Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Wildlife and Fisheries Science

First Advisor

Raymond Linder

Second Advisor

Charles G. Scalet


Two mail questionnaires were sent to South Dakota archery deer hunters after the 1981 archery deer season. One questionnaire was sent to a random sample of all bowhunters, and the second was sent to a sample of bowhunters failing to return the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks (SDGFP) mandatory big game hunter report card. Success rate of bowhunters killing deer and crippling rate of deer by bowhunters were determined. A profile of the average bowhunter was developed. The SDGFP bowhunter reporting system was evaluated. Success rates from the 2 questionnaires (29% and 19%) were significantly different from each other and from success rates as derived from SDGFP report card returns (42% and 12%). Twenty-one percent of all bowhunters crippled at least one deer. Crippling rate was calculated as a proportion relative to total harvest of bow killed deer. A comparative study of success and crippling by rifle hunters is needed to fully assess the effects of crippling on the South Dakota deer resource. Profile information revealed that the average age of bowhunters was 31. Men comprised 97% of the sample. Each hunter spent 15.8 days bowhunting deer and $192.00 to pursue that sport. Eighty-three percent was compound bows and 99% had hunted deer with a firearm as well as with a bow. Twenty-one percent of the sample had never had archery instruction indicating the need for a broader based hunter education program. Initial response rate to both questionnaires (74% and 66%) was significantly greater than response to the SDGFP mandatory big game hunter report card mailed with each license (38%). A study should be initiated to determine the effects of end of season mailing of SDGFP hunter report cards.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Deer hunting -- South Dakota
Bowhunting -- South Dakota


Includes bibliographical references (pages 29-31)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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