Hunting can be an effective tool for managing deer populations, but hunter willingness to harvest deer and their success is critical to management capacity. Moreover, harvest of antlerless deer is crucial to managing deer populations. Previous research has examined the effects of weather, habitats, and hunter access on deer harvest success. However, hunter-related factors leading to harvest success are unknown. This study explored the effects of hunter sociodemographic and background characteristics, field behaviors, and motivations on antlerless and antlered deer harvest success. Findings indicated that hunter characteristics and motivations differentially influence the harvest of a doe or a buck. Successful doe hunters viewed hunting as a management tool, were concerned about maintaining access to hunting areas, and hunted for venison. In contrast, harvesting an antlered deer appeared to be mostly a matter of effort. Those who killed an antlered deer spent more days afield, especially during late season.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nature and Landscape Conservation
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law