Attitudinal And Normative Influences On Support For Hunting
Hunting as a wildlife management tool has come under increasing attack by antihunting organizations, resulting in increased concern by fish and wildlife agencies across North America, many of whom fear that the scientific management of wildlife is in danger due to the influence of an uninformed public. This study of Manitoba (Canada) residents indicated support for hunting as wildlife management, for habitat preservation, and to maintain healthy animal populations. [Excerpted from published abstract].
The Theory of Reasoned Action (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980) provided the framework for this research and was used to identify beliefs about wildlife management that influence people’s intentions to support hunting in an effort to guide communication activities of the provincial department responsible for wildlife.
Overall, the results suggest that support for hunting is slightly positive in Manitoba when hunting is characterized as a wildlife management activity. Nonsupporters believed that hunting fees to support wildlife management was a good thing, and they were slightly positive to neutral on other wildlife management themes. Moderates were more positive still and while they were less than certain that hunting might control populations, prevent disease, and assist in maintaining habitat, they believed these wildlife management activities were good practices. Indeed, supporters and moderates were equally positive in their evaluation of fees to support wildlife management.
Results of this study support the contention that those with moderate attitudes towards hunting are the most promising target audience for strengthening support for hunting as wildlife management in part due to the gaps between their beliefs and evaluation with respect to some wildlife management contexts. In addition, this study suggests that this population had positive attitudes relating to wildlife management activities, and that hunting as wildlife management was viewed positively by not only supporters of hunting, but moderates and to some degree, nonsupporters.