforts
and hunter education. Cumulatively, agencies allocated 383.4 total FTEs, or 797,472 hours, to R3 efforts.
These hours were reported for 532 different positions. FTEs were reported in 0.25 increments or 520
hours and were calculated based on a 2,080 hour total work year.
Figure 4. Number of full-time equivalent state fish and wildlife agency employees per R3 and hunter
education efforts.

Figure 5 depicts the distribution of FTEs dedicated to hunting, archery shooting, and firearms shooting
R3 efforts by region. The southeastern region dedicated more staff to R3 efforts than any other region.
Reported employees represented a variety of positions including media staff, game biologists and
hunter recruitment specialists.
Figure 5. Distribution of FTEs among R3 efforts by regions*.

Hunting R3 Resource Allocations


Figure 6 shows the distribution of funds to hunting R3 efforts by the 50 state fish and wildlife agencies. A
majority of the $8,850,000 spent on hunting R3 efforts was dedicated to staff salaries, which accounted
for nearly 50% of total dollars dedicated to this category. Less than 5% of the entire allocation,
approximately $340,000, was allocated to the research and evaluation of the agencies hunting R3
efforts. This is the greatest amount spent on these two combined categories of all R3 and hunter
education efforts.
Figure 6. Total dollars allocated by state fish and wildlife agencies for hunting R3 efforts.

Figure 7 shows the distribution of funds allocated to firearms shooting R3 efforts. Almost 40% of the
budget was dedicated to infrastructure, by far the most money dedicated to this section among any of
the R3 categories. Firearms R3 efforts had the least amount of money allocated to research, evaluation,
and marketing and communication.
Figure 7. Total dollars allocated by state fish and wildlife agencies for firearms shooting R3 efforts.

Figure 8 shows the distribution of funds allocated to archery shooting R3 efforts. Similar to the firearms
R3 efforts category, a large percentage of resources for archery R3 efforts were dedicated to
infrastructure. The distribution of archery R3 resources reflects similar portions dedicated to staff
salaries, and events and programs as hunting R3 efforts. However, these two activities equal $1.57
million less in total archery R3 allocations than in total hunting R3 allocations.
Figure 8. Total dollars allocated by state fish and wildlife agencies for archery shooting R3 efforts.

Figure 9 reports the distribution of funds across the seven activities of state agencies hunter education
allocations. Approximately 75% of the all dollars, $29,505,000, were dedicated to staff salaries and
events and programs. This amount alone is greater than all resources allocated to the combined R3
efforts. Finally, even less is spent on research and evaluation for hunter education programs than R3
program efforts with less than 0.75% dedicated.
Figure 4. Total dollars allocated by state fish and wildlife agencies for hunter education efforts.

Funding Sources for Hunting and Shooting Sports R3 Efforts and Hunter Education
State fish and wildlife agencies fund their R3 and hunter education efforts with a variety of sources.
Figure 10 demonstrates the different sources of funding that state agencies use to support their hunting
and shooting sports R3 efforts as well as hunter education. Hunter Education is mostly funded using
Section 4 of Federal Aid and then in-kind match. In contrast, R3 efforts are funded through a mixture of
sources. Firearms R3 specifically receive a large portion of shooting range revenue. Few states receive a
state appropriation of tax dollars.
Figure 10. Funding sources for state wildlife agencies hunting and shooting sports R3 efforts and hunter
education programs.

Conclusions

State fish and wildlife agencies reported spending $24,570,000 on hunting and shooting sports
R3 efforts in Fiscal Year 2013.

There are differences in amounts spent and FTEs dedicated to hunting and shooting sports R3
efforts across the regions. States in the southeast region dedicate the most FTEs to hunting and
shooting sports R3 efforts. In contrast, the states in the Midwest region allocate more dollars to
combined R3 efforts than other regions in the nation.

In general, states spent the most on firearms R3 efforts; spending $950,000 more than hunting
R3 efforts and $298,000 more than archery R3 efforts.

Less than 2% of combined resources allocated to R3 efforts, or $390,000 of $24,570,000, were


dedicated to research and evaluation activities.

