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Attitudes and Satisfactions

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Adams, C.E. and J.K. Thomas. 1983. Characteristics and opinions of Texas hunters. Proceedings of the Annual Conference Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 37:244-251.

Keywords: hunters, hunting/anti-hunting, socio-economic studies, census-survey methods, hunting season, hunter-landowner relationships

Objectives were to: (1) describe the level and type of hunting activity in Texas during the 1981-1982 season; (2) assess the opinion of licensed Texas hunters on selected wildlife regulations and practices within the state; and (3) determine the sources of reliable and useful wildlife and hunting information used by licensed Texas hunters.

[Wildlife Worldwide]

Applegate, J.E. 1984. Attitudes toward deer hunting in New Jersey: 1972-1982. Wildlife Society Bulletin 12(1): 19-22.

Keywords: none

I have now completed 10 years of monitoring hunting participation and public attitudes toward deer hunting in New Jersey on a biannual basis. The data represent the only continuing study of hunting attitudes in a general population. Because the same questions were administered to a sample of the same populations during each survey, the data allow a meaningful examination of changes in the distribution of attitudes toward hunting within a state population over time. This paper reports the status of hunting participation and attitudes toward hunting in New Jersey in 1982, and provides a time-series comparison of these measures for the past 10 years. *

Applegate, J.E. 1979. Attitudes toward deer hunting in New Jersey: a decline in opposition. Wildlife Society Bulletin 7(2): 127-129.

Keywords: deer hunting, hunting/anti-hunting, socio-economic status

In May 1972, 1,218 randomly selected New Jersey residents were polled on their attitudes toward deer hunting (Applegate 1973). These data provided the first description of hunting attitudes in a general population and established a baseline in New Jersey for subsequent comparisons in a time-series study. In May 1974, the same questions were addressed to a new sample of 1,190 New Jersey residents, revealing an increase in the proportion of residents opposed to deer hunting (Applegate 1975). The same questions on attitudes toward deer hunting were included in each of 4 New Jersey polls. Telephone respondents were asked if they approved or disapproved of deer hunting. The trend toward increased opposition to hunting that occurred between 1972 and 1974 did not continue into 1976, although a statistical comparison between 1974 and 1976 data showed no significant decline in opposition. The 1978 data show a significant decline in opposition to deer hunting compared to 1976. Despite a significant decline in opposition, the data reveal a remarkable stability over the 4 polls (Table 1), suggesting these attitudes reflect deep convictions on the issue with a corresponding resistance to change.**

Applegate, J.E. 1975. Attitudes toward deer hunting in New Jersey: A second look. Wildlife Society Bulletin 3(1):3-6.

Keywords: deer hunting, socio-economic studies, deer, hunting, wildlife [management], management

The general population of New Jersey was surveyed in 1974 regarding attitude toward deer hunting and data were compared to a similar study conducted in 1972. There was a significant increase in the proportion of people who disapprove of deer hunting (38 percent to 43 percent). While those who approve of deer hunting (49 percent) still outnumber those who disapprove (43 percent), the margin has declined from 16 percent to 6 percent in 2 years. Implications to traditional harvest-oriented management programs are also discussed.

[Wildlife Worldwide, Wildlife Review Abstracts]


Applegate, J.E. 1973. Some factors associated with attitude toward deer hunting in New Jersey residents. Transactions of the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference 38:267-273.

Keywords: deer hunting, hunters, hunting/anti-hunting, socio-economic studies

Hunting as an acceptable form of outdoor recreation appears to be under increasing public condemnation. Recent attacks on hunting and trapping in New Jersey, for instance, have taken the form of court injunctions (Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge), State legislation (ban on leg-hold traps in most areas of the state) and local ordinances (ban on discharge of firearms in several townships and pressure for similar action in many more). Proliferation of journalistic articles for and against hunting adds further credence to this supposition. Nonetheless, the extent of literature on this topic consists of attacks and rebuttals--editorial journalism without new information. Systematic studies are unavailable. Initial studies of attitudes in the general population must therefore be exploratory and descriptive. The present study assesses the magnitude of anti-hunting sentiment in the State of New Jersey and describes some factors which are related to a person's attitude on deer hunting.*

[Wildlife Worldwide, Wildlife Review Abstracts]


Backman, S.J. and B.A. Wright. 1993. An exploratory study of the relationship of attitude and the perception of constraints to hunting. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration 11(2):1-16.

Keywords: attitude, constraints, hunting, former hunter, nonparticipant

Hunting is a sport in decline in many parts of the country. This is a serious problem for wildlife managers, since the present system of funding wildlife programs is extremely dependent on sportsman-generated revenues. It is estimated that, by the year 2040, that participation in big-game hunting will decrease by 14%. The purpose of this study was to examine differences and similarities in the perception of constraints among four groups of nonparticipant hunters: (a) nonparticipants having a positive attitude toward hunting; (b) nonparticipants have a negative attitude toward hunting; (c) former participants having a positive attitude toward hunting; and (d) former participants having a negative attitude toward hunting. Using data from the Virginia Wildlife Recreation Study, 527 respondents were classified in one of the four groups. Six factors emerged as significant restraints to participation: monetary cost, interest/preference, access/opportunity, physical effort, time costs, and public land conflicts. Further, results of the analyses of variance and follow-up Duncan's Multiple Range tests revealed there were significant differences between the four groups of nonparticipants and their perception of constraints.

Beattie, K.H. 1981. The influence of game laws and regulations on hunting satisfaction. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 9(3) 229-231.

Keywords: none

Within the last 10 years, a "movement" has arisen in the research literature (less so in agencies) to switch from the number of game bagged and number of days afield as measures of game management success to multiple satisfaction obtained from hunting (Brown et al. 1977, Gilbert 1977, Hendee 1972, 1974, More 1973, Potter et al. 1973). In light of the growing attention being directed to hunting satisfactions as a topic for study, it seems reasonable to identify those factors that either facilitate, have no effect upon, or dampen satisfactions received from hunting.


Benson, D.E. and D.J. Decker. 2001. Why people hunt: A theoretical framework. Transactions of the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference 66:150-153.

Keywords: none


Brown, T.L. 1974. New York landowners' attitudes toward recreation activities. Transactions of the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference 39:173-179.

Keywords: none

New York State, despite its large population, has an abundance of open country suitable for many types of outdoor recreation activities. Notwithstanding large numbers of public lands, including the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserves, hundreds of thousands of recreationists depend upon private lands for hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, and other activities. The very number of these recreationists in combination with their behavior can and often does create conflicts between recreationists and landowners.*

Brown, T.L. and D.Q. Thompson. 1976. Changes in posting and landowner attitudes in New York State. New York Fish and Game Journal 23(2): 101-137.

Keywords: none

Ten years of change in public recreational access to private lands in upstate New York was measured in 1972-73. The previous study of the nature, extent, and reasons for posting served as a benchmark for this study. As in the original study, the work was divided into two phases. Phase I consisted of a field survey of road frontage posted, while Phase II was a questionnaire exploring the landowner's motivations in posting.

The field survey of 28 of the 100 towns represented in the original study showed that 29 per cent of all road frontage was posted in 1972 compared with 16 per cent in 1963. In Phase II, a 77 per cent response was obtained from mail questionnaires sent to 1,719 landowners in the 28 townships covered in the field survey. The questionnaire responses indicated that the proportion of rural acreage posted had increased during the 9-year period from 25 to 42 per cent. Regional data showed the greatest degree of posting to be in areas adjacent to metropolitan centers: 68 per cent in the lower Hudson River area adjacent to greater New York City; 59 per cent in Region 8 (including the greater Rochester area); and 42 per cent in Region 4 (including the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metropolitan center). Regions 5 and 6 in northern New York showed the lowest percentage of private land posted with 25 and 27 per cent of private acreage posted.

Of the parcels reported posted on the mail questionnaire responses, 85 per cent were posted by the owners themselves, and an additional 3 per cent were posted by tenants. Special-interest or second-party posting accounted for the remaining 12 per cent.

Motivations for posting were strongly conditioned by the landowners' previous experiences with recreationists. Of those who posted, 55 per cent reported having had bad experiences with recreationists. Of these negative encounters, 56 per cent were with hunters, 26 per cent with snowmobilers, 7 per cent with fishermen and 11 per cent with other trespassers not necessarily recreationists. Posting and nonposting landowners held similar attitudes about the quality of hunting and snowmobiling as recreational activities. They differed sharply, however, in their attitudes about the behavior of hunters and snowmobilers; those who posted generally felt these recreationists to be irresponsible, while those who did not post believed most hunters and snowmobilers were responsible. Although hunters have historically been the principal target of posting signs, landowners are now more negative toward snowmobiliers than hunters in their attitudes.

Stepwise multiple regression analysis of the factors associated with posting revealed that only 62 per cent of the variance for the towns studied could be accounted for by independent variables such as population density, population mobility, age, education and income structure, distance from nearest metropolitan center, property value, etc. Of the independent variables on which data were available, residence in a metropolitan center was the most important in explaining the amount of posting; education level and property value per capita were also positively correlated with posting. The authors believe that the 38 per cent of the variance not accounted for is largely explained by the landowners' negative encounters with recreationists and other trespassers.

