Nebraska Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit



Christopher J. Chizinski

Kevin L. Pope

Date of this Version



Price NB, Chizinski CJ, Fontaine JJ, Pope KL, Rahe M, Rawlinson J (2020) An open-sourced, web-based application to improve our ability to understand hunter and angler purchasing behavior from license data. PLoS ONE 15(10): e0226397.


This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.


State fish and wildlife agencies rely on hunters and anglers (i.e., sportspersons) to fund management actions through revenue generated from license sales and excise taxes on hunting and fishing equipment. There is a need to develop new techniques that bridge the information gap on participation and provide agencies with an understanding of sportspersons at a resolution that can more directly inform efforts to engage sportspersons. Monitoring sportsperson participation using information about their license-purchasing behavior has the potential to reveal important patterns in recruitment (first-time purchase of a hunting or fishing license), retention (continued purchase of licenses across multiple years), and reactivation (purchase a license after several years with no purchases). Providing up-to-date information on what licenses are purchased, when and by whom may prove invaluable to managers and policy makers. We present a customizable, open-source, web-based application— huntfishapp—that allows the user to query and interact with a structured query language (SQL) hunting and fishing license database. The huntfishapp serves as an informational resource and tool that provides a framework to share information on license sales across an agency, with intent of increasing understanding of (a) sportspersons and (b) how management decisions affect sportspersons. Data dashboards, like the huntfishapp, allow agencies and non-governmental organizations to become more knowledgeable of their customer base and provide a greater understanding of management-decision effects on hunting and fishing participation.