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It appears that states are still largely relying on federal funding sources for their hunting and
shooting sports R3 efforts. Approximately one third of state fish and wildlife agencies reported
using external grant dollars to fund these R3 efforts.

Recommendations
This is the first attempt to quantify resources allocated to hunting and shooting sports recruitment,
retention and reactivation efforts by all 50 state fish and wildlife agencies. The numbers reported here
can serve as baseline data for future surveys to compare trends as states progress and further develop
their R3 strategies.
It is important to note that all data in this survey were compiled from responses provided by agency
employees. In many instances, no one individual had access to all of the necessary information and may
have relied upon estimates or data from a third party. Thus, the quantities and categorization within this
study should be considered as a first approximation. At present, the level of accuracy of the reported
allocations dedicated to R3 efforts by state fish and wildlife agencies remains unknown. In the final
question of the survey, states were offered an opportunity to comment on the survey and provide
recommendations to improve it for the next iteration. A few themes emerged from these suggestions.
Overall, states are still struggling to separate their hunter education efforts from their hunting and
shooting sports R3 efforts. As states continue to improve their R3 strategies, it is probable that the
division between these areas will become more defined, but for the responses supplied in this survey,
participants indicated that the line between R3 efforts and hunter education is not always clear.
Survey administrators defined the R3 categories and resource divisions for this initial trial. Comments
were collected from a test group of state agency employees and the activities were refined to reflect the
structure of most state budgets; however, some states still reported that the selected budget activities
provided a challenge to encapsulate their actual funding structure. Numerous participants stated that
the numbers reported were only estimates. Fortunately, most participants mentioned that they would
be willing to record their expenditures in specific categories if the categories were provided prior to the
beginning of a fiscal year. This is encouraging as this could provide for a platform for long-term data
collection which would improve accuracy and consistency of results across the 50 different states.
It is important to note that the results of future surveys may fluctuate in accepted budget categories as
federal funding sources fluctuate. Fiscal year 2013 saw an increase of $26,000,000 in Section 4 and
Section 10 allocations of the WSFR program over fiscal year 2012 (USFWS 2014a). A few states reported
that they were investing this money in and/or constructing ranges. This may be the reason why firearms
R3 efforts totaled close to $1,000,000 more than hunting R3 efforts. In future surveys, hunting R3 efforts
might have more resources dedicated to it than other R3 categories. Participants also noted that they
are developing and rewriting their WSFR grants and, as a result, FTE and budget numbers could change.
Finally, by an overwhelming margin, participants indicated that they would prefer to report employee
work responsibilities at a 10% allocation rather than at 25%. Survey administrators selected the 25%
allocation with the goal of capturing employees who were specifically dedicated to hunting and shooting
sports R3 efforts. This separation of responsibility levels is important when evaluating resources
dedicated to these efforts. At the 10% designation, positions such as wildlife biologists and wildlife
conservation officers are eligible to be included. While numerous staff positions are valuable to an
agencys overall R3 strategy, survey developers agreed that there is a distinct difference between an
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employee that occasionally invests time into activities versus an employee whose job description
specifically assigns responsibilities to recruit, retain, or reactivate new hunters or shooting sports
participants. Surveyors should consider the robustness of hourly allocations to R3 efforts and the
reliability of respondents to calculate accurately them.
More studies will be needed to continue to record and analyze resource allocation to hunting and
shooting sports R3 efforts. As states refine their R3 efforts, they will better understand the relationship
between resource allocation and success in recruitment, retention, and reactivation. In the future,
agencies should set and work toward goals to increase efficiency and become more effective in their
pursuits to maintain a viable population of hunting and shooting sports participants.

