Natural Resources, School of


First Advisor

Christopher Chizinski

Date of this Version



Hinrichs, M. P. (2019). Hunter and Angler Motivations, Preferences, and Barriers to Waterfowl Hunting in the Central United States. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Natural Resource Sciences, Under the Supervision of Professor Christopher Chizinski. Lincoln, Nebraska : February 2019.

Copyright (c) 2019 Matthew P. Hinrichs


Since the mid-1980s, there has been a decrease in individuals participating in waterfowl hunting in the United States. The decline in participation has over-arching consequences for state and federal wildlife agencies in their ability to fund and manage habitat and waterfowl populations. There is a fundamental need to understand why individuals participate in waterfowl hunting and what barriers there are to participating in waterfowl hunting. An online survey was conducted in the summer and fall of 2018 asking waterfowl hunters, anglers, big game hunters, combination users (i.e., hunters that have multiple hunting and fishing permits), and small game hunters about their motivations, barriers toward waterfowl hunting, stated preferences, mentorship, and demographics. Results suggested that all respondents, regardless of the activity they preferred, were strongly motivated by being outside and connecting with nature. In addition, big game hunters were strongly motivated by consumptive motivations, such as eating meat and knowing where their food came from. The most limiting barrier toward waterfowl hunting was land access (i.e., lack of public land and private land access), crowding at hunting locations, and encounters with other hunters. All individuals were likely to increase participation in waterfowl given the scenarios provided but highest ranked scenarios were to hunt an area with a quality hunt or someone to take them hunting. Further, respondents who had never participated in waterfowl hunting were more likely to hunt waterfowl with a mentor who is someone they know (i.e., family, friend, co-worker). The study results provides information on factors associated with hunting participation and future. By understanding multiple attributes of hunters and anglers within the central United States, we gain further insight into participation trends and recreationists needs and expectations, with important implications to the recruitment, retention, and reactivation of hunters and anglers.

Copyright (c) 2019 Christopher Chizinski