Although the demand for recreational use of private lands has become a year-around one, most landowners, at the time of this survey, did not object to the density or frequency of recreationists per se. The major problem continued to be the attitude of the landowners toward the behavior of the recreationists. Possible solutions to some of these problems are discussed.

Brunke, K.D. 2007. The role of expectations on waterfowl hunter satisfaction. Thesis, Mississippi State University, Mississippi, USA .

Keywords: none


Burrus-Bammel, L.L., G. Bammel, and K. Callo. 1982. Perceptions of hunting and hunters, 1980-1981. Pages 253-263 in Proceedings of the Southeastern Recreation Research Conference, Southeastern Forest Experimental Station, Asheville, NC.

Keywords: none

Three hundred and ninety-five (395) individuals were surveyed with a psychophysical magnitude scale to establish why people hunt and to determine non-hunters' and anti-hunters' perceptions of why people engage in this activity. The 6 most popular explanations were: like the out-of-doors, recreation, challenge-testing skill, nature study, shooting, and escape. Overall responses from hunters (190), non-hunters (170), and anti-hunters (33) were significantly different. No significant overall difference was found between male and female hunters, but significant within-group gender differences did occur in the other 2 groups. Between-group difference were significant for males; none were noted for females.


Campbell, J.M. and K. Mackay. 2003. Attitudinal and normative influences on support for hunting as a wildlife management strategy. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 8(3):181-198.

Keywords: hunting, attitudes, wildlife management, theory of reasoned action

Hunting as a wildlife management tool has come under increasing attack by antihunting organizations. This has resulted in increased concern by fish and wildlife agencies across North America, many of whom fear that the scientific management of wildlife is in danger due to the influence of an uninformed public. A province-wide survey based upon the Theory of Reasoned Action framework was conducted to examine residents' attitudes toward hunting in a variety of contexts. Results from over 1,300 respondents indicated support for hunting as wildlife management, for habitat preservation, and to maintain healthy animal populations. Attitudinal and normative influences were also examined based on level of intention to support hunting. Results of this research provide information regarding the underlying beliefs and referent groups likely to influence individual's support of hunting, which can then be used by government and others charged with the scientific management of wildlife to communicate successfully the role and significance of hunting in this regard.


Capozzi, S., C.P. Dawson, and R. Germain. 2003. Satisfaction with recreational leasing of industrial forest lands in the State of New York. Northern Journal of Applied Forestry 20(1): 27-33.

Keywords: recreation lease, industrial forestland

Recreational leasing of industrial forestlands has become a common practice in many areas of the country, although little is known about the satisfaction levels of the leaseholders involved in recreational lease programs. During the summer of 1999, surveys were mailed to New York industrial forest companies and their leaseholders to determine leaseholder satisfaction levels with recreational leasing and the ability of industrial forest managers to predict these levels. Thirteen companies were sent mail surveys, and 9 responded (response rate of 69%); 540 recreational leaseholders were sent surveys, and 362 responded (deliverable response rate of 68%). Leaseholder importance and satisfaction ratings for 14 lease attributes were analyzed. Most leaseholders rated their overall satisfaction with their recreation lease experience as satisfied (49%) or very satisfied (36%), and a smaller percentage of leaseholders indicated that they were neutral (8%), dissatisfied (4%), or very dissatisfied (3%) with their recreational lease experience.


Conover, M.R. 1998. Perceptions of American agricultural producers about wildlife on their farms and ranches. Wildlife Society Bulletin 26(3): 597-604.

Keywords: agricultural producers, Canis latrans, human-wildlife interactions, Marmota, Odocoileus, Procyon lotor, wildlife damage, wildlife management, wildlife perceptions

Perceptions of U.S. agricultural producers about wildlife were examined by distributing questionnaires in 1993 and 1994 to 2,000 farmers and ranchers: 1,000 selected from a random list maintained by Survey Sampling, Inc., and 1,000 contacted through county offices of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency. One thousand three hundred forty-seven usable questionnaires were returned. Most respondents (51%) purposely managed for wildlife on their farm or ranch. Activities included providing cover for wildlife near fields (reported by 39% of the respondents), providing a water source (38%), leaving crop residue in the field (36%), leaving a portion of the crop unharvested (17%), and providing salt licks (12%). In the prior year, respondents spent a mean of $223 (SE = $24) and 14 hours (SE = 1) to help or encourage wildlife on their property. Most respondents (77%) allowed hunting on their property; 5% charged hunters a fee. Most respondents (80%) suffered wildlife damage in the year prior to the survey, and 53% reported that damage exceeded their tolerance. Respondents spent a mean of 43.6 hours and $1,002 in the prior year trying to solve or prevent wildlife damage. Despite these efforts, 54% of respondents reported >$500 in losses annually from wildlife damage. Because their losses were so severe, 24% said they were reluctant to provide habitat for wildlife, and 38% said they would oppose the creation of a wildlife sanctuary near their property. Problems were caused most often by deer (Odocoileus sp.; listed by 53% of all respondents), raccoons (Procyon lotor; 25%), coyotes (Canis latrans; 24%), and ground hogs (Marmota spp.; 21%). Regional differences were found in wildlife enhancement practices, hunter access, and species causing problems, but not in the extent of wildlife damage.


Daley, S.S., D.T. Cobb, P.T. Bromley, and C.E. Sorenson. 2004. Landowner attitudes regarding wildlife management on private land in North Carolina. Wildlife Society Bulletin 32(1): 209-219.

Keywords: attitudes, behavior, human dimensions, landowner, North Carolina, private land, telephone, survey, wildlife management

Early-successional habitats across the southeast United States have declined considerably in recent years amid rising human population growth and associated development. Recognizing the declining wildlife populations associated with early-successional habitats and the need for influence over habitat on private land, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission established the Cooperative Upland Habitat Restoration and Enhancement (CURE) Program in August 2000. The program targets private landowners in 3 select regions of the state (Upper Coastal Plain I, Upper Coastal Plain II, and Western Piedmont). Survey research was conducted in the 3 CURE Program areas to 1) evaluate demographic and landownership attributes of private landowners and associated land-use characteristics, 2) assess regional differences in landowner attitudes and behavior toward wildlife management on private land, 3) identify landowner attributes related to regional differences in attitude or behavior, and 4) evaluate how regional differences will impact future CURE Program guidelines. Landowner attitudes toward wildlife in North Carolina are closely linked to property use and reliance on land for direct economic income (i.e., agricultural production). Landowners who depended on their property for earned annual income were less likely to consider the aesthetic or intrinsic value of wildlife on their land than those who did not rely on their land for income. For some landowners, financial incentives alone appeared sufficient to encourage participation in the CURE Program. Other landowners were less interested in financial rewards. For these landowners, alternative forms of encouragement, such as partnerships with agencies and organizations, might be more effective. Understanding variability in landowner attitudes and behavior toward wildlife habitat is critical to the success of private-land wildlife habitat management programs. In North Carolina the success of the CURE Program will depend on tailoring the program to fit regional differences in landowner values, attitudes, and behavior.

Decker, D.J. and T.L. Brown. 1987. How animal rightists view the "Wildlife Management-Hunting System." Wildlife Society Bulletin 15: 599-602.

Keywords: none

Americans hold a variety of views about wildlife that managers need to be aware of as policies and programs are formulated. We probably know the most about hunters and have only limited insights about antihunters (e.g., Kellert [1978]). Although the animal rightist position is extreme, wildlife professionals need to know the aspects of the animal rights issue that relate to wildlife management.**

Decker, D.J., T.L. Brown, and R.J. Gutierrez. 1980. Further insights into the multiple-satisfactions approach for hunter management. Wildlife Society Bulletin 8(4):323-331.

Keywords: none

A multiple-satisfactions approach was used to determine hunting satisfaction for deer hunters using the Arnot Forest, a controlled hunting area in central New York. A sample of these hunters was surveyed via mail questionnaire; 144 (73.5%) hunters responded. Among 12 potential components of hunting satisfaction in respondents' concept of an ideal situation, "to get outdoors and enjoy nature" and "to see deer or deer signs" were of primary importance, while "to get shots at deer," "to use hunting skills," and "to get away from everyday problems and get a chance to relax" were secondary. Five components of hunting satisfaction were found to be deficient when compared to an ideal situation: getting shots at deer, seeing deer or deer sign, trophy display, using hunting equipment, and using hunting skills. Highly satisfied hunters ranked getting out-of-doors the most important component of the hunt; minimally satisfied hunters ranked getting shots at deer highest. The greatest dissatisfactions were related to harvesting game. We concluded that the multiple-satisfactions approach may prove most useful when used to identify (1) types of hunters seeking similar satisfactions and (2) areas that best provide those satisfactions. Thus, it may be possible to combine hunters seeking similar satisfactions with areas having the greatest potential to provide those satisfactions.


Duda, M.D, S.J. Bissell, and K.C. Young. 1998. Wildlife and the American mind: Public opinion on and attitudes toward fish and wildlife management. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Federal Aid, Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Grant Agreement 14-48-0009-96-14230. Responsive Management: Harrisonburg, VA.

