Researchers from the Raincoast Conservation Foundation and the University of Victoria have shed new light on what satisfies hunters. Reporting in the peer-reviewed journal Wildlife Society Bulletin, they found that although appreciation (of nature, etc.) and affiliation (i.e., bonding experiences with friends/family) are important factors commonly discussed, the dominant satisfaction expressed in online hunting stories is achievement.

Researchers found that this pattern is especially strong when carnivores (i.e., wolves, cougars, grizzly bears) are targeted. 86% percent of carnivore hunting stories (compared with 81% of ungulate hunting stories) emphasized achievement as a dominant theme. When carnivores were targeted, appreciation satisfaction was the focus in only 3% of stories.

While adding new knowledge to the understanding of hunters, this study can also inform societal debate. “By understanding a hunter’s satisfactions and motivations, we can ask bigger questions about our relationships with wildlife,” notes Darimont. “Is a hunter’s feeling of achievement more important than, say, the life of a grizzly bear?”

This post from Raincoast Conservation Foundation
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