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Thread: Hunter Recruitment

  1. #1
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    Default Hunter Recruitment

    A few days back I was told that “In fact, hunting is growing, which means that the recruitment failure does not, in fact, exist”…..”No recruitment failure, end of discussion.”

    That got me to ponder, if recruitment is working, why are sales of tags dropping in the MWUs in the province. Why are revenues from the sales of the licenses declining. So I have spent a little time pulling up some numbers to see if in fact ‘hunter recruitment’ is working.


    Using the OFAH quarterly reports to find out how many students were in fact taking the taking the Hunter Safety and Firearm Safety courses, I found that the numbers from 3 consecutive years do support the claim that recruitment is working…in fact they are rather impressive.

    In 2011…17,645….in 2012…21,000 and 2013…25,000.

    So we have lots of ‘new’ recruits. The first thing a new hunter does is head to the MNR and pick up a Outdoor Card and buys the licenses right ?


    There’s the rub.

    I took a look at the MNR SPA (Special Purpose Account) revenue numbers that reflect the sale of the Outdoor Cards and all the licensing and tag purchases etc. If we are successfully adding 20+ thousand new sportsman into the province those numbers, the SPA fund should be growing.

    So I gleaned revenue numbers from the SPA reports for the same period of time as we introduced all those new recruits.


    In 2010/2011…$55.6 million......2011/2012…$43million 2012/2013..$.36 million...

    (From page 9: https://dr6j45jk9xcmk.cloudfront.net...rt-2012-13.pdf )

    What is glaringly evident is that the SPA revenues have been falling every year and it’s been going on for some time. Falling so low that the MNR is scrambling ways to make more money; they introduced a $2 surcharge on each transaction and making seniors now pay for their fishing licenses etc. I’m sure tag cost will be the next increase.


    So why, why with such an influx of new hunters are all the other numbers declining. Is it hunter retention the real problem? Are more guys leaving the sport than can be replaced? If so then recruitment is ‘failing’ if it can keep up with the loss.

    Or is it just that these new hunters not following thru…do they take the course then not take up hunting ? Recruitment is far more than taking courses over a weekend, it needs the follow thru of a mentored education and boots in the bush to be considered a success. Unless a large percentage of those 25,000 recruits become hunters, there is something wrong with recruitment.

    In all the WMU's compined in Eastern Ontario there was only an increase of +66 Deer tags sold in 2013 compared with 2006. Where are these 1,000s of new recruits?


    Maybe someone closer to the OFAH program here on the forum can shed some light onto what is happening with all these new recruits.

    What about the new guys on here who have taken the courses recently, what about you classmates, did the follow thru ?

    If recruitment it is truly working, why are licence/tag sales declining ?

    I think it’s far from ‘end of discussion” I think it’s a great topic for discussion.
    Last edited by MikePal; July 27th, 2015 at 04:22 AM.
    Arte et marte (By Skill and by Fighting)...The RCEME motto

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  3. #2
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    Would be interested in hearing OFAH comments...
    Mark Snow, Libertarian Nepean, for 2019, Chairman - Ontario Libertarian Party

  4. #3
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    It might be instructive to consider more than three years in our data set.
    2008 - 2009: $36.8 million
    2009 - 2010: $38.6 million
    https://dr6j45jk9xcmk.cloudfront.net...rod-109164.pdf

    The question now is no longer why revenue is falling, but why 2010-2011 revenue was so much higher than previous or following years. That one's a head-scratcher.

    The SPA account doesn't really tell us where the money is coming from. Some licences are more expensive than others. So we don't know if new hunters are simply not buying as many expensive tags, or if older hunters are giving up on the more expensive tags, or if recruitment in Ontario is not offsetting the number of hunters who are simply giving up. All we can do here is speculate.
    Last edited by welsh; July 27th, 2015 at 06:05 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by welsh View Post
    All we can do here is speculate.
    To try and avoid speculation, I specifically choose the dates and numbers I used because I could supply confirmed data to support the numbers. I could not find earlier 'recruit' data.
    Arte et marte (By Skill and by Fighting)...The RCEME motto

  6. #5
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    I think many of the "new" hunters are at least a generation removed from hunting and deer require more mentoring then small game or water fowl. Deer also take some time (and money) to invest right from scouting through to butchering. I can go hunting in the morning and have fresh grouse for lunch.... Hey, it could happen.
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    Hunting is a costly sport in both time and money.The attention span of yonger people in general is sadly lacking due to instant gratification they are used to but will not get with hunting.Lack of places to hunt is a big factor and having no mentors available.

    Most yonge hunters are also starting out in jobs where they simply are not allowed time off when they need it to hunt.

  8. #7
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    Isn't there also fishing license $$ going into the spa? The # of new anglers may be even harder to track.

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    [What is glaringly evident is that the SPA revenues have been falling every year and it’s been going on for some time. Falling so low that the MNR is scrambling ways to make more money; they introduced a $2 surcharge on each transaction and making seniors now pay for their fishing licenses etc. I’m sure tag cost will be the next increase. ]

    To clarify, seniors are not required to purchase a fishing licence, they may have the option to do so if they want to but is not required.

    Even though there may be a high number of people taking the course i think many new hunters don't end up hunting due to varies reasons or are sticking to waterfowl and small game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by redd foxx View Post
    Isn't there also fishing license $$ going into the spa? The # of new anglers may be even harder to track.
    While I researched this I saw a note that fishing licenses have also been on decline, but no numbers to support how many.
    Last edited by MikePal; July 27th, 2015 at 08:37 AM.
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  11. #10
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    Interesting topic for discussion Mike.

    New(er) hunters don't necessarily jump into big game right away. Typically they buy small game license and duck stamp and take advantage of the easier game to get into.

    Dynamics are also changing. Where deer season meant a week off at the camp, now there are many other demands on guys time, and taking that week isn't always available. Couple that with lower tag numbers in other game ( like moose), and older guys getting out of the sport, and you can probably directly attribute the lower amounts of money going into the SPF.

    I can't help but wonder if the strength of the CDN dollar during that period may have had an impact as well, since when our dollar is strong, we get far fewer US citizens coming up here and buying the more expensive non-resident licenses.
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