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References
Anderson, M.W., Reiling, S.D., and Criner, G.K. (1985).Consumer demand theory and wildlife agency
revenue structure. Wildlife Society Bulletin 13(4): 375-384.
Diefenbach, D.J., and Palmer, W.R. (1997).Deer management: marketing the science. Wildlife Society
Bulletin 25: 378-381.
Enck, J.W., Decker, D.J., and Brown, T.L. (2000).Status of hunter recruitment and retention in the United
States. Wildlife Society Bulletin 28(4): 817-824.*
Heberlein, T.A. (1991). Changing attitudes and funding for wildlife preserving the sport hunter. Wildlife
Society Bulletin 19(4): 528-534.
Jacobson, C.A. and Decker, D.J. (2006).Ensuring the future of state wildlife management:
understanding challenges for institutional change. Wildlife Society Bulletin 34(2):531-536.
Jacobson, C.A., Organ, J.F., Decker, D.J, Batcheller, G.R., and Carpenter, L. (2010). Journal of Wildlife
Management 74(2): 203-209.
National Shooting Sports Foundation (2011).Hunters Pocket Fact Card.
http://nssf.org/PDF/HunterFactCard.pdf.
National Shooting Sports Foundation (2007). Best Practices Workbook for Hunting and Shooting
Recruitment and Retention.
http://www.nssf.org/BestPractices/PDF/BestPracticesWorkbook.pdf
Olsen, A. (1992). A survey of hunting fishing youth incentive programs. Economic values and
participation trends committee. Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, 5-12 July
1992. Scottsdale, Arizona. USA.
Prukop.J. and Regan, R.J. (2005). In My Opinion: The value of the North American model of wildlife
conservation an International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies position. Wildlife
Society Bulletin 33(1): 374-377.
Responsive Management (2011).Effectiveness of hunting, shooting, and fishing recruitment and
retention programs. http://www.responsivemanagement.com/download/reports/
R&R_Evaluation_Report.pdf
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Schmidt, R.H. (1996). A modest proposal to assist in maintenance of a hunting culture. Wildlife Society
Bulletin 24(2): 373-375.
United States Fish and Wildlife Service (2014a). Hunter Education (WR Program) Funding.
Updated 25 Apr 2014. http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/GrantPrograms/
HunterEd/HE_Funding.html.
United States Fish and Wildlife Services (2014b).Historical Hunting License Data. Updated 25 Apr
2014. http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/LicenseInfo/Hunting.htm
Wildlife Management Institute (2009). Recruitment and Retention Assessment Survey Report.
http://www.huntingheritage.org/sites/default/files/hunting_rr_report_highlights.pdf

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Appendix A
Table 1. Definitions of budget activities.
Section

Description

Staff Salaries

Compensation for employees for efforts related to hunter education, hunter


R3, archery shooting R3, and firearms shooting R3 efforts.

Events and Programs

Funds used to conduct events and programs specifically designed to create or


educate new hunting license buyers, to increase license purchases among
existing license buyers, or to reactivate lapsed license buyers.

Infrastructure

Funds used to develop educational facilities, shooting ranges, etc. necessary to


carry out hunter education or R3 efforts.

Research

Funds used to conduct surveys, focus groups, etc. to better understand trends
in hunting participation, license-buying habits, etc.

Evaluation

Marketing and
Communication
Other

Funds used to measure progress and other metrics of programs, events and
activities, including evaluating conversion rates of program participants to
license buyers, etc.
Funds used to promote hunting participation and license sales and relay
information to targeted audiences, including email communication campaigns,
social media costs, etc.
Any other costs that cannot be included in the previous activities.

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Appendix B
Questions used in survey to collect data on resource allocation to hunting and shooting sports R3
efforts.
Please provide the following information as it relates to your position with your agency.
Name:
Agency:
Position Title:
Address 1:
City:
State:
Zip:
Email Address:
Phone Number:
What division, department, or section of your agency do you work in?
Law Enforcement
Information and Education
Wildlife Management
Fisheries
Licensing
Other:
Please list the number of hours a week your agency officially allocates for full-time and part-time positions.
Full-time:
Part-time:
Does your agency have an official strategic plan for any of the following R3 efforts?
Hunting R3:
Archery Shooting R3:
Firearms Shooting R3:

Yes
Yes
Yes

No
No
No

Does your agency have a formal team of employees (more than 2) that are devoted to planning,
advising or managing your agencys R3 efforts?
Yes
No
If yes, who is on this team? (Please select all that apply.)
Administration
Wildlife Biologist/Resource Manager
Law Enforcement Staff
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Hunter Education Staff


