Where Hunting Happens, Conservation Happens™

B&C Fellow - Jonathan Karlen

University of Montana - Master of Public Administration, Public Policy Certificate - Projected to Graduate 2022
Mitigating Statutory Barriers to Recruiting and Retaining College Student Hunters


I am originally from New York City. I first gained a passion for wildlife by exploring state parks in Connecticut and throughout New England. Spending time in the Rocky Mountains inspired me to pursue a career in natural resources and attend the University of Montana, where I recently completed a bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology with a minor in climate change studies. During summers in college, I interned for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, working on recovering black-footed ferrets, and with the Montana, Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department, studying elk response to recent wildfire. These field experiences sparked my interest in learning more about the role of science in policymaking. Through the Demmer Scholars Program, I served as a legislative affairs intern with the U.S. Forest Service, where I enhanced my understanding of the relationships among Congress, federal agencies, and NGOs. For Summer 2021, I am a member of the Baucus Leaders Program and will be interning in the U.S. Senate.

Mitigating Statutory Barriers to Recruiting and Retaining College Student Hunters

College students are quickly emerging as a critical population for hunter recruitment and retention. I have been studying how a nationwide patchwork of hunting license residency statutes may pose barriers to recruiting college student hunters. In Montana, we learned that the price of a non-resident student hunting license had become unaffordable and was excluding students eager to learn to hunt. To address this issue, we wrote a bill that makes hunting more accessible for Montana students. We successfully lobbied the legislature and the bill was signed into law by Governor Gianforte in May 2021. We are now working on ways to help other states adopt similar policies to make hunting accessible to students.

My senior undergraduate thesis with the University of Montana Boone and Crockett Program studied the impact of recent, mixed-severity wildfire on mammal species richness, evenness, and diversity in Western Montana. We hope to publish the results of this study in fall 2021. 

Jonathan - In the News

B&C in the Trenches: Montana Researchers Seek to Clarify Hunting Regs

CSF Partnering with Boone & Crockett Program at the University of Montana on Bill to Make Hunting Accessible to Montana Students

Boone and Crockett Club-backed Hunting Bill Signed into law by Montana Gov. Gianforte

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"The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak. So we must and we will."

-Theodore Roosevelt