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Title:Factors influencing hunter recruitment, participation, and retention of male and female hunters in Illinois
Author(s):St James, Elizabeth
Advisor(s):Miller, Craig A.
Department / Program:Natural Res & Env Sci
Discipline:Natural Res & Env Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
semi-structured interviews
Abstract:Continued hunting participation is critical to maintain funding for natural resource conservation agencies; however, the hunting population has been decreasing on a national level. During recent decades, the number of female hunters has increased and to a degree mitigated the reduction in hunter population. Increased in female participation has prompted numerous studies, yet these studies primarily focused on females who hunt rather than comparing males and females within a hunting population. Moreover, gender can influence leisure preference and participation, so it is important for researchers to consider the influence of gender on hunter recruitment and participation. Previous studies of hunters often utilize close-ended questionnaires, yet this method may not provide researchers with a full understanding of hunters’ perceptions of reality. I used semi-structured interview techniques to identify factors associated with hunter recruitment, participation, and retention to obtain more detailed accounts of hunter experiences in Illinois. Males and females interviewed differed in their hunting experiences, so studies that do not stratify by gender can fail to understand female recruitment and retention. Females were more likely to report mentoring and encouraging other females to hunt than males. Female-only programs provide opportunities to females to learn shooting and hunting skills, but developing programs that emphasize hunting as a family activity may help to recruit and retain females who are motivated to spend time with their family. Differences existed between comments discussed by interviewees and results of previous studies, suggesting utilizing only quantitative research methods may provide incomplete accounts of the hunting population. Using qualitative research methods will assist researchers to better understand gender differences in recruitment, participation, and retention, which will in turn guide quantitative assessments and assist mangers in developing hunter recruitment and retention programs.
Issue Date:2014-09-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Elizabeth St James
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-09-16
Date Deposited:2014-08

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