Outreach Staff
Marketing Staff
Human Dimensions Staff
Non-agency/organization staff
Other (please specify)
Personnel Resource Allocation
Please consider all of the individuals within your agency who dedicate 25% or more of their staff time to
efforts for hunter education, hunting R3, archery shooting R3 and firearms shooting R3. Please list each
position in the left-hand table, and, in the right-hand table, select the annual percentage of that
individuals time which is dedicated to each effort. Please remember to list both full and part-time
employees. These would include assistants, interns and contractors that actively conduct programs,
events and activities for your agency. Please note that staff time dedicated by law enforcement officers
(i.e. wildlife conservation officers or game wardens) will be quantified in the next question.
An example is below:

Please indicate below the total approximate number of hours per individual per year that law
enforcement officers (i.e., wildlife conservation officers or game wardens) dedicate to all
hunting/shooting sports R3 efforts and hunter education:

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For this survey, financial expenditures for FY 2013 are separated into the six activities as follows:
Staff Salaries: Compensation for employees for efforts related to hunter education, hunter R3, archery
shooting R3 and firearms shooting R3.
Events and Programs: Funds used to conduct events and programs specifically designed to create or
educate new hunting license buyers, to increase license purchases among existing license buyers, or to
reactivate lapsed license buyers.
Infrastructure: Funds used to develop educational facilities, shooting ranges, etc. necessary to carry out
hunter education or R3 efforts.
Research: Funds used to conduct surveys, focus groups, etc. to better understand trends in hunting
participation, license-buying habitats, etc.
Evaluation: Funds used to measure progress and other metrics of programs, events and activities,
including evaluating conversion rates of program participants to license buyers, etc.
Marketing and communication: Funds used to promote hunting participation and license sales and relay
information to targeted audiences, including email communication campaigns, social media costs, etc.
For each category listed (hunter education, hunting R3, archery shooting R3 and firearms shooting
R3), please select (to the nearest $10,000) how much your agency spends on the activities below:

Please indicate the sources your agency used to fund your hunting education, hunting R3, archery
shooting R3, and firearms shooting R3 efforts in your state in FY 2013. (Select all that apply.)

Do you have any other comments about this survey or additional information that you would like to
include?
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Appendix C
Letter addressed to Executive Directors of 50 state fish and wildlife agencies from Council to Advance
Hunting and the Shooting Sports seeking participation in survey.
Dear Sir or Madam,
The Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports has developed a survey to quantify the
resources (staff time and funds) state fish and wildlife agencies allocate to recruit, retain, and reactivate
participants in hunting and shooting sports. Although the number of hunting and shooting sports
recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) programs offered by state agencies has been well
documented, there is little national-level information about the real investments state fish and wildlife
agencies have made into R3 programs. For this reason, the Council to Advance Hunting and the
Shooting Sports is seeking to survey all 50 state agencies to begin to quantify what resources are being
allocated to hunting and shooting R3 programs. The Council would like to assist states by collecting data
on how, as a nation, we invest in hunting and shooting R3 programs. The results of this survey will
provide extremely valuable information which will serve as a foundation for the development of the
National Hunting and Shooting Sports Action Plan.
As a representative of your state agency, we are asking you to complete this brief 11-question survey to
report your state's individual allocated resources. Your agency Director has been sent a letter from the
Council inviting your states participation. The survey should not take more than 30 minutes of your time.
All 50-state fish and wildlife agencies will be asked to complete this survey. Your responses in this survey
are voluntary; however, your full cooperation is appreciated. Please note that you will likely need the
assistance of other employees to complete some of the survey questions. However, please be sure that
only one survey response is submitted for your state. You can begin the survey at the link below.
For the purposes of this survey, recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) programs have been
separated into three categories; hunting R3 programs, archery shooting R3 programs, and firearms
shooting R3 programs. Hunter education is also addressed in several of the survey questions.
A summary of the survey results will be provided to participating states after the results have been
recorded and reviewed. Individual state responses will remain completely confidential. If you have
any questions regarding this survey, please contact Samantha Pedder at: spedder37@gmail.com.
Thank you for your time to complete this survey. Your participation is greatly appreciated.
Sincerely,
John E. Frampton
President/CEO
Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports
444 North Capitol Street, NW , Suite 725
Washington, DC 20001Office Phone: 202 624-3600
Cell Phone (Preferred): 202 308-0873
Fax: 202 624-7891
Email: jframpton@fishwildlife.org