Keywords: none

The purpose of this book is to help fish and wildlife managers, administrators, and outreach specialists better understand and work with their constituents and publics. This book represents a compilation of the most salient findings from more than 300 Responsive Management telephone, mail, and in-person surveys, focus groups, and literature reviews conducted over the past 10 years. It also includes recommendations and strategies on how to utilize this information to enhance fish and wildlife management programs and policies, as well as how to more effectively manage hunting, fishing, and wildlife-watching programs.
It is our hope that by distributing this synthesis of the most important findings of these studies, and as importantly, their implications, this book will help fish and wildlife managers, administrators, and outreach specialists learn more about how their constituents and publics view various fish and wildlife management issues. The research presented in this book should also assists in better understanding the dynamics and psychological parameters of Americans' participation in hunting, fishing, and wildlife-watching.*


Enck, J.W., B.L. Swift, and D.J. Decker. 1993. Reasons for decline in duck hunting – Insights from New York. Wildlife Society Bulletin 21(1):10-21.

Keywords: none

We investigated duck-hunting participation among 1988-1989 small-game license holders in New York. Almost two-thirds of small-game license holders had never hunted ducks. Of those who had, 55% were sporadic hunters, 32% were dissociators, and 13% were consistent duck hunters. Achievement motivation was associated more frequently with dissociation and sporadic hunters. Appreciative motivation was most important for consistent hunters. Confusing regulations about huntable duck species and low waterfowl populations were reported as reasons for not hunting ducks. Lack of a place to hunt ducks and crowded hunting areas were impediments to more hunters than were inconvenient season dates, short seasons, or small bag limits. New types of programs need to be developed, especially for young hunters who are most likely to dissociate without appropriate support for waterfowl hunting.**


Enck, J.W. and D.J. Decker. 1991. Hunters' perspectives on satisfying and dissatisfying aspects of the deer-hunting experiences in New York. HDRU No. 91-4. Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Keywords: deer management, human dimensions, white-tailed deer, hunting satisfactions, hunting motivations, expectations, deer management permits

The goal of deer management in New York is "…perpetuation of the white-tailed deer resource, maintaining populations at levels that insure optimal recreational opportunities commensurate with range carrying capacity and tolerable conflicts with other land uses" (Dickinson, No date). This goal reflects the desire to balance habitat concerns, recreation, and other societal interests in deer. To achieve this goal, deer managers require information about deer habitat, deer population biology, and human values relative to deer. One of the human values that New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) considers is hunters' satisfaction with recreational deer hunting.

In the summer of 1989, DEC asked the Human Dimensions Research Unit (HDRU) in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University to develop a study to determine deer hunters' perspectives on the satisfying and dissatisfying aspects of recreational deer hunting in the State. The objectives of the study we designed were to: (1) identify the important aspects of overall deer hunting satisfactions and dissatisfactions for hunters in New York; (2) determine how hunters develop preseason expectations about important satisfactions; (3) determine whether hunters experience what they expect during the deer season; and (4) identify possible program actions to increase deer hunter satisfactions and decrease dissatisfactions.

Ericsson, G. and T.A. Heberlein. 2002. "Jagare tala naturens sprak" (hunters speak nature's language): A comparison of outdoor activities and attitudes toward wildlife among Swedish hunters and the general public. Zeitschrift fur Jagdwissenschaft 48: 301-308.

Keywords: attitudes, hunting, nature, outdoor activities, wildlife, Sweden

Human behavior has evolved closely with nature, but now the urbanization process tends to alienate humans from nature. Different usage patterns for outdoor activities among groups may have implications for how to communicate about nature, and for the future role of hunting as people's activities and consequently experiences differ. In a mail survey we compared outdoor related nature activities and general attitude toward animals contrasting the Swedish public with hunters. We received a 74% (public) and a 83% (hunters) response rate with four contacts. A larger proportion of the hunters had walked in the woods, picked berries or mushrooms, fished, gathered firewood, cross-country skied, camped in a tent or hiked in the mountains compared to the public. When the effects of age, current place of residency and gender are taken into account, a significant difference is observed with hunters participating more in consumptive activities. When the effects of current place of residency and age were controlled for, hunters still participated more in non-consumptive activities than the public. As fewer of the public will have experience of outdoor activities, they will speak nature's language based on feelings, whereas the hunters are the ones that speak nature's language based more on experience. A conclusion is that the Swedish society should increase its support for environmental education to introduce people to the outdoors, and most importantly, give hands-on experience of a variety of nature related activities - hunting being one such activity, but not the only one.


Fulton, D.C. and M.J. Manfredo. 2004. A panel design to assess the effects of regulatory induced reductions in opportunity on deer hunters' satisfaction. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 9(1):35-55.

Keywords: satisfaction, constraints, regulations, hunting

Beginning in 1992, regulatory changes in Colorado shortened rifle hunting for buck deer to the first three days of the combined deer and elk rifle seasons. These changes represented a severe reduction in season length (40%-75%) and provided an opportunity to examine the impact of dramatic regulatory changes on hunters' beliefs, satisfaction, and behavior using a panel study design. Data were collected before and after the regulatory changes, from a panel of 1,018 rifle buck deer hunters (521 residents and 497 nonresidents). Satisfaction with the rifle buck deer hunting experience declined significantly for both resident and nonresident hunters after the new regulations were implemented. Hunters' beliefs about the consequences of the regulations and their level of support for the regulations explained a relatively large and significant proportion of the change in satisfaction levels. Beliefs about the consequences of and level of support for the regulations were significant predictors of the perceived level of regulatory constraint. In turn, the level of regulatory constraint predicted perceptions of overall constraint to rifle deer hunting and these perceptions were significantly related to actual participation in rifle buck deer hunting. Study results imply that regulations that are perceived as decreasing recreation opportunities can decrease overall satisfaction with the hunting experience. The authors suggest thresholds exist for regulatory constraints beyond which there are severe impacts on satisfaction.

[Taylor Francis]


 Fulton, D.C., K. Skerl, E.M. Shank and D.W. Lime. 2004. Beliefs and attitudes toward lethal management of deer in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Wildlife Society Bulletin (32)4:1166-1176.

Keywords: attitudes, beliefs, deer, lethal control, National Park Service, Odocoileus virginianus

We used the theory of reasoned action to help understand attitudes and beliefs about lethal management of deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP), Ohio. We used a mail-back survey to collect data from Ohio residents in the surrounding 9-county area. Two strata were defined: residents 10 km from CVNP (near n = 369) and residents = 10 km from CVNP (far n = 312). Respondents indicated that lethal control of deer was acceptable (near 71%±4.7%, far 62%±5.5%) and taking no action to reduce deer populations was unacceptable (near 75%±4.5%, far 72%±5.1%). Beliefs about outcomes of lethal control and evaluation of those outcomes proved to be strong predictors of the acceptability of lethal control of deer in CVNP. Lethal control was more acceptable if it was done to prevent severe consequences for humans (e.g., spread of disease, car collisions) or the natural environment (e.g., maintain a healthy deer herd) than to prevent negative aesthetic impacts or personal property damage. Results from the study can be used to assist managers at CVNP as they make decisions regarding alternatives for deer management in the park and to inform others managing abundant deer populations of socially relevant impacts of management actions.


Good, S.P. 1997. Wilderness and the hunting experience: What it means to be a hunter. Wildlife Society Bulletin 25(2):563-567.

Keywords: experience, hunting, values, wilderness, wildlife management

Good describes his experience as a hunter and analyzes individual reasons for hunting based on current research and periodicals.**


Hammit, W.E., C.D. McDonald, and M.E. Patterson. 1990. Determinants of multiple satisfaction for deer hunting. Wildlife Society Bulletin 18(3):331-337.

Keywords: none

Human satisfaction and high-quality recreation experiences constitute the basic products of wildlife management (Hendee and Potter 1971). Therefore, white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) management programs should provide hunters with high-quality deer hunting opportunities and satisfying recreation experiences. Fulfilling this responsibility requires that management agencies understand the many elements of the total hunting experience that combine to produce overall hunting satisfaction (Propst and Lime 1982).*

Hammit, W.E., C.D. McDonald, and F.P. Noe. 1989. Wildlife management – Managing the hunt versus the hunting experience. Environmental Management 13(4):503-507.

Keywords: wildlife management, hunter satisfaction, deer hunting

Deer hunter satisfaction is investigated from two perspectives, (1) satisfaction with the hunt/harvest and (2) satisfaction with the overall hunting trip experience. Regression analysis is used to determine what variables best predict satisfaction with the hunt and the hunting experience. Results indicate that animal population variables (number of deer seen, shot at, bagged) are the best determinants of a quality deer hunt, while environmental (outdoors) and social (crowding and hunter behavior) are the best predictors of a quality hunting trip experience. Wildlife managers and researchers need to realize that deer hunters view the hunt/harvest as different from the hunting trip experience and need to manage for both aspects of hunter satisfaction.

Hayslette, S.E., J.B. Armstrong and R.E. Mirarchi. 2001. Mourning dove hunting in Alabama: Motivations, satisfactions, and sociocultural influences. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 6(2):81-95.

