Natural Resources, School of


Date of this Version



Wildlife Society Bulletin 45:4 (December 2021), pp. 638–646.

doi: 10.1002/wsb.1241


Copyright © 2021 The Wildlife Society. Published by Wiley. Used by permission.


Waterfowl hunting participation has been on the decline since the mid‐1980s. We used a web‐based survey to better understand waterfowl hunting constraints (i.e., factors that limit or prohibit participation and enjoyment in leisure activities) among hunters and anglers that hunted or did not hunt waterfowl in the central United States. Forty‐eight constraint items were condensed into 10 constraint factors: Rules and Regulations, Waterfowl Identification, Cost, Waterfowl Hunting Skills, Land Access and Permissions, Interference by Other Hunters, Travel, Social, Waterfowl Populations, and Views of Others. We observed significant effects of both state of residence and activity type (i.e., frequent waterfowl hunters, sporadic waterfowl hunters, dissociated waterfowl hunters, non‐waterfowl hunters, and anglers) but the effect sizes were mostly small. There were few meaningful differences between constraints based on state of residence, indicating that the perception of constraints was largely consistent among the states included in our study. However, Social, Waterfowl Identification, and Waterfowl Hunting Skills constraints had greater differences, particularly between frequent waterfowl hunters and non‐waterfowl hunters. Our assessment of waterfowl constraints did not indicate a single constraint that was inhibiting (or prohibiting) participation of waterfowl hunting among waterfowl hunters or non‐waterfowl hunters. However, there were numerous constraints that were slightly to moderately limiting across all activity groups similarly, which suggests that constraints may act collectively to create a perception of an insurmountable impediment to participation to the individual.