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Appendix D
Final comments from survey respondents. Information that identifies individuals or agencies has been
removed to maintain confidentiality of survey respondents.
#

Response
1

The Safety Education Section of the Natural Resources Police has historically always been the
provider of Hunter Education since the program was officially adopted in 1966. The Safety
Education Section works with the Wildlife & Heritage Service in regards to R3 efforts. But our
main focus (NRP) is providing Hunter Education.
In salaries section, figures include salaries, fringe and indirect.

The employee time and dollar amounts for choices were not all that useful. We have 10% of our
time, etc. and over 1,000,000 spent on activities but those choices were not there. Just keep that
in mind when looking at results.

R3 is more than Outreach and Education Programs Although I clicked yes on us having R3
Programs, we dont call our programs R3, because the making of a hunter, angler or recreational
shooter is more than just a program and so much more goes into our efforts. Yes we have NASP,
STEP, Explore Bowhunting, Explore Bowfishing, Hunter Education, Hunter Education in the
Schools, Fishing in the Schools, the FFA Clay Target Program and our Scholastic Shooting Sports
Program all being offered. However, these programs prepare students/participants for the next
step which is their decision to become a hunter, recreational shooter or angler. Programs dont
recruit, retain or really even reactivate hunters. They can be the spark, but the slogan It Takes
One to Make One rains true in regards to hunters or shooters. Very few people take up a sport or
activity without someone to go do it with. Hardly any wake up one morning and decide they want
to go hunting and become a lifelong hunter. They may try it for a while, but most lifelong
participants were introduced by others who are also lifelong participants. Programs can generate
the spark or beginning interest within someone, but they need someone to show them the ropes
and they need that person to be close to them. History and research tells us that the majority of
hunters/shooters are introduced by a male father figure or family member. The problem with
mentoring programs developed by state fish and wildlife agencies are that they often are single
hunt or introduction programs. A true mentoring program requires commitment for several years
if there is any hope for high success of lifelong commitment. They are incredibly costly and that is
why most are involved in one-day guided hunts versus a true mentoring program. Programs are
thought of by many as the means to correct the issue facing fish and wildlife agencies today.
Reality is pretty much everything we do as wildlife agency is done to recruit, retain and reactivate
hunters, shooters or anglers. When we spend money on deer management, the reasons are two
fold: 1. Management of the resource. 2. Providing opportunity (recruit, retain, reactivate) for
current and future constituents to hunt deer. States have different management strategies and
often get trapped into managing for the highest user group. When it comes to R3, you have to
manage for the lowest user group because they deserve the same right of progression that
todays lifelong die hard hunters are at. We have made lots of changes to our hunting seasons
over the last 20 years, we have also made significant changes to our hunter education law. We
have not been shy about making the changes because we realize that our current and future
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constituents are required by law to have hunter education. We have changed our HE law no fewer
than five times over the last ten years. We were pro-active when it came to home study being an
alternative 15 years ago, we decreased the hours when many were increasing their hours. We
jumped on board with offering opportunities to hunt as an apprentice. We didnt just limit
hunters to one year. Anyone 30 or under can hunt as apprentice every year if they want until they
reach the age of 31 and become exempt. We have our own free on-line course now for residents
10 years of age and above. No class time or field time required. We created our own curriculum
so it fit better into an in-school program. None of the above items was easy and it took support
from the top for us to accomplish these things. However, those that are simply operating under
business as usual are now finding themselves in a situation where they are facing declining hunter
numbers. We are one of 20 states that showed an increase in certified license sales from
20042013. We are one of nine states that the increase was more than a 20,000 increase. During
this same period, there were 11 states that saw declines in certified sales from 20,000 to almost
200,000. It isnt because states dont have programs that fit under the R3 definition. Declines and
stability are due to a lot of factors. This survey only allows states to look at one small part of what
should be their R3 efforts. Streamlining/simplifying regulations, liberal youth only seasons,
providing opportunity versus decreasing or limiting opportunity by creating trophy regulated
areas, etc. have all played a role I am sure in participation over the last ten years in every other
state. In States case minor tweaks along the way have improved the quality of hunting for
virtually every species within the state and it has been through sound outreach efforts that we
have become a state that not only offers tremendous opportunity, but we also offer quality. We
have just over 300 employees within our agency and every single person is involved in what you
term R3 efforts. The responsibility doesnt just fall on the shoulders of a few. It falls on every staff
member and it starts at the top. We are extremely lucky in that our agency is small and governed
by a commission that oversees our funds. Our administrative staff comes from within the agency
and supports every effort to recruit, retain and reactivate hunters/shooters. They understand that
it takes more than a program to do so, but have dedicated lots of funds and staff time to ensuring
that we as an agency work together on every effort. As an example of just three programs that
could be considered R3 we have over 16,050 hours of time at a minimum from all staff (Wildlife
Expo, Archery in Schools Regional/state Shoots and our Scholastic Shooting Sports Shoot). As I
said it is imperative that R3 not just be considered programs. You must look at everything that
your agency does and determine where it fits. I.E. we have spent millions of dollars on purchasing
hundreds of thousands of acres of public hunting areas over the last 20 years. Those dollars are
being spent to purchase lands that will provide thousands of hunters an opportunity and place to
go hunting. If these lands had not been made available, there is no doubt that some of the people
hunting on them would have quit hunting because of no place to go. Providing a place to hunt,
allowing adequate time with liberal limits and realizing that the majority of people that hunt only
have about five days annually to spend afield is incredibly important. Laws to decrease limits and
opportunity get passed every year for fear that overharvest is going to take place. Sometimes it is
due to the agency, but often the change is brought on due to the most vocal/avid hunters who
want it better for themselves. Communication is a tremendous part of R3. Still today, there is
nothing better than in-person question and answer programs. It gives agencies an opportunity to
explain the importance of offering more opportunity versus decreasing it. It allows for people to
hear opinions of others versus just their closest friends who are like them and it gives constituents
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a great opportunity to interact with agency personnel. THERE IS NO MAGIC PROGRAM OR BULLET
other than realizing that everything we do should be done for two reasons: 1. Management of a
viable resource. 2. R3 - Provide our current and future constituents with the maximum
opportunity that the resource can support, because the average hunter has a limited amount of
time to go so it needs to be worth his or her time to continue to go. Feel free to contact me for
more information.
The dollar amounts were an estimate since we don't break it down in the categories listed in
survey.

