SIUC Student Surveys Hunters in Shawnee National Forest

Jan 31, 2019

A zoology student at SIU-Carbondale recently conducted a survey to determine how hunters feel about a site in the Shawnee National Forest.

Ethan Dittmer says his survey at the Oakwood Bottoms Greentree Reservoir is designed to help wildlife managers understand how hunters use the area.

"How hunters thought the refuge was affecting the hunting there, if it was helping them, if it was hurting them. Questions like that, about trying to get feedback, not only of their harvest, but also how they feel about the site; their satisfaction with the management and the hunting quality."

Dittmer says wildlife managers enthusiastically supported the project.
"When we built the project and it came to a head and we showed it to them they were very impressed and all for it. They provided funding for the project, Ducks Unlimited provided funding for the project, it came together really well."

Dittmer says the research project included a prepaid mail-in survey and an online version. He says more than 40-percent of hunters returned the paper survey, but less than five percent answered the questions online.

The field work took place for 60 straight days from November through early January. Dittmer is currently analyzing the data.