Landowner Perspectives on Granting Hunting Access to Private Land in Alberta, 2021

Final Report

Author(s)

Amanda MacDonald, B.Sc.

Robert Anderson, M.Sc., P.Biol.

Kris Kendell, B.Sc.

Phil Rose, B.Sc., M.Sc.

Summary

Alberta Conservation Association and several partnering organizations conducted a survey of Alberta landowners to gain insight into their views on allowing hunting access on private property and the factors that may influence their decision. The Landowner Hunting Access Survey was active for 82 days in early 2021. Respondents were asked a series of questions pertaining to demographics, various land access topics, and the concerns and experiences respondents had with the hunting community. We received 2,036 valid responses from 73 counties/municipal districts across Alberta. We found that most (70%) survey respondents did allow some hunting access on their property and had not changed their tendency to allow hunting in recent years. However, nearly seven times as many landowners had become less likely to allow hunting in recent years than those who had become more likely. The prairie region had the highest probability of landowners deciding to no longer allow hunting. Most respondents indicated that they are more likely to grant hunting access once a relationship has been built with the hunter. Trespassing issues were of the greatest concern for survey respondents, regardless of the respondent’s decision to allow hunting access or not. We found that respondents who believe that hunters understand the provincial hunting regulations, act in a safe manner, and respect private land were more likely to grant hunting access than respondents who do not believe those statements. Overall, we found that developing and maintaining healthy and respectful relationships between hunters and landowners is likely the most effective method to assure hunting access opportunities persist within the province.

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