The 25% minimum was a bit high I think. We do archery and shooting R3 outreach, but not at a
rate of 25% of anybody's time. Also, we don't budget by R3 categories. Rather, R3 activities are
funded out of the general HE budget (and some license funds as well). For me, this survey
highlights that we may want to think differently about how we structure our budgets.

We have 9 education program staff that are not included in question 8. They are regional
education coordinators and 66% of their time is allocated to Hunter Education.
The enforcement officer question did not allow enough hours. We spend $130,000 in personnel
dollars specifically to pay conservation officer 'game warden' time to teach hunter education
classes, field days and guest speaking appearances.
All paid Hunter Education Staff work 90% Hunter Education / 10% other duties per USFWS PR
Grant.
90% was not an option in survey
I know this is intended to be a 30,000 ft analysis I would have preferred to be able to input actual
percentages in some areas rather than having to go by pre-determined levels. for example, we
have some staff time devoted to archery (e.g., 5%) and other aspects of the survey but were not
able to include it. In aggregate across positions and across the country those smaller percentages
could add up.
Please see spreadsheet I sent via email with additional staff and number of law enforcement
officers. I am not able to calculate operating dollars spent on research and evaluation at this time,
however we have staff who do this. I didn't want to say "zero" but don't have a good handle on
that at this time.