Keywords: Alabama, hunting, motivation, mourning dove, satisfaction, sociocultural influences

Knowledge of factors affecting participation in, and satisfactions gained from, hunting is important yet unstudied among mourning dove hunters. We tested the multiple-satisfactions model of hunting and investigated effects of motivational factors and sociocultural characteristics on development and maintenance of dove hunting behavior using a mail survey of hunters in Alabama. Most Alabama hunters appeared motivated by multiple, primarily nonsuccess-based, satisfactions. Dove hunters were more strongly motivated by nonsuccess-based satisfactions and less by obtaining a bag limit than were other types of hunters. Childhood socialization was important in developing hunting behavior among both dove and nondove hunters. Early initiation into hunting and family tradition and mentoring were particularly important in developing dove hunting behavior. Attrition from dove hunting was low (< 20%), and was positively associated with currently living in an urban area, but was unrelated to other sociocultural variables or to motivational factors. Management for multiple hunting satisfactions seems appropriate, given the importance of nonsuccess-based motivations and satisfactions. Lack of family tradition and mentoring may limit success of youth programs encouraging hunting.


Hautaluoma, J.E. and P.J. Brown. 1978. Attributes of the deer hunting experience: A cluster analytic study. Journal of Leisure Research 10(4):271-287.

Keywords: recreation behavior, hunting, cluster analysis, hunter satisfaction

Using data from Washington State deer hunters, this paper reports on a cluster analytic study of the attributes of the deer hunting experience. The data were collected by mail questionnaire from 3,924 deer hunters by Potter, Hendee, and Clark (1973). Scaled data were subjected to a variable cluster analysis, and then variable clusters were used in an object cluster analysis of hunters. Several dimensions of the deer hunting experiences which add to or detract from satisfaction, and groups of hunters reacting differently to these dimensions, are identified. Nature, harvest, equipment, out-group contact, and skill are identified as important attributes of the hunt, for all deer hunters. Ten groups of Washing State deer hunters, each with a different pattern of response across the dimensions, are identified and discussed. Association of additional hunt and user characteristics with the hunter groups is shown. Uses of these and similar data in game and recreation management are discussed.

Heberlein T.A. 2001. Observations on satisfaction, crowding, and trophy buck management. Pages 93–118 in J.F. Kubishiak, K.R. McCaffery, W.A. Creed, T.A. Heberlein, R.C. Bishop, and R.E. Rolley, editors. Sandhill whitetails: Providing new perspective for deer management. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

Keywords: none

Nearly 2,800 hunters were questioned after their 1-day deer hunts between 1979 and 1989 at Sandhill. They were asked for their opinions on their satisfaction with the hunt and their effectiveness as hunters, on how they felt about hunter density and crowding, and their reactions to trophy buck management. Hunters' responses provided a base for understanding and evaluating deer hunting in 19 separate hunts under 3 different season frameworks: In 7 hunts, only antlerless deer were legal; in 6 hunts, deer of either sex were legal; and in 6 hunts, some hunters had any-deer permits, and others had antlerless-only permits. Hunters were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 areas with predetermined levels of hunter density ranging from 4 to 30 hunters/mile sq.

These mixtures of any-deer and antlerless-only hunts were undertaken to develop a herd with equal numbers of adult bucks, adult does, and fawns. The resulting increase in older bucks was reflected in bigger antlers and body size. Fifty-seven percent of hunters in a mixed-season hunt supported implementing trophy deer management on other areas where they hunted. Another 27% were neutral. It is likely that the interest and commitment level of Sandhill hunters toward trophy buck management was greater than that of the typical Wisconsin hunter. The following descriptions detail the attributes associated with individual hunting experiences: satisfaction, effectiveness, hunter density, and trophy buck hunts.

[BioOne Abstracts and Indexes]

Heberlein, T.A. 1991. Changing attitudes and funding for wildlife - Preserving the sport hunter. Wildlife Society Bulletin 19(4):528-534.

Keywords: none

We must turn to the current constituents for serious funding of a revitalized wildlife program with fair share rather than token funding from nonconsumptive groups. We must institute sweeping hunter education programs worthy of the name. Hunting is a complex business and requires substantial training and proof that the training has been effective. Finally the research enterprise must be redirected, with all of the dislocations which that implies, to a balanced program including the human as well as the biological dimensions of wildlife.*

Heberlein, T.A. and W.F. Kuentzel. 2002. Too many hunters or not enough deer? Human and biological determinants of hunter satisfaction and quality. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 7(4): 229-250.

Keywords: white-tailed deer, hunter density, perceived crowding, hunting, quality, satisfaction, trophy bucks, doe hunting

This paper explores how the human dimensions of wildlife management(hunter density, contact with others, perceived crowding) are related to the biological dimensions of deer management (deer population, seeing, shooting, bagging) to produce satisfying and high quality hunts. In a series of hunter density experiments at the Sandhill Wildlife Demonstration Area in Wisconsin, this study compared these relationships between hunters who held either antlerless-only (doe) or trophy buck permits. A 1980 study of doe hunters at Sandhill showed that higher hunter density had a positive effect on hunter satisfaction. However, a 1982 study of trophy buck hunters could not replicate this finding. To sort out these relationships, this study analyzed results from 11 years of hunter density experiments at Sandhill. The results showed that effect of density can shift from a positive to a negative depending on the season framework. For doe hunters, higher hunter densities improved the odds of success, and increased satisfaction ratings and quality ratings. More hunters increased crowding, which decreased satisfaction. But higher hunter density was also associated with seeing more deer, shooting more, and bagging deer. Among trophy buck hunters, hunter density had no effect on seeing, shooting, and bagging a deer. Seeing, shooting, and bagging were only associated with deer density. For trophy buck hunters, increased hunter density reduced satisfaction and quality ratings. These negative evaluations were not offset by seeing more deer, shooting more, or bagging a deer.

Heberlein, T.A. and T. Willebrand. 1998. Attitudes toward hunting across time and continents: The United State and Sweden. Gibier Faune Sauvage, Game Wildl. 15 (Hors série Tome 3):1071-1080.

Keywords: hunting, attitude, subsistence, recreation, game management

This paper compares attitudes toward three types of hunting for residents of the United States and residents of Sweden. Survey data in the United States showed that 93 percent of the public supported hunting by Eskimos and Indians, 67 percent of the public supported hunting for meat and recreation, but this dropped to 42 percent when we asked how they felt about hunting for sport and recreation. Only 5 percent of the population strongly opposed all forms of hunting. Attitudes toward hunting depend on what the attitude is about. Hunting alone is too broad an object and needs to be more precisely defined to give a meaningful understanding of antihunting attitudes. We are currently surveying residents of Sweden using translations of these same three questions. Because of the importance of hunting and the rural culture of Sweden we expect similar results between the two societies.

Horton, R.R. and S.R. Craven. 1997. Perceptions of shooting-permit use for deer damage abatement in Wisconsin. Wildlife Society Bulletin 25(2):330-336.

Keywords: attitudes, crop damage, Odocoileus virginianus, shooting permits, survey, white-tailed deer, Wisconsin

We documented the attitudes of stakeholders on the use of permits for out-of-season deer shooting to control agricultural crop damage in Wisconsin. Questionnaires were sent to 348 (100%) Wisconsin farmers who received shooting permits in 1992 (permittees) and to random samples of 750 Wisconsin farmers (about 0.2%) and 491 Wisconsin hunters (about 0.1%) to assess their attitudes about shooting permits for deer. Most respondents in each sample believed that shooting permits were effective in reducing damage, but Lye were unable to determine the reason they held this opinion. Only 28% of permittees reported a decrease in numbers of deer in their fields after shooting. Most shooting permits (77%) were used after August, when many crops were beyond the most vulnerable growth stages or had been harvested. Based on local deer population calculations and average rates of reproduction in Wisconsin, too few deer were shot under permit to reduce immediate crop losses or to impact the amount of damage the following year. Comments, reportedly heard by farmers and permittees, suggest a common misconception that permittees use the permits themselves and keep the deer, leaving hunters no access to permits. Public information on the use and regulation of shooting permits may reduce misconceptions and allow expansion of shooting-permit programs.

Hrubes, D., I. Ajzen, and J. Daigle. 2001. Predicting hunting intentions and behavior: An application of the theory of planned behavior. Leisure Sciences 23(3):165-178.

Keywords: attitudes, beliefs, outdoor recreation, values, wildlife

Using a mail survey (n = 395) of outdoor recreationists, the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1991) was applied to the prediction and explanation of hunting. In a series of hierarchical regression analyses, it was found that hunting intentions, but not perceptions of behavioral control, contributed to the prediction of self-reported hunting frequency. Hunting intentions, in turn, were strongly influenced by attitudes, subjective norms, and perceptions of behavioral control, and these predictors correlated highly with theoretically derived sets of underlying beliefs. Broad values related to wildlife and to life in general correlated weakly with hunting behavior, and their effects were largely mediated by the components of the theory of planned behavior.


Jackson, R.M. and R. Norton. 1980. "Phases:" The personal evolution of the sport hunter. Wisconsin Sportsman 9(6):17-20.

Keywords: none

For the past five years the writers have been conducting a series of comprehensive studies of Wisconsin hunters. Over six hundred individuals were both observed in the field and interviewed in depth as a means of describing the behaviors, life, experiences, values, and satisfactions of Wisconsin waterfowl hunters. Additional studies have put the researchers in field contact with over 1,000 Wisconsin deer-gun hunters in ten representative management units plus intensive home interviews with a sample group. These contacts and discussion with waterfowl and deer hunters have provided the writers with a unique opportunity to evaluate the experiences that mature and change the values and lifestyles of many hunters. It has been a privilege to hear hunters reflect on key and significant experiences with wildlife and the woods, associations with fellow hunters, a unique, shared experience with a son or daughter, and certainly the ambivalent feelings created by the kill.*


Kania, G.S. and M.R. Conover. 1991. How governmental wildlife agencies should respond to local governments that pass antihunting legislation – A response. Wildlife Society Bulletin 19(2):224-225.

