Non-resident college student hunting license regulations in the United States

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A decades-long decline in hunting participation jeopardizes state wildlife agency funding amid growing conservation and management challenges. College students are being recognized by states and non-governmental organizations as an important population for hunter recruitment and retention, fueling a proliferation of learn-to-hunt programs on college campuses. Nearly 3,000,000 students attend college in a state where they are not a resident and may face constraints to hunting. We analyzed hunting license residency statutes in each state to determine whether non-resident college students were addressed in statutes or policies, catalog statutory provisions that may exclude populations of students from hunting, and document how students' residency status affects the price of a deer and small game license. Nationwide, 29 states have statutes allowing non-resident college students to hunt at a resident rate. Among these states, we identified a patchwork of statutory requirements for non-resident students to be eligible for resident-rate licenses, including waiting periods, age restrictions, credit restrictions, and unclear or onerous purchasing procedures. Non-resident college students fell into a gray area of licensing policy in the 21 states without statutes addressing this group. In these states, students often needed to pay non-resident hunting license rates. Hunting licenses were substantially more expensive for non-resident college students in states without statutes addressing students, and license sales data from Montana, USA, indicated that high license prices are a constraint for student hunters. With college students becoming a focal point for hunter recruitment efforts, we identify statutory constraints to recruiting and retaining hunters on college campuses and help improve the effectiveness of learn-to-hunt programs on college campuses.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere22279
JournalJournal of Wildlife Management
Volume86
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2022

Keywords

  • R3
  • college student hunting
  • college students
  • hunter recruitment
  • hunting
  • hunting constraints
  • hunting licenses
  • university hunting programs

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