Original Paper

Population and Environment

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 460-480

First online:

The future of hunting: an age-period-cohort analysis of deer hunter decline

  • Richelle WinklerAffiliated withDepartment of Social Sciences, Michigan Technological University Email author 
  • , Keith WarnkeAffiliated withWisconsin Department of Natural Resources

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This paper employs a cohort analysis to examine the recent decline in the number of deer hunters in the State of Wisconsin and considers the implications of hunter decline for wildlife management and conservation. North American natural resource management strategies currently depend on hunters and anglers to fund habitat conservation, wildlife management, and land protection through license fees and special taxes on hunting equipment. However, hunter participation is declining across the United States, challenging the long-term viability of this approach. We undertake an age-period-cohort (APC) approach to analyze hunter participation rates and introduce an APC method to project the future number of hunters in Wisconsin. We find that if the recent patterns continue, the number of Wisconsin male deer hunters will decline by more than 10 % (55,304 hunters) in the next 10 years and an additional 18 % (88,552 hunters) between 2020 and 2030.


Hunting Population projections Age-period-cohort Conservation Cohort effects Wildlife management