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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

Brinkman, Todd J.
Human dimensions of wildlife 2018 v.23 no.2 pp. 129-145
Alces alces, hunters, managers, regression analysis, wildlife, wildlife management, Alaska
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.