National Duck Hunter Survey 2005

Duck Hunter Survey Cover

The National Flyway Council's 2005 National Duck Hunter Survey is the first nationwide survey of duck hunters to ask a representative sample of duck hunters in every state their opinions on recent seasons and bag limits, perceptions of duck populations, duck management priorities, and past involvement and current interest in duck hunting. The survey was sent to a sample of 29,874 waterfowl hunters throughout the United States. Over 10,000 duck hunters responded to the survey. Survey results are reported nationally, by the four flyways, and by upper, middle, and lower groupings of states in each flyway. This allows for comparisons among regions of the country. Virginia is part of the mid-Atlantic grouping of states in the Atlantic Flyway.

The National Duck Hunter Survey 2005 is the first of several communications strategies under the banner of "A Systematic and Sustained Conversation with Waterfowl Hunters." A "Strategy Team" formed by the National Flyway Council (NFC) and Wildlife Management Institute in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is guiding the effort. The Strategy Team identified the nationwide duck hunter survey as being the initial step in this communication with duck hunters. Two members of the wildlife division staff contributed to the development of the nationwide duck hunter survey. Bob Ellis, Assistant Director of the Wildlife Division, and Virginia's representative on the Atlantic Flyway Council is a member of the NFC "Strategy team". Coren Jagnow, Wildlife Division Survey Coordinator, served on the NFC Survey Committee. The NFC Survey Committee was composed of Flyway technical representatives and human dimensions specialists and was responsible for the development of the questionnaire.

Some of the national findings include:

  1. Seventy-two percent of respondents said duck hunting was one of their most important (58 percent) or most important (14 percent) recreational activities.
  2. Fifty-nine percent said that the duck season length (number of days in the season) in the state they hunted most over the last 5 years was "about right," although one-third (35 percent) said the season was "too short," and 3 percent, "too long."
  3. Almost three-quarters (72 percent) of duck hunters said that the total daily bag limit in the state they hunted most over the last 5 years was "about right." Thirteen percent said it was "too low," and 8 percent, "too high."
  4. Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of duck hunters said they spend over $250 each year on duck hunting and one-fifth (20 percent) said they spend over $1,000 each year.
  5. Six percent of duck hunters now age 45-64 indicated that they began duck hunting in the relatively recent past (1997-2004).
  6. Twenty percent of duck hunters said they "frequently" access the Internet for duck hunting information; 49 percent said "once in a while," and 31 percent, "not at all."

A summary of the survey results and the entire survey can be found at