Restricted access to hunting lands in the past three seasons, especially on private property, has reduced opportunities to hunt, according to a recent survey.
In the survey of about 2,000 hunters conducted in April 2008, just over one-third (34%) of hunters reported that restricted access to hunting lands reduced their hunting time over the past three seasons. Private hunting lands were more likely than public lands to have had restrictions placed on them, said 80% of the surveyed hunters.
Perhaps offering a glimmer of hope to those who love to hunt, exactly half (50%) of surveyed hunters said that their hunting opportunities had been "reduced" due to land restrictions, rather than eliminated entirely. Only about 7% of hunters reported that previously available hunting lands had been completely closed to them.
"Restricted land access continues to be a major issue affecting hunters," commented Rob Southwick, designer of the survey.
Of the hunters who said their access to hunting lands had been restricted, more than half (about 58%) said that previously available land had been sold to a new owner who restricted hunting access, or that the landowner had given, leased, or sold hunting rights to others, making the land less available--or unavailable--to the survey respondents. More specifically, of those who said that previously available lands had seen new restrictions, about 31% reported that a new landowner had restricted their access for reasons other than providing hunting access to others, while about 28% said that hunting access had been granted to others, reducing or eliminating their own opportunities to hunt the land.
Source: Rob Southwick and HunterSurvey.com