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Hunting in relation to social and ecological values
In Michigan, Ohio, and Ontario combined, there were an estimated 1.97 million hunters who took part in one of the 2011 hunting seasons.  In the same year, an estimated $4.65 billion were spent on hunting related activities across the region.  The WLEB is home to rich hunting grounds for white-tailed deer, small game and waterfowl. This was not always the case however, as wildlife populations were drastically altered in the early 1900’s by habitat conversion and overhunting. In response, Ohio restricted all deer hunting until 1943, when rebounding deer populations allowed for the state’s first modern day gun-season in three counties. In 1956, the state opened all 88 counties to hunting, with a total of 3,911 deer harvested, which pales in comparison to the state’s harvest of 218,910 in 2012-13. Hunting is an important wildlife management technique, allowing state officials to regulate the number and type of prey hunted to prevent species from dominating, which can decrease biodiversity. The WLEB also has excellent waterfowl hunting opportunities due to its location on the intersection of the Mississippi and Atlantic Flyways. Turkey and small game hunting are also very popular with sportsmen across the region. Michigan, Ohio and Ontario have all designated state-owned property for hunters to utilize during open hunting seasons. The hunting data layer was included in this analysis to identify areas important to hunters within the WLEB.

Hunting data layer
The WLECCV team compiled this data layer from a number of state- and provincial-level sources. Only those public lands which are explicitly listed as being open to hunting are included in this layer. In total, 29,184 acres of public hunting lands in 142 parcels were identified and included in the Marxan analysis.