Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Award Date

1974

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology and Rural Studies

First Advisor

Robert T. Wagner

Abstract

A study of the attitudes of South Dakota residents was made to determine: (1) the attitudes of selected South Dakota residents toward selected aspects of hunting, hunters, and game officials; (2) how these attitudes vary when controlled for selected socioeconomic factors; and (3) what socioeconomic factors help explain the observed variation in attitudes. The unit of analysis was the individual respondent, chosen from the state population. A total of 474 residents were interviewed in order to assess: (1) selected socioeconomic characteristics of the respondent; and (2) the respondent's attitude toward selected aspects of hunting, hunters, and game officials. A seven-point Likert scale was used to measure attitudes. Socioeconomic variables were selected, cross tabulated, and tested with Chi-square analysis for significant association with attitudes at the 0.05 level. Those significantly associated with attitudes toward selected aspects of hunting, hunters, and game officials were: sex, marital status, occupation, geographic location of respondent's residence by South Dakota Planning District, and veteran status. Using multiple regression, certain socioeconomic variables were found to contribute significantly to variations in attitudes toward selected aspects of hunting, hunters, and game officials. They were: age, formal education, urbanity of residence, income, participation in nonhunting water sports, number of outdoor sports magazines read regularly, number of different species hunted, and number of different wildlife programs in which the respondent had participated. The major descriptive findings and conclusions were: 1. South Dakotans, in general, have favorable attitudes toward hunting, hunters, and game officials. 2. South Dakotans are less predisposed to view hunters favorably than the sport of hunting. 3. Although South Dakotans view game officials favorably, the regulatory role of the Department of Game, Fish and Parks is not as positively viewed as its enforcement role via the Game Wardens. The major Chi-square findings and conclusions were: 1. Generally, the women of South Dakota have more moderate attitudes toward hunting, hunters, and game officials than men. 2. The attitudes of South Dakotans toward hunting, hunters, and game officials vary by marital status. 3. The occupational status of South Dakotans is associated with attitudes toward game officials, with professional and technical occupations more supportive of the Department of Game, Fish and Parks and farmers, ranchers, managers, officials, and proprietors less supportive. 4. The geographic location of the respondent's residence by South Dakota Planning District is associated with the beliefs that there should be more restrictions on hunting and that most hunters follow good sportsmanship practices. District Five had higher agreement with increasing restrictions and lower agreement with hunters following good sportsmanship practices. 5. Veteran's attitudes toward the need of more restrictions on hunting was less favorable than nonveterans, and the role of the Department of Game, Fish and Parks was supported more by veterans than nonveterans. The major multiple regression findings and conclusions were: 1. Involvement in outdoor hunting and sports activities is a factor that predisposes people to hold more favorable attitudes toward hunting, hunters, and game officials. 2. Support for South Dakota game officials is found more among residents of urban environments within the state and among citizens who are older. 3. Citizens of higher socioeconomic status do not agree that hunters damage property. 4. Though the degree of explanation was not large, social status variables do contribute to the explanation of attitudes toward hunting, hunters, and game officials.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Human behavior
Social interaction
Hunting -- South Dakota

Format

application/pdf

Publisher

South Dakota State University

Included in

Sociology Commons

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