Online Hunting Forums Identify Achievement as Prominent Among Multiple Satisfactions




Ebeling-Schuld, Alena M.
Darimont, Chris T.

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Wildlife Society Bulletin


Understanding hunter satisfactions can lead to improved wildlife management policy and practice. Whereas previous work has suggested that hunters often seek multiple satisfactions (achievement, affiliation, appreciation), little is known about how satisfactions might vary with target species. Additionally, past research has mostly gathered data using interviews and surveys, which might limit scope as well as introduce strategic bias for potentially provocative subjects such as hunting. To address these gaps, we analyzed data from online hunting forums, which provide an open-access source of peer-to-peer discussion that is geographically and taxonomically broad. We used directed qualitative content analysis to analyze hunting narratives for satisfactions by coding 2,864 phrases across 455 hunting "stories," and compared patterns of dominant (most frequent) and multiple satisfactions between target species type (ungulates and carnivores) using forums from 3 regions: British Columbia, Canada; Texas, USA; and North America-wide. We found that achievement was the dominant satisfaction in 81% of ungulate and 86% of carnivore stories. Appreciation was nearly absent as a dominant satisfaction in carnivore stories. We found that 62% of ungulate and 53% of carnivore stories had multiple satisfactions present, indicating that appreciation and affiliation play important secondary satisfaction roles even when achievement is dominant. If these data are broadly representative of hunters on a larger scale, management policy instruments that ignore achievement may not evoke change in hunter behavior, particularly involving carnivore target species. Despite limitations associated with online forums (e.g., nonrepresentative of all hunters), they provide a new and valuable resource for wildlife management research.



achievement, directed qualitative ocntent analysis, discussion forums, internet, multiple satisfactions, policy, social media, thematic coding, trophy hunting, wildlife management


Ebeling-Schuld, A. M. & Darimont, C. T. (2017). Online hunting forums identify achievement as prominent among multiple satisfactions. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 41(3), 523-529.