CDFW Plans New Game Take Hunter Survey

Media Contacts:
Levi Souza, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-3709
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is updating its Game Take Hunter Survey. To assist with this effort, CDFW has selected Responsive Management, a company specializing in natural resource-related public surveys, to conduct a survey of resident small game and upland game bird hunters.

Between 1948 and 2010, CDFW conducted mail-based surveys of California hunters to estimate the harvest of many hunted species, ranging from big game such as bears and deer to small game such as upland game birds, squirrels and rabbits. The harvest of big game species is now estimated through CDFW’s Automated License Data System (ALDS). Additionally, the harvest of all migratory birds, including waterfowl and upland migratory birds such as doves, is estimated through the federal Harvest Information Program (HIP). These programs now provide more consistent information about those species than did the previous mail survey.

There remains a number of resident small game and other hunted species for which harvest can only be tracked through harvest surveys of the type planned. These animals are hunted under a general hunting license only or with a validation for upland game birds (formerly a stamp) and are the focus of this survey.

This survey will use ALDS databases to identify hunters who purchased general hunting licenses and upland game bird validations. A random sample will be surveyed. Telephone surveys will be used because the response rate is higher, which improves the statistical reliability of the survey results. The survey will also help CDFW design future harvest reporting through ALDS to be most cost effective for the hunting public.

Responsive Management will be contacting randomly selected hunters through the end of June. Survey participants will be asked about their hunting efforts associated with upland game birds and small game mammals, as well as coyotes and other huntable species. Results will be used to help CDFW use better information to guide game management programs.

Participation is voluntary. However, CDFW encourages selected hunters to participate to increase the reliability of the information and help ensure that management decisions are based on accurate harvest estimates. Please direct any questions about the Game Take Hunter Survey to Levi Souza, CDFW Wildlife Branch, Upland Game Program, at (916) 445-3709.