Keywords: none

In the United States and Canada, the wildlife resource belongs to all of the people, regardless of whether they are consumptive users, nonconsumptive users, or nonusers. State and federal wildlife agencies are entrusted by society to manage that resource for the good of society. Agencies need to adapt to [these] societal changes rather than resist them. Agencies should adopt the principle that their mandate is to enhance the value of the wildlife resource for all citizens.**

Kellert, S.R. 1978. Attitudes and characteristics of hunters and antihunters. Transactions of the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference 43:412-423.

Keywords: none

Two cause of conflict between hunters and anti-hunters are often basic differences in philosophical outlook and socio-cultural background. One should not presume, however, that either hunters or anti-hunters are homogeneous groups exhibiting relatively uniform characteristics (see Potter et al. 1973, Applegate 1977). In this paper, considerable diversity in the attitudes and social features of both hunters and anti-hunters will be described.

Most of the data has been derived from a two-part study conducted from 1973-75 of American attitudes and behaviors towards animals. The first study involved in-depth interviews and was mainly descriptive. The second study was a national investigation of 553 randomly selected Americans and employed a highly structured, close-ended questionnaire. Among the results of this research was the development of typology of attitudes toward animals. As this typology provides a conceptual framework for describing hunters and anti-hunters, some familiarity with it is helpful. Crude one-sentence definitions of each attitude are provided in Table 1, although more thorough descriptions are available in Kellert (1976b).*

Kilpatrick, H.J. and A.M. LaBonte. 2003. Deer hunting in a residential community: The community's perspective. Wildlife Society Bulletin 31(2):340-348.

Keywords: cultural carrying capacity, deer-vehicle accidents, human dimensions, hunt, landscape plantings, Lyme disease, Odocoileus virginianus, survey

Conflicts between overabundant white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and humans have become a prominent management concern, especially in urban areas. Communities experiencing problems associated with overabundant deer are searching for safe and effective methods to reduce urban deer populations. Our objectives were to assess public perceptions and expectations about deer management issues, hunt effectiveness, and relative changes in "cultural carrying capacity" before and after an intense shotgun-archery deer hunt in a residential community. During a 7-year period, we conducted 3 surveys that targeted all residents in the community. During all 3 surveys, 90-98% of residents returned their surveys. Most residents (98%) believed the hunt reduced the deer population, and most (82%) rated how the hunt was conducted as good to excellent. After the hunt the community experienced less damage to landscape plantings and reported fewer cases of Lyme disease. Residents affected by hunted deer experienced greater relief from deer damage to plantings and greater satisfaction with hunt effectiveness than residents affected by partially hunted deer. Two of every 3 residents who did not support hunting before the hunt indicated afterward that they would support hunting in their community in the future. From 1998-2001, the deer population was reduced by 92% while incidents of Lyme disease decreased by 83%. The community's tolerance for deer was close to zero before and immediately after the hunt. Hunts should target all potential areas that may contribute to a community's deer population to maximize hunt success and resident satisfaction. Hunt programs that are fast, safe, and maximize harvest opportunities should increase community support for hunting as a management tool.


Lauber, T.B. and T.L. Brown. 2000. Hunters' attitudes toward regulatory changes. Human Dimensions Research Unit publication 00-10. Department of Natural Resources, N.Y.S. College of Agriculture and Life Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. 42pp.

Keywords: none

The harvest of antlerless deer through recreational hunting is wildlife managers' primary tool for regulating deer populations. Deer managers strive to develop regulations that will both: (1) encourage antlerless deer harvest; and (2) maintain or enhance the experience of deer hunters.

Knowing how hunters will respond to regulations before they are enacted can enable agencies to develop better regulations. In this study, we explored how New York State deer hunters reacted to proposed regulatory changes. *


MacKay, K.J. and J.M. Campbell. 2004. An examination of residents’ support for hunting as a tourism product. Tourism Management 25:443–452.

Keywords: hunting, tourism, attitudes

As new forms of special interest tourism are developed and continue to expand, more traditional tourism activities, such as hunting, are in decline. Public perceptions about hunting have the potential to alter or cease some of these traditional tourism activities. Understanding resident perceptions of and support for hunting when it is a major tourism product for a destination is necessary to engender support for the activity and maintain its tourism profile and important economic contribution. A province-wide survey was conducted that examined residents’ attitudes and normative influences toward hunting as a tourism product. Results from over 1300 respondents suggested that residents have a slightly positive attitude toward hunting when it is for tourism and economic purposes. Although referent groups were less influential than residents’ attitudes in predicting support for hunting, businesses that benefit from hunting-based tourism were viewed as more influential than the tourists themselves. Results are discussed according to residents’ level of support for hunting (high, medium, low) and indicate the underlying beliefs that drive their respective attitudinal and social influences. Implications for marketing and communication are provided.


Mankin, P.C., R.E. Warner, and W.L. Anderson. 1999. Wildlife and the Illinois public: A benchmark study of attitudes and perceptions. Wildlife Society Bulletin 27(2): 465-472.

Keywords: attitudes, hunting, opinions, public citizens, wildlife survey

Natural resource management agencies are increasingly challenged to involve the public in issues pertaining to wildlife management. However, there has been little systematic attempt to describe the perceptions, knowledge, and altitudes of the general public regarding using and managing wildlife. We conducted a benchmark study during June-July, 1996, of selected attitudes, perceptions, and knowledge of Illinois residents relative to wildlife and related issues and compared these factors for residents in the northeast metropolitan region (metro) and the rest of Illinois (nonmetro). We considered these findings in the context of emerging knowledge regarding public perceptions of wildlife. A high percentage of residents believed that wild animals add value to their lives and that conservation education should be a priority. There was extensive participation in non-consumptive forms of wildlife recreation and minimal involvement in hunting and trapping. In fact, a minority of residents supported hunting for sport alone, and only a nominal majority supported hunting to provide economic development, food, or to prevent the overabundance of selected species. Three interrelated factors (place of residence, generation, and gender) in part portray differences in wildlife-related knowledge and attitudes of Illinois residents. Place of residence suggests differences in the populations of the northeastern metropolitan region (metro) and those of the smaller cities and more rural regions of Illinois (nonmetro). Compared to nonmetro, metro residents have fewer direct encounters with wildlife, including participation in wildlife recreation, and fewer wild animal problems such as collisions, crop damage, etc. The metro population is less supportive of hunting and hunting-related revenues that benefit wildlife conservation, more likely to attribute imperiled species to overexploitation than to habitat destruction, and more likely to value wildlife similar to the way they value pets or people. The generational factor indicates that the younger portion of the population, the emerging generation of influence, also is more likely to value wildlife similar to the way they value pets or people. Further, they are prone to believe that habitats support unlimited numbers of animals (i.e., are not resource limited). The gender factor suggests that females from both regions are less supportive of hunting and tend to attribute endangered species to hunting rather than habitat. Similar to urbanites in general, females were less satisfied with the status of wildlife and management.

Mehmood, S., D. Zhang, and J.B. Armstrong. 2003. Factors associated with declining hunting license sales in Alabama. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 8(4): 243-262.

Keywords: hunting license sale, hunting participation, hunter retention, hunting license, fee, hunting satisfaction

This article documents the magnitude of and factors associated with declining hunting license sales in Alabama. Respondents were classified as active hunters, former hunters, or nonhunters. Active hunters were relatively satisfied with their recent hunting experiences and the wildlife management programs conducted by the state. In addition, they were supportive of a modest increase of hunting fees. Reasons given by former hunters for quitting the activity were lack of time, lack of public hunting areas, aging, and loss of interest. Nonhunters either did not have an interest in hunting or considered the killing of animals as cruel. Reasons for lack of participation by nonhunters do not indicate a high probability of recruiting hunters from the ranks of nonhunters. These results suggest that agencies and organizations that depend on hunters should put resources into keeping active hunters from becoming former hunters. Based on the results and comments from active and former hunters, it would seem that the best mechanisms for hunter retention are to provide opportunities for active hunters to participate in hunting and to keep hunting woven into the social fabric of community.

[Taylor & Francis]

Miller, C.A. and J.J. Vaske. 2003. Individual and situational influences on declining hunter effort in Illinois. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 8(4): 263-276.

Keywords: hunting, hunter effort, logistic regression models, perceived constraints

This study examines individual and situational influences on declining hunter effort in Illinois. Data were obtained from a self-administered mail survey of 2,872 (response rate = 67%) resident hunters in Illinois. A series of four separate logistic regressions were constructed to model demographics, past experience, and perceived personal and situational constraints related to declining hunter effort. A final model included variables from each of the separate regressions. Nine variables were significant predictors of hunter effort in the final model: four perceived personal constraints (lack of time, interest, finances, and poor health), three situational constraints (not enough game, no land available for hunting, and too many regulations), and two past experience variables (years of hunting experience and days afield during prior season). None of the demographic variables had a significant influence on hunter effort after controlling for the other predictors in the model. The final model that included past experience and the two sets of perceived constraint measures (personal and situational) explained 91% of the variance and correctly classified 97% of hunters in both the "decreased" and "did not decrease" categories. Discussion focuses on the need for understanding perceived constraints to hunting participation that are within the control of management agencies.

