Hunter perceptions and acceptance of alternative deer management regulations

Wildlife Society Bulletin
By: , and 



Wildlife managers are often confronted with a policy paradox where a majority of the public supports an outcome, but there is no agreement on specific management strategies to achieve this outcome. Previous research has also reported a link between regulatory acceptance, hunter satisfaction, and hunter participation rates. Thus, human dimensions research aimed at understanding hunter motivations and behavior is needed for effective management. In 2005, we surveyed Minnesota (USA) deer hunters (n = 6,000; 59% response) to evaluate attitudes regarding alternative deer (Odocoileus virginianus) harvest regulations. We also conducted a series of forced choice experiments in which respondents were asked to select an option from a list of representative regulations that might be adopted to achieve a particular deer management goal. Specifically, we modeled 5 deer population scenarios ranging from low populations with high buck-harvest rates to populations 50% over goal density. Our results indicate that hunters preferred different regulations depending on the population scenario, but generally preferred antler-point restrictions and disliked limiting buck licenses through a lottery. We also found consistency among scenarios, in that a small percentage of respondents indicated they would not hunt if regulations were changed. The results from this study should help wildlife managers design deer harvest regulations that are both acceptable to hunters and achieve management objectives. ?? 2011 The Wildlife Society.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Hunter perceptions and acceptance of alternative deer management regulations
Series title Wildlife Society Bulletin
DOI 10.1002/wsb.51
Volume 35
Issue 3
Year Published 2011
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Wildlife Society Bulletin
First page 323
Last page 329
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