Evaluating deer hunters' support for hunting deer with dogs
Hunting deer with dogs (dog hunting) has a long tradition in the United States but has created conflict among deer hunters. Our objectives were to determine factors predicting support for dog hunting in North Carolina. Using a 2006 survey of North Carolina deer hunters, we evaluated factors that potentially influenced support for dog hunting (e.g., geographic region, hunting method, perceptions about deer populations and hunter participation, leasing practices). Nearly half (46%) of the deer hunters (n = 5,005) believed dog hunting should be illegal. Most deer hunters who opposed dog hunting neither dog hunted nor hunted in regions where dog hunting had a strong history. Concerns among non-dog hunters mostly focused on competition for deer hunting opportunities. Our results indicate a need to promote greater awareness among the diverse hunting groups and suggest dog hunters may be important allies in efforts to acquire large contiguous tracts of hunting land.