The Alberta Conservation Association wants to find out the views of rural landowners when it comes to allowing hunters on their land.
While hunters can and do cause problems for farmers and ranchers, many welcome them and the role they play in wildlife management, the association said in a release.
“No matter what perspective you appreciate, we do know both landowners and hunters play vital roles in conservation,” the association said. “Recently, the number of active hunters has been declining, inching us closer to the breakdown of licence-funded conservation. This is a major concern for wildlife managers and conservation organizations across North America because they rely on hunting data and impacts to help guide balanced wildlife population and habitat management decisions.”
One of the factors in the decline in the number of hunters is the challenge they face in finding a location to hunt, it added.
“With the number of agricultural producers declining over the past 20 years, there seems to be more struggle to find a location to hunt and gain landowner trust. Yet, past surveys suggest most landowners are willing to allow some form of hunting access.”
The conservation association said the online survey will help it to both assess the current situation and find practical measures that will benefit both hunters and landowners.
The survey asks questions about the owner’s property, the number of hunting requests received, and factors that are considered when someone asks to hunt on their land.
The survey is open now at albertahunteraccess.com and will run until Feb. 15. Personal info will be kept confidential.