National Harvest Survey design


We select potential participants for the Harvest Questionnaire Survey (HQS) and the Species Composition Survey (SCS) using records contained in our database of Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit (MGBHP) purchasers. Permit holders are separated into 23 geographic hunting zones and, for the HQS, they are further separated into four groups:

Hunter groups used for the Harvest Questionnaire Survey

Hunters in categories A and E are selected from the current year's permit records, while those in categories B and D are selected from the previous year's permit records.

This grouping is based on their country of residence and whether they held a permit or not in the current or previous year. By doing this grouping, we increase the precision of our estimates by taking into account differences in hunting activity/success among the four groups.

Participants in the SCS are selected in a somewhat different fashion. Because the survey has to be mailed before the start of the hunting season, so that selected hunters can receive their envelopes in time, participants are selected only from records of permits bought the previous year. Because mailing packages of plastic-lined wing envelopes is expensive, we first confirm hunters' willingness to participate in the SCS before proceeding with the mailing. Screening is achieved by sending out a participation card in July to a list of potential participants. Potential participants are selected randomly and are grouped based on their previous participation in the survey, their hunting success, residency, and permit renewal status (see below for details on SCS hunter groups). Hunter selection will be biased toward hunters who previously cooperated. This is beneficial because it increases the response rate, the precision of our estimates, and the cost efficiency of the survey.

Hunter groups used for the Species Composition Survey

All hunters are selected from the previous year's permit records.

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