2015 Idaho Hunter Opinion Survey

Hunters satisfied with controlled hunts, but will consider options

By Roger Phillips, Idaho Fish and Game public information specialist

Idaho Fish and Game recently conducted a survey to “take the pulse” of hunters about controlled-hunt drawings, and the majority of them are satisfied with the current system. The approval percentage is also higher than it was a decade ago.

Based on a random, mail-based survey, which is the “gold standard” of scientific surveys, 58 percent of hunters agreed with the statement “I am satisfied with the current controlled-hunt drawing system.” Another 33 percent said they were dissatisfied, and 9 percent were neutral.

Satisfaction with the controlled-hunt system is 16 points higher than a similar survey in 2005, and the controlled-hunt system has not significantly changed since then.

Read the full press release...

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Questions and Answers

Select a question to expand the answer
Answer 1:

More than a third of all Idaho hunters apply for controlled hunts, so it’s important that Fish and Game knows how hunters feel about the way controlled-hunt tags are allocated. Fish and Game did similar surveys in 2005, but the current commissioners were not serving at that time. Controlled hunts account for a large volume of big game tags. Fish and Game offered controlled hunt tags for about 22,000 elk, 17,000 deer and 2,300 pronghorn. Pronghorn, moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat tags are available only through controlled-hunt drawings.

Fish and Game is also frequently asked why it doesn’t have a point system to increase odds for unsuccessful controlled-hunt applicants similar to those in many other Western states.

Answer 2: It was valuable for Fish and Game officials to see the similarities and difference in the results using three methods. The random mail survey is considered the most accurate gauge of hunters’ opinions because they were randomly selected from the entire pool of licensed hunters.

The department does not have email addresses for all hunters, so that’s a smaller pool and not necessarily representative of the entire cross section of hunters. But an email survey is cheaper and less labor intensive than a mail survey because there’s no printing or postage involved, and the results are automatically entered and tabulated by the computer rather than manually by Fish and Game staff.

An open internet survey is inherently biased because people can campaign for or against certain topics and encourage others who agree with them to take the survey. However, it’s also good gauge of how strongly segments of hunters feel about something.

Answer 3: Commissioners will use the survey results to help them decide whether there’s enough interest to change the current system, and if so, which options to consider. Any formal proposal would undergo public review, and hunters would have several chances to comment.

Controlled Hunt Drawing System — 2015 Opinion Survey Results

Satisfaction with Idaho's Controlled Hunt System
Q1-Satisfied.png Q1-Dissatisfied.png Q1-Neutral.png

Each row below describes how groups of hunters answered questions on how to potentially change the controlled hunt system.

The results in this blue column represent the 58% of those who are satisfied with Idaho's controlled hunt system
The results in this yellow column represent the 33% of those who are dissatisfied with Idaho's controlled hunt system
The results in this gray column represent the 9% of those who are neutral with Idaho's controlled hunt system
Hunters were asked about longer waiting periods for those who drew tags in the last controlled hunt drawing
4ICHSS2015.png 5ICHSS2015.png 6ICHSS2015.png
* Out of options in the survey, longer waiting periods was the only option responders agreed with regardless of their satisfaction with the current controlled hunt system.
The results in this blue column represent the 58% of those who are satisfied with Idaho's controlled hunt system
The results in this yellow column represent the 33% of those who are dissatisfied with Idaho's controlled hunt system
The results in this gray column represent the 9% of those who are neutral with Idaho's controlled hunt system
Hunters were asked about adopting a "point system"
7ICHSS2015.png 8ICHSS2015.png 9ICHSS2015.png
The results in this blue column represent the 58% of those who are satisfied with Idaho's controlled hunt system
The results in this yellow column represent the 33% of those who are dissatisfied with Idaho's controlled hunt system
The results in this gray column represent the 9% of those who are neutral with Idaho's controlled hunt system
Hunters were asked about higher application fees for hard-to-draw controlled hunts
10ICHSS2015.png 11ICHSS2015.png 12ICHSS2015.png
The results in this blue column represent the 58% of those who are satisfied with Idaho's controlled hunt system
The results in this yellow column represent the 33% of those who are dissatisfied with Idaho's controlled hunt system
The results in this gray column represent the 9% of those who are neutral with Idaho's controlled hunt system
Hunters were asked about being limited to one species for hard-to-draw deer, elk, and pronghorn controlled hunts
13ICHSS2015.png 14ICHSS2015.png 15ICHSS2015.png
The results in this blue column represent the 58% of those who are satisfied with Idaho's controlled hunt system
The results in this yellow column represent the 33% of those who are dissatisfied with Idaho's controlled hunt system
The results in this gray column represent the 9% of those who are neutral with Idaho's controlled hunt system
Hunters were asked about limiting controlled hunt applicants to one species per year
16ICHSS2015.png 17ICHSS2015.png 18ICHSS2015.png

Tags for Auction — 2015 Opinion Survey Results

Is it acceptable to auction tags to generate funds for wildlife management?
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* These numbers were adjusted to fix rounding. Revision 1/13/2016.
Should up to 12 more auction tags be released to help fund wildlife management and hunter access programs?
18ICHSS2015.png
* This graphic had a publishing error. Numbers adjusted within 1%. Revision 1/13/2016.