Improving non-hunters’ attitudes toward hunting

Gregory Major Blascovich, Alexander L. Metcalf

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

    Abstract

    Public support ensures hunting persists as a recreation opportunity and tool for wildlife management. Non-hunters’ attitudes are particularly important, as they comprise large majorities in most countries. While public opinion data consistently show widespread positive attitudes toward hunting, declining hunting participation and increasing urbanization portend an uncertain future. Some surveys show attitudes toward hunting vary based on message aspect, yet few experiments have investigated whether particular messages induce attitude change, especially among non-hunters. Here, we report results from a preliminary randomized controlled trial testing message impact on non-hunters’ attitudes toward hunting. Attitudes were significantly improved when non-hunters received messages emphasizing that hunting provides a local, organic source of meat, and is governed by regulations informed by wildlife biology. Other messages were less effective. To maintain public support for hunting, more research is needed to better understand the mechanisms and audiences for which these and other messages may improve attitudes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)480-487
    Number of pages8
    JournalHuman Dimensions of Wildlife
    Volume24
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 2019

    Keywords

    • Amazon MTurk
    • attitude change
    • game meat
    • harvest regulations
    • randomized controlled trial

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