Having a greater and more in depth understanding of hunter and participant landowner expectations and motivations for participating in a program will be particularly important to grow program participation. As discussed in the Highlights of Key Access Research, understanding landowner motivations and values is critical in designing a hunter access program that meets their needs.
A review of the metrics and tools currently used in program evaluations reveals that most measure program outputs, such as number of acres enrolled or number of participants involved, rather than outcomes, such as landowner or hunter satisfaction with the program. In addition, relatively few are directed toward participating landowners, as summarized in a previous table.
In addition, only 10 states indicated that geographic distributions of the areas were used in their specific hunter access program evaluations. Admittedly, the assessment survey did not specifically focus on this aspect of providing hunter access. However, because of the growing urbanization of hunters, it stands to reason that additional effort should be focused on providing hunter access near urban populations. While doing so may be more difficult than providing hunter access in very rural areas, the need for convenient hunter access is more critical around urban areas. More research needs to focus on the importance of the geographic distribution of hunter access programs. However, it appears that states probably need to focus additional efforts on securing hunting areas located near human population centers.