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Hunter acceptance of antlerless moose harvest in Alaska: Importance of agency trust, proximity of hunter residence to hunting area, and hunting experience

Author:
Brinkman, Todd J.
Source:
Human dimensions of wildlife 2018 v.23 no.2 pp. 129-145
ISSN:
1533-158X
Subject:
Alces alces, hunters, managers, regression analysis, wildlife, wildlife management, Alaska
Abstract:
Liberalized harvest of antlerless moose (Alces alces) in Alaska has resulted in conflict between wildlife managers and hunters. To address this issue, I surveyed moose hunters (n = 845, 35% response rate) to quantify and characterize acceptance of antlerless moose harvest. I found that 16%, 69%, and 15% of hunters thought antlerless hunts were always, sometimes, or never acceptable, respectively. Characteristics of the never acceptable group frequently differed from the other two groups. Using a multinomial logistic regression, I estimated that the odds of a hunter being in the never acceptable group was more likely if he/she strongly distrusted agency data (odds = 4.8), resided in the area with antlerless hunts (odds = 3.5), and had >20 years of moose hunting experience (odds = 3.4). My findings imply that a relatively small proportion of hunters can disproportionately direct wildlife management attention, especially in the absence of scientifically derived information on the human dimensions.