10

11

12
13

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Our hunter education budget includes recruitment and retention activities. Hard to separate.
We do not have long term strategic plans for HR3. We have short, flexible, adaptable, annual
objectives because we are focused on learning what works. There's little sense in locking yourself
into a plan for the ages when we have little strategic data to guide that planning. In the interest of
brevity: we have allocated over $3 million to HR3 and HE in the past 3 years, the vast majority of it
to HE and shooting range work. I did not have time to make a detailed quantification of this but
went off of our budget allocation exercises.
We have a separate R3 grant that is currently being totally rewritten to reflect current data. There
are multiple people listed on the grant but none of them charge more than 25% of their time.
There also has been no research and evaluation component of the grant which is the main reason
for the rewrite. Many of the programs/activities that have been previously charged to the grant
really are not R3.

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15

The budget breakdown in budget items is an estimation. Many forms of revenue listed are used
across different program areas and difficult to break out how much goes to each category listed.

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There are certain components within our hunter education program that qualify as R3 efforts but
we are unable to break that down into quantifiable amounts.
These numbers were took more guesswork than I would have liked. We just don't track our
budget in a manner that allows me to be confident in the answers to the survey questions. If you
are interested in setting out at the beginning of a Fiscal Year to track this type of information, I'd
be willing to help and the data would be much more accurate. I also struggled with the personnel
resources allocation section of the survey because the answers were limited to just a few
percentages.

17

18
19

20

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I do not have much of the information you are requesting.


These numbers are estimated to the best of our knowledge. The officers numbers are estimated
as well. The other information I am pretty confident in. 16. Education Assistant Part time all
hunter R3 Shooting ranges included in hunter education.
Law Enforcement Officers: 853 sworn LE personnel; unable to estimate hours dedicated per year
to R3 programs; 1500 hours dedicated per year to hunter education. Information for table on
Personnel Resource Allocation will be provided by email. We had 22 positions and there was only
room for 15.
In FY13 there were not a lot of R3 activities underway in Iowa. Since then more effort has been
put towards these activities. Also actual budget categories do not match up well with the
categories in this survey. When asking to go two fiscal years back the detail you are asking for is
not easily captured as a lot of the categories are lumped together and without pulling old invoices
and manually adding them up it is hard to separate out what costs where for specific program
efforts. In regards to salary Hunter Education & Hunting related R3 are combined currently. To be
able to track these expenses more accurately it would be easier to have the categories up front at
the beginning of a fiscal year to be able to achieve a better picture of the actual expenses versus
estimates. Under firearms budget this also includes operational/salary expenses of 3 shooting
ranges we operate on some level.

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Thanks!
Thank you for tackling this at the national level.
16.Hunter & Boater LE Education Regional Coordinator (Reg 4) Full-Time 75% Hunter Ed 17.Hunter
& Boater LE
Education Regional Coordinator (Reg 4) Full-Time 75% Hunter Ed OTHER RELATED STAFF: 18.
Shooting
Range Coordinator FULL-TIME 100% HE 19. Range Safety Officer Full-Time 100% HE 20. Range
Safety Officer
Full-Time 100% HE **SHOOTING RANGE STAFF ARE PAID THROUGH HUNTER EDUCATION
FUNDING AS
A PART OF SECTION 4 FUNDS. ANNUAL BUDGET FOR RANGE MANAGEMENT AND RANGE
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DEVELOPMENT IS $250,000. THIS INCLUDES SALARIES FOR THE THREE STAFF LISTED ABOVE.
The instructions are confusing based on the requirement to include individuals that spent 25% or
more of their time on, for example, hunter education. The percentage breakdown in the next
page columns were 0, 25, 33, etc. and these do not reflect the % time our staff spent - ours was
often 10%. Consequently, we selected 25% when it was often 10%, because 0% was not an
option. The request was not reflective of the actual for our situation- we approximated the
numbers for what has been submitted here. Also, there is debate internally as to what all
constitutes recruitment and retention when many of our activities including BOW, Conservation
Camp, Youth Shotgun League and other events we host and participate in clearly have R3
implications even when they are not directly related to Hunter Education, firearms, or archery.
Strategic plan for R3 activities is in draft status. All financial info are rough estimates from FY
2014. LE employee numbers listed are for HE activities- LE employee numbers that participated in
R3 activities is 31. Budget information on evaluation and research unavailable in FY 2014

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