A CHOICE MODELLING APPROACH TO MOOSE MANAGEMENT: A CASE STUDY OF THUNDER BAY MOOSE HUNTERS
We demonstrate the application of one type of model available for managers to better understand the people side of resource management. This choice modelling approach allows us to study issues such as the hunting site choices of moose hunters. To showcase the approach, we use a case study based on predicting the site choices of resident moose (Alces alces) hunters from the Thunder Bay area. Our case study shows that resident moose hunters of Thunder Bay prefer short travel distances, few encounters with other hunters, areas with better vehicular accessibility, more moose, more water, and shorter regenerating vegetation in harvested areas. We demonstrate the practical applicability of the model by examining a hypothetical scenario involving the issue of hunting site closures in areas with new forest cutovers. The results of this hypothetical scenario demonstrate that one can use the model to: (1) predict changes to moose hunting effort associated with a site restriction; and (2) estimate the economic losses that would arise to hunters from this restriction. A manager should seek both of these pieces of information before implementing a change such as a site restriction.
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