[Taylor & Francis]


Miller, C.A. and A.R. Graefe. 2001. Effect of harvest success on hunter attitudes toward white-tailed deer management in Pennsylvania. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 6 (3):189-203.

Keywords: deer hunting, harvesting, white-tailed deer, hunters

This study examined effects of harvest and subjective evaluations of the state's deer herd on hunter satisfaction with white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) management in Pennsylvania. Hunters were classified as rifle, archery, or muzzleloader through a probability model based on prior experience. Backward hierarchical log-linear analysis was used to model satisfaction with deer management for the three groups. Successfully harvesting deer was significant in predicting satisfaction with deer management among the three hunting groups. Different models explained satisfaction for each type of deer hunter. Harvest was a main effect for archery and a partial-order effect for rifle and muzzleloader deer hunters. Harvest success was directly related to satisfaction with management for archery deer hunters. In the rifle deer-hunter model, harvest success was associated with perception of balanced harvest, which was related to satisfaction with deer management. Harvest success was associated with perceptions of herd size and seeing deer in the muzzleloader model, and seeing deer directly related to satisfaction with deer management. Differing relationships between harvest success and satisfaction with management for different types of hunters may offer understanding into hunter opposition to management programs.


Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 2005. 2005 Survey of Deer Hunter Satisfaction and Preferences for Regulation Changes in Minnesota . Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Saint Paul , Minnesota , USA .

Keywords: none


More, T.A. 1973. Attitudes of Massachusetts hunters. Transactions of the North American Wildlife and Natural Resource Conference 38: 230-234.

Keywords: none

There has been a range of motives attributed to sport hunters and much debate over the moral and ethical aspects of killing for pleasure (Anthony 1957; Krutch 1957). However, Hendee and Potter (1971) have argued that there is a need to examine the relationship between success and satisfaction in hunting. This suggests that satisfaction may depend more upon more factors than the amount of game harvested. Understanding some of these could lead to better management for quality hunting experiences. This paper reports the results of a study in Massachusetts that attempted to measure the motivational incentives involved in hunting.*

Murdock, S.H., K. Backman, M.N. Hoque, and D. Ellis. 1990. The impacts of future change in population size and composition on recreational demand. Pages 147-195 in O'Leary, J.T., D.R. Fesenmair, T. Brown, D. Stynes, and B. Driver, editors. Proceedings of the National Outdoor Recreation Trends Symposium III. Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University, 29-31 March 1990, Lafayette, IN.

Keywords: none

The U.S. population is likely to grow slowly, to age significantly, and to show increased proportions of minorities in the coming decades. These patterns are general pervasive throughout the Nation, but are particularly more pronounced in regions where one or more of these demographic characteristics are accentuated. These demographic factors have received extensive attention as determinants of recreational behavior, but analyses of future demand for recreational services have often failed to adequately examine the simultaneous interactive effects of demographic variables.

In this paper, the results from national- and state-level cohort-component population projection models employing age and race/ethnicity cohorts and cohort-specific rates of participation in different recreational activities are used to examine the effects of population growth, age, and race/ethnicity on the number of participants projected to be in several different recreational activities in the United States and Texas through the year 2025. Texas is included because it provides an example of how regional variations in demographic characteristics may affect participation.

The number of participants in nearly all activities in the U.S. and Texas populations show slower future growth due to age and race/ethnicity effects. Race/ethnicity effects are particularly pronounced in Texas due to the rapid growth of its Hispanic population. The results clearly demonstrate that analyses employing detailed information on demographic characteristics and area-specific analyses must be utilized to adequately plan for future demands for different types of recreational activities.


Needham, M.D., and J.J. Vaske. 2008. Hunter perceptions of similarity and trust in wildlife agencies and personal risk associated with chronic wasting disease. Society & Natural Resources 21(3):197-214.

Keywords: chronic wasting disease, hunting, perceived risk, salient value similarity, social trust, structural equation modeling, wildlife management

Theory suggests that risk perceptions are influenced by trust in managing agencies. Shared goals and values (i.e., perceived similarity) are foundations of trust. This article examines the extent to which hunters perceive personal health risks associated with chronic wasting disease (CWD) (e.g., become ill from CWD) and the influence of perceived similarity and trust in state wildlife agencies as determinants of risk. Data were obtained from surveys (n = 9567) of resident and nonresident deer and elk hunters in eight states. Structural equation models showed that across all strata, hunters' perceptions of similarity with agencies positively influenced trust in agencies to manage CWD, explaining up to 49% of the variance in trust. Hunters who trusted agencies perceived less risk associated with CWD, but trust only explained up to 8% of the variance in risk. Hunters perceived similarity with and trust in wildlife agencies, but still perceived risks associated with CWD.


Needham, M.D., J.J. Vaske, M.P. Dotmelly, and M.J. Manfredo. 2007. Hunting specialization and its relationship to participation in response to chronic wasting disease. Journal of Leisure Research 39(3):413-437.

Keywords: recreation specialization, chronic wasting disease, hunting, risk behavior, displacement, wildlife management.

This article examines the influence of chronic wasting disease (CWD) on displacement and desertion among hunters of varying degrees of specialization. Data were obtained from surveys (n = 9,567) of resident and nonresident deer and elk hunters in eight states. Cluster analyses of hunters' skill, centrality, equipment, and experience revealed four specialization groups (casual, intermediate, focused, veteran). Hunters were shown hypothetical scenarios depicting CWD prevalence levels and human death from the disease, and asked what they would do (e.g., hunt in other states, quit hunting). If CWD conditions worsen (e.g., 50% prevalence, death), nonresidents were more likely to switch states (up to 46%); residents would quit (up to 38%). Among residents and nonresidents, casual hunters were most likely to quit (up to 61%); veterans

were least likely (up to 23%). If CWD influences a greater proportion of casual hunters (i.e., newcomers) to quit, impacts on the future of hunting due to hunter recruitment could be catastrophic. Veteran residents were more inclined to switch states (up to 19%); casual residents were least likely to be displaced (up to 7%). For nonresidents, there were few differences among specialization groups regarding intention to switch states. Given that focused hunters exhibited low experience, but high skill and centrality, trajectories of specialization dimensions are not identical and do not increase in "lock step" fashion. Specialization, therefore, may be best suited for revealing styles of involvement and career stages in an activity rather than a linear continuum of progression.


Needham, M.D. and J.J. Vaske. 2006. Beliefs about chronic wasting disease risks across multiple states, years, and interest groups. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 11:215–220.

Keywords: none

Results showed that respondents generally agreed that CWD may pose a risk to humans and should be eliminated, and disagreed that CWD has been exaggerated and is not a risk to humans. Many respondents agreed that CWD may cause disease in humans and they and their families were concerned about eating deer or elk because of CWD. Findings contradict most agency information and education campaigns stressing that although precautionary measures should be taken (e.g., wear gloves when handling harvested animals), a relationship between CWD and human health problems has never been confirmed. The lack of evidence showing a connection between CWD and human health problems should be reiterated. For legal reasons, agencies are likely to continue to emphasize that precautions should be taken. Precautionary messages, however, may dominate over scientific facts in the minds of various interest groups. This should be taken into consideration when developing CWD information campaigns. *


North American Duck Symposium. 2006. “Changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes: The controversy over duck hunter dissatisfaction." Proceedings of the 2006 North American Duck Symposium, Bismarck, North Dakota, 24-26 August 2006.

Keywords: none


Peterle, T.J. 1977. Changes in responses from identical Ohio hunters interviewed in 1960-61 and 1973-74. Transactions of the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference 42:156-168.

Keywords: none

Our Ohio hunters, besides being 14 years older since the initial survey, hunted less and killed less game than they did 14 years ago. This may partially reflect decreased game populations, smaller numbers of areas on which to hunt, and decreased interest. They earned nearly three times more salary, were slightly better educated and more of them were married, widowed and divorced. More of the older respondents preferred deer hunting; fewer indicated that pheasant hunting was their most preferred sport. About 5 percent more owned rifles, 3 percent fewer owned shotguns and 14 percent more owned pistols. Four percent of the respondents no longer fished. More of them preferred to hunt alone or with one other person as opposed to groups. Fewer were interested in hunting, fewer would kill all the game they could if the law allowed, and fewer liked to hunt until they killed at least one piece of game. Less gained deep satisfaction from hunting, but more of them enjoyed the beauties of nature while hunting. Fewer were sympathetic toward scientific management of game and fewer would be willing to pay a higher fee for wildlife research and management. Fewer of them would be willing to pay a daily fee comparable to the price of a movie for hunting privileges. Fewer felt that poison was a good animal control method.

