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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

First Advisor

Daniel E. Hubbard


I conducted South Dakota archery and muzzleloader deer hunter surveys to gain a better understanding of opinions and equipment use of these hunting groups. The objectives of this study were to measure satisfaction and attitudes towards current seasons and regulations; identify types of technological equipment used and attitudes towards various equipment; measure attitudes towards various management options or new regulations being considered by South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks; and to develop a profile of and explore motivations related to South Dakota primitive weapons deer hunters. Archery and muzzleloader hunters were classified into hunter "types" based on their top choice for why they enjoy primitive weapons deer hunting. AK-means cluster analysis was conducted on equipment variables to generate 2 groups; modern and traditional archery hunters. Chi-square contingency table analyses were used to compare equipment used, hunter success, and satisfaction to variables such as hunter type, age, years hunting experience, and other variables. About a 21 % sample (1,800 hunters) of South Dakota's unlimited, any deer, archery hunters was surveyed using a self-administered mail questionnaire. Results from the best model indicated that modern archery equipment users (82%) used sight pins (F = 767.80), mechanical releases (F = 671.81), string peeps (F= 633.72), and/or compound bows (F= 500.42) and traditional equipment users (18%) used wood arrows (F= 254.60), recurve bows (F= 215.78), and/or longbows (F = 125.67). About 81 % of bowhunters were satisfied with equipment restrictions. Type of archery equipment used did not significantly impact hunter success (P = 0.704). Hours per week target practicing (P = 0.041 ), number of years archery hunting (P $ 0.001), and days spent pre-season scouting (P = 0.071) best explained bowhunter harvest success. Harvest success (P :$ 0.001 ). degree of crowding by other hunters (P $ 0.001 ), and deer numbers (P $ 0.001) best explained bowhunter satisfaction. About a 67% sample ( 1,000) of South Dakota resident muzzleloader hunters were surveyed. Results from the best model indicated that modem muzzleloader equipment users (31 %) used in-line muzzle loaders (F = 9946.70), bullet with sabot (F = 339.26), Pyrodex pellets (F= 171.12). and/or fiber optic sights (F= 98.19). Conversely, traditional muzzleloader hunters (69%) used caplock muzzleloaders (F = 2118.65), black powder (F = 62.66). and/or flintlock muzzleloaders (F = 21.11 ). About 68% of muzzleloader deer hunters were satisfied with equipment restrictions. Hunters using modern muzzleloading equipment were more likely (P = 0.042) to be successful at harvesting at least one deer compared to hunters using traditional muzzleloading equipment. Muzzleloader equipment type (P = 0.053) and maximum distance a hunter would shoot at a deer (P = 0.038) best explained hunter success. Hunters' evaluation of deer numbers (P = 0.061) and harvest success (P $ 0.001) best explained muzzleloader hunter satisfaction.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Deer hunting--South Dakota
Hunters--South Dakota--Attitudes
Hunting surveys--South Dakota


Includes bibliographical references (pages 106-112)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright 1989 Jason R. Boulanger. All Rights Reserved.