Off-campus South Dakota State University users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your South Dakota State University ID and password.

Non-South Dakota State University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

First Advisor

Daniel E. Hubbard


Providing deer hunters with satisfying, quality hunting experiences has become an increasingly important objective of deer management in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The objectives of this study were I) to describe Black Hills deer hunter motivations and other factors related to hunter satisfaction, 2) to investigate the occurrence of group hunting (i.e., party hunting) in the Black Hills and 3) to describe Black Hills deer hunting group dynamics and evaluate its effects on individual hunter satisfaction levels. Data were gathered via self-administered surveys mailed to randomly selected Black Hills deer hunters immediately following the 1998 and 1999 Black Hills deer seasons. Initial sample size in 1998 was 500 and the initial sample size in 1999 was 2,000. In 1998, a final response rate of 78% was achieved and in 1999, the final response rate achieved was 92%. Results of this study indicated that the majority of Black Hills deer hunters were satisfied (over 77%) with their 1999 Black Hills deer hunts and many supported the current management system (over 56%). The majority (over 86%) of all Black Hills deer hunters also hunted with at least 1 other person at some point during their Black Hills deer hunts. Additionally, when individual hunters were classified into 7 possible hunter types, based on their main motivation for hunting Black Hills deer, more hunters were “social” hunters than any other hunter type. Furthermore, spending time with friends and family was found to be at least somewhat important as a secondary motivation for 5 of the 6 other hunter types. These analyses along with a variety of other factors measured by this study confirm that the social aspects of Black Hills deer hunting are a relatively important part of a Black Hills deer hunting experience and they may affect satisfaction levels. However, although most groupings of hunters were relatively socially oriented, some differences were apparent. Significantly (p<0.012) more non-residents (31%) than residents (26%) were classified as "social" hunters and significantly (p<0.012) more residents (10%) than non-residents (3%) were classified as "meat" hunters. Nonresidents (70%) were also significantly (p<0.001) more likely to apply for their licenses with at least one other hunter and therefore they were significantly (p<0.034) more likely to report that all potential members of their hunting groups drew the appropriate license that allowed all to hunt at the same time and in the same location. Group hunters tended to be younger overall than non-group hunters. Additionally, group hunters were significantly (p

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Deer hunting--Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo.)
Hunters--Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo.)--Attitudes
Hunting surveys--Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo.)


Includes bibliographical references (pages 103-105)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright 2001 Penny A. Backman. All rights reserved.