The Census Bureau is planning to test a new way to find hunters, fishermen and other wildlife-related recreationalists to survey. The bureau announced its proposed changes on Friday, March, 15. You can read them at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-03-15/html/2013-06021.htm.
You can comment on the proposed changes until May 14.
The bureau conducts the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The bureau started a three-part survey in 2011, with the last wave in May 2012.
As the bureau explains, the data help “federal and state agencies in administering the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration grant programs and provide up-to-date information on the uses and demands for wildlife-related recreation resources, trends in uses of those resources, and a basis for developing and evaluating programs and projects to meet existing and future needs.”
The project has been hampered by budget cuts and a problem with follow-up surveys. Trouble is, many of the telephone numbers used to reach people for phone interviews in the first interview no longer operated for the two follow-ups.
The bureau plans another survey in 2016. So it plans a new test to find a better way to get accurate phone numbers. First, it wants to prescreen potential respondents, asking some to complete the form by mail, others on the Internet and a third panel will be offered a choice of paper or Internet. The bureau wants to see which method works best in obtaining accurate phone numbers for follow-up surveys.