It is difficult to characterize the changes in our hunters over the 14-year period, other than to indicate they have less interest and are less successful at killing game. In some ways they seem less sympathetic toward responsible game management and sportsmanlike conduct. Greater age, and presumable experience, does not promote, at least for this group of hunters, a greater appreciation and sympathy for professional wildlife management nor for hunting as a sport as defined by our series of questions. Our respondents are influenced by greater urbanization, lower game populations, fewer places to hunt and changing social and economic values. We also do not know if these hunters are representative of all hunters in Ohio or hunters in other states. Responses from this small sample of hunters, questioned after 14 years, suggested that state and federal agencies responsible for game management cannot depend on greater experience and maturity as factors for the enhancement of greater understanding and support for scientific game management, nor for improved hunting ethics.*

Peterle, T.J. and J.E. Scott. 1977. Characteristics of some Ohio hunters and nonhunters. Journal of Wildlife Management 41(3):386-399.

Keywords: none

A sample of 1959 Ohio hunting license buyers was surveyed using a mailed questionnaire in 1960-61. A sample of those who responded to the 1960-61 survey, a group of 1972 Ohio hunting license buyers, and a sample of 1972 Ohio drivers license holders (to represent non-hunters) were included in another mailed questionnaire survey in 1973-74. The data were analyzed in 4 separate cohorts: hunters who purchased hunting licenses in 1972; hunters surveyed in 1961-62; hunters of 1961-62 re-surveyed in 1973-74; and non-hunters. Comparisons of socioeconomic characteristics and preferences, and opinions about hunting and conservation, of hunters and non-hunters were the primary objectives of this study. The analyses showed that most hunters were males, they were slightly older than non-hunters, and their educational and income achievements were lower than those of non-hunters. The hunting habits and preferences of 1961-62 hunters re-surveyed in 1973-74 changed; they hunted fewer days and killed less game, fewer of them fished, fewer of them hunted pheasants, and a significantly higher proportion of them hunted deer. They were less willing to pay an increased license fee. Blacks, Catholics, and Jews were fewer among hunters than among non-hunters. Hunters supported additional wilderness lands but were strongly against firearms restrictions. The proportion of professionals and residents of cities during formative years (ages 7-20) were significantly higher among non-hunters than among hunters. Residence on farms during formative years and actual participation in sports were significantly higher among hunters than among non-hunters. Hunters were better informed about the sources of wildlife funds than non-hunters. As distinct socioeconomic groups and with widely differing opinions about hunting and conservation, Ohio hunters and non-hunters can be expected to influence legislation and law enforcement relating to wildlife in different ways. Wildlife management and information programs must recognize the dichotomy of views and respond to the needs of both groups, but retain the welfare of the resources as their primary objective.

Potter, D.R., J.C. Hendee, and R.N. Clark. 1973. Hunting satisfaction: Game, guns or nature. In J.C. Hendee & C. Schoenfeld, eds. Pages 62-71 in Human Dimensions in Wildlife Programs, Mercury Press, Washington, D.C.

Keywords: none

The purpose of this paper is to examine the validity of propositions embodied in the following multiple-satisfaction model of hunting: Hunting satisfaction is complex and consists of many elements or aspects of the hunting experience. Because of similar underlying meaning these elements may be grouped conceptually into several dimensions. Each dimensions represents a major aspect of the hunting experience. Different hunters "harvest" varying degrees of satisfaction from the separate elements and dimensions; but hunters who seek the same prey—waterfowl rather than elk, for example—may generally "harvest" the same dimensions of satisfaction which that particular kind of hunting can best provide. Thus, game managers can increase hunter satisfaction by modifying conditions under which various kinds of hunting take place.*

Purdy, K.G. 1985. Development and tests of a predictive measure for assessing hunting participation. HDRU Series No. 85-4. Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Keywords: none

Recently, Ajzen and Fishbein (1980) have proposed an approach to behavioral prediction that integrates contemporary theories and previous research of human attitudes. The approach, based on their "Theory of Reasoned Action," uses a person's intention to behave as a determinant of expected behavior. This intention to behave is a function of two basic factors, one personal in nature and the other reflecting a social influence. The authors postulate that individuals will intend to perform a behavior when they believe it will lead to mostly positive outcomes and when most people with whom they are motivated to comply think the behavior should be performed. Based on this model, a measurement framework is proposed that accounts for relationships among five behavioral components specified in the theory: (1) outcome evaluations and behavioral beliefs, (2) normative beliefs and motivations to comply, (3) attitudes toward the behavior, (2) a subjective norm, and (5) the intent to perform the behavior.

To evaluate the utility of this approach to predicting recreational behavior, we have used the theoretical model to develop a measurement instrument for assessing hunting behavior (i.e., participation) among New York wildlife enthusiasts. This paper details the conceptual and operational development of that instrument and provides an analysis of its applicability and usefulness based on the results of a pilot survey.

Purdy, K.G. and D.J. Decker. 1986. A longitudinal investigation of social-psychological influences on hunting participation in New York: Study I (1983-1985). HDRU Series No. 86-7. Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Keywords: none

Wildlife managers have long been interested in developing and refining programs to benefit their diverse wildlife constituencies. To do so, they need to understand wildlife users and how best to meet their wildlife-related needs. One group of users that has received increasing attention is hunters. This report describes results of the first in a planned series of 4 studies to assess long-term social and psychological influences on hunting participation among new hunters in New York The research builds upon the findings of previous studies that indicate participation in recreational hunting is influenced strongly by social and psychological factors. The purpose of this research is to develop a model of hunting participation that relates the behaviors of hunting initiation, continuation, and desertion to social and psychological factors and to assess the extent to which these factors may be affected by programming.

Purdy, K.G., D.J. Decker, and T.L. Brown. 1985. New York's 1978 hunter training course participants: The importance of social-psychological influences on participation in hunting from 1978-1984. HDRU Series No. 85-7. Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Keywords: none

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has long been interested in obtaining a better understanding of the reasons people hunt and of the satisfaction s they gain from the activity. The agency's interest in this has stemmed largely from the desire to provide a "benefits package" sought by various types of hunters. This study builds on previous research in Project W-146-R to improve wildlife managers' comprehension of who hunters are sociodemographically, what they seek from hunting experiences, and which characteristics seem to be related to participation patterns. The study presented herein represents an effort to improve our understanding of the implications for management and educations programs.


Responsive Management. 2005. National Shooting Sports Foundation hunting participation and attitude survey and trends study. Responsive Management: Harrisonburg, VA.

Keywords: none

This study was conducted for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) to determine hunters' opinions on and attitudes toward hunting and shooting sports, including their participation in these sports, and how their opinions on hunting and the shooting sports affects their voting behavior. The study also examined trends in attitudes and opinions based on comparisons with previous surveys that asked some of the same questions. The study entailed a telephone survey of hunters who had hunted for at least 2 of the past 5 years. For the survey, telephones were selected as the preferred sampling medium because of the universality of telephone ownership. The telephone survey questionnaire was developed cooperatively by Responsive Management and the NSSF based in part on previous surveys on these subjects. Interviews were conducted Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Saturday noon to 5:00 p.m., and Sunday from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., all local time. The survey was conducted in January 2005. Responsive Management obtained a total of 1,012 completed interviews.



Responsive Management. 2002. Hunters', sport shooters', archers', and anglers' attitudes toward messages encouraging them to recruit others into their sport. Responsive Management: Harrisonburg, VA.

Keywords: none

This study was conducted to assess the attitudes and perceptions of outdoor sportsmen and sportswomen toward various messages encouraging participation in the STEP OUTSIDE® program. The study entailed three focus groups and a telephone survey to assess the motivations for and constraints against participation in the STEP OUTSIDE® program by known hunters, anglers, gun shooters, and archers. One of the foundations of the STEP OUTSIDE® program is previous research that one of the best recruitment strategies is to ask someone to participate in outdoor activities. In fact, prior surveys found that people were most likely to engage in fishing, hunting, or shooting if asked by someone they knew, such as a friend.*



Siemer, W.F., T.L. Brown, and D.J. Decker. 1988. Key informants' perceptions of access leasing for hunting on private lands in New York. HDRU Series No. 88-9. Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. 

Keywords: animals, small game, fishing, game, big, hunting, land use, land, private, landowner compensation, questionnaire, socio- economic studies, surveys, turkeys, waterfowl

A self-administered mail-back questionnaire was implemented during June and July 1988 to assess the status of access leasing for wildlife-related recreation in 57 counties of new York. Purpose was to evaluate the potential of fee-access for this recreation (especially hunting) as supplemental revenue source for landowners, and assess possible needs for extension education programs.

[Fish & Wildlife Reference Service]


Stafford, N.T., M.D. Needham, J.J. Vaske, and Jordan Petchnik. 2007. Hunter and nonhunter beliefs about chronic wasting disease in Wisconsin. Journal of Wildlife Management 71(5):1739–1744.

Keywords: beliefs, chronic wasting disease, hunters, landowners, nonhunters, trust, wildlife management.

We examined beliefs of landowners who hunt and do not hunt regarding chronic wasting disease (CWD) and its management. We mailed surveys to a random sample of 973 Wisconsin, USA, landowners living in the CWD southwest disease eradication one. Of 613 respondents, 360 (59%) were hunters and 253 (41%) were not hunters. We created multiple item indices to measure respondent beliefs about effects of CWD and its management. Hunters and nonhunters differed on 5 of 6 belief indices. Both groups were, on average, relatively neutral in their trust of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources but landowners who did not hunt reported slightly higher trust. Both groups were neutral or slightly agreed that CWD should be managed and they were concerned about deer (Odocoileus spp.) health and the safety of eating venison. Landowners who did not hunt were more likely than those who hunted to agree with these issues but effect sizes indicated these differences were minimal. Landowners who hunted were more concerned than nonhunters about effects of CWD on deer hunting. Cluster analyses indicated most nonhunting landowners were neutral or not concerned about CWD and its management, whereas most hunting landowners were concerned. Our results suggest that managers should use communication campaigns to increase awareness and mitigate concerns about CWD, increase trust and input related to the disease, and inform publics about CWD management strategies.


Vaske, J.J., M.D. Needham, P. Newman, M.J. Manfredo, and J. Petchenik. 2006. Potential for Conflict Index: Hunters’ responses to chronic wasting disease. Wildlife Society Bulletin 34(1):44–50.

Keywords: chronic wasting disease, human dimensions, hunting, potential for conflict index, PCI.

A goal of human dimensions research is to provide input that will improve decision making regarding wildlife management. When communicating results to managers, it is imperative that human dimensions researchers provide clear statistical information and convey the practical implications of their findings. To assist this effort, this paper describes a formula for computing a Potential for Conflict Index (PCI) and presents a graphic technique for displaying results. The PCI values range between 0 and 1, where 0 suggests no conflict and 1 suggests maximum conflict. To illustrate computation and graphic display of the PCI, we present data from a study of Wisconsin deer (Odocoileus spp.) hunters’ attitudes and behavior in response to chronic wasting disease (CWD). Results suggest that PCI facilitates understanding hunters’ behavior (e.g., likelihood of hunting) and attitudes regarding management actions (e.g., herd eradication) in response to CWD. The PCI allows managers to better understand controversial issues and take proactive steps targeted at specific stakeholders to minimize conflict before implementing a policy. We encourage researchers to adopt the PCI technique or variations of it.


Vaske, J.J., M.P. Donnelly, T.A. Heberlein, and B. Shelby. 1982. Difference in reported satisfaction ratings by consumptive and non-consumptive recreationists. Journal of Leisure Research 14(3): 195-206.

Keywords: satisfaction, consumptive, nonconsumptive

This paper theorizes that participants in consumptive and nonconsumptive activities differ in terms of the specificity and clarity of their recreation goals and their control in achieving these goals. Such differences were predicted to influence the recreationists' reported overall satisfaction. Comparisons between consumptive and nonconsumptive recreationists were based on data collected in 12 separate studies across the United States. The 17 activities examined range from hunting and fishing in Maryland and Wisconsin to hiking inNew Hampshire and white water rafting in Arizona and Oregon. Respondents in each survey were asked the same question: "Overall, how would you rate your day/trip?" Responses were coded on a six-point scale ranging from poor to perfect. As predicted, consumptive users reported significantly lower satisfaction scores than did the nonconsumptive recreationists. Satisfaction ratings for the successful hunters and fishermen were higher than those reported by unsuccessful consumptive recreationists, but were lower than those indicated by nonconsumptive user groups.


Vaske, J., A. Fedler and A. Graefe. 1996. Multiple determinants of satisfaction from a specific waterfowl hunting trip. Leisure Sciences 8(2):149-166.

Keywords: none


Walsh, R.G., J.H. John, J.R. McKean, and J.G. Hof. 1992. Effects of price on forecasts of participation in fish and wildlife recreation: An aggregate demand model. Journal of Leisure Research 24(2): 140-156.

Keywords: sport fishing, social research, recreation, prices, hunting

In a study, a logit regression model of participation in fishing, hunting and nonconsumptive wildlife recreation was estimated based on national survey data. The results indicated that including price and cross-price variables can improve both the accuracy and usefulness of long-run forecasts of participation in outdoor recreation.


Whittaker, D., J.J. Vaske, and M.J. Manfredo. 2006. Specificity and the cognitive hierarchy: Value orientations and the acceptability of urban wildlife management actions. Society & Natural Resources 19(6):515-530.

Keywords: cognitive hierarchy, specificity, urban wildlife management, wildlife value orientations

This article tests theory suggesting cognitions at the same level of specificity have stronger associations than those at different levels. Using data from a survey of Anchorage, AK, residents (n = 971, response rate = 59%), we explored relationships between general wildlife value orientations and (1) the general acceptability of hunting urban wildlife populations, and (2) specific wildlife management actions (e.g., the acceptability of destroying a bear or moose after specific conflict situations). Consistent with previous research, patterns of basic wildlife beliefs aligned along two distinct value orientations (protection-use and wildlife appreciation) that differentially predicted management action acceptability. As hypothesized, general wildlife value orientations had more influence on the acceptability of hunting to reduce wildlife populations than destroying an animal involved in specific conflict situations. Findings suggested ways to improve measurement, ways to develop broader models that include values-related variables, and the importance of values-level information when addressing urban wildlife conflicts.


Wright, B.A., E.B.D. Rodgers, and K.F. Backman. 2001. Assessing the temporal stability of hunting participation and the structure and intensity of constraints: A panel study. Journal of Leisure Research 33(4) 450-469.

Keywords: activity patterns, aerial surveys, distribution, Geographic Information System, Global Positioning System, human dimension surveys, hunting, hunter behavior, Odocoileus virginianus, Pennsylvania, white-tailed deer

The intent of this panel study of Virginia hunters/non-hunters (N = 497) was to assess the temporal stability of. Hunting participation; perceived constraint factor structure and intensity; and the interrelationship of participation and constraints. Findings suggest that participation/non-participation patterns were stable across time periods for the population, yet dynamic at the individual level. Antihunting Attitude and Preference to participate in other activities, Costs associated N with hunting, Access and Opportunity to hunt, Work and Family Commitments and perceptions about hunting on Public Lands were viewed consistently as constraints by respondents. Although the structure of perceived constraints appeared stable, the intensity varied significantly over time and distinguished among participation groups. Given that most constraint research is psychologically grounded, it appears more appropriate to employ research designs (e.g., panel, repeated measures) that allow individual-level analyses. The Antihunting Attitude and Preference constraint, key to understanding behavioral response, deserves a more in-depth examination.
[ISI Web of Knowledge]


Wright, B.A., R.A. Kaiser, and N.D. Emerald. 2001. A national trend assessment of hunter access problems: Perceptions of state wildlife administrators, 1984-1997. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 6(2): 145-146.

Keywords: none

To assess the perceptions of state wildlife administrators regarding trends in hunter access to private lands across the United States, chief executives of state wildlife agencies were sent a mail questionnaire in 1997. The questionnaire inquired about their perceptions regarding the severity of access problems and the effects of specific incentives and disincentives on rural landowners' decisions to allow, restrict, or deny access to their lands. This study replicated a study conducted by the authors in 1984 and suggests trends in access to private lands over a 13-year period (1984–1997). Fifty states participated in each study.*

[Taylor & Francis]

Wright, B.A. and T.L. Goodale. 1991. Beyond nonparticipation - Validation of interest and frequency of participation categories in constraints research. Journal of Leisure Research 23(4): 314-331.

Keywords: recreation participation, recreation nonparticipation, participation frequency, interest, barriers, constraints, hunting, ceasing participation, recreation

A model of recreation participation in which the category "non-participant" is sub-divided based on the presence or absence of interest in and previous experience with the activity is presented. Efficacy of these subcategories is demonstrated with empirical data from a study of constraints to hunting participation in Virginia.



Wywialowski, A.P. and R.B. Dahlgren. 1985. Beliefs about wildlife management among Iowans with differing attitudes toward hunting. Wildlife Society Bulletin 13(3):328-332.

Keywords: none

People with pro- and anti-hunting attitudes are more similar in the perceived needs for wildlife management than those neutral on the issue. Antihunters had only slightly less accurate ideas of sources of funding for wildlife management than did prohunters. Antihunters wanted relatively more of their taxes to be spent on wildlife conservation, were willing to contribute $6-$10 (1976) to a special fund for nonhunted wildlife, and wanted more wildlife managers and biologists hired. More people with antihunting than prohunting attitudes wanted hunters to be tested on their knowledge of wildlife, to have a required degree of shooting accuracy, and to pass a vision test before a hunting license could be issued. Purchasing land for wildlife received the most support from all groups.*


Young, R.A. and A.T. Kent. 1985. Using the theory of reasoned action to improve the understanding of recreation behavior. Journal of Leisure Research 17(2): 90-106.

Keywords: camping, attitudes, behavioral predication, camping differences, social groups

Attitudes, social groups, and gender were examined, using the theory of reasoned action, in an effort to increase understanding the predictive power of the correlates of recreation participation. One-hundred residents of a small Midwestern city were questioned about their intentions to camp, their attitudes and beliefs about going camping, and the influence of "important others" in making decisions to camp. A significant correlation was found between camping intentions and reported camping behavior (r=.77). Attitude and subjective norms were used to accurately predict intentions to camp (R=.74). Standardized regression coefficients indicated that intentions were slightly more influenced by the respondents' attitudes than by the influence of the social groups. Difference were observed between females and males and between those who intended to camp and those who did not intend to camp. The study results demonstrate that the theory may be useful in predicting behavior and understanding the relationships among recreation behavior, intentions, attitudes, and beliefs.


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