Jun 10, 2002
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Many wildlife managers feel that Yale professor Dr. Stephen Kellert's
1978 study of U.S. hunters and their attitudes and characteristics
still mostly applies today in North America.

He found three categories of hunters:

  - Utilitarian/Meat Hunters    (43.8%)
  - Nature Hunters              (17.7%)
  - Dominionistic/Sport Hunters (38.5%)

The dominionistic/sport group is the one that the non- and
anti-hunting public particularly dislike and often use to stereotype
or negatively portray ALL hunters and hunting.


"Hunting to obtain meat was the most frequently cited primary reason,
accounting for 43.8 percent of persons who hunted..." [p.413]

Utilitarian/meat hunters were significantly more likey to have been
raised or presently living in rural, open-country areas. Relatedly,
utilitarian/meat hunters reported much greater experience with raising
animals for either slaughter or nonslaugher purposes, and fathers
employed in farm-related occupations. This hunting group included a
disproportionate number of persons over 65 years of age and
significantly more respondents earning less than $6,000." [p.414]

"Utilitarian/meat hunters appeared to perceive animals largely from
the perspective of their practical usefulness... The utilitarian/meat
hunter viewed hunting as a harvesting activity and wild animals as a
harvestable crop not unlike other renewable natural resources."


"Hunting for the purpose of close contact with nature was the... cited
primary reason for hunting, accounting for some 17.7 percent of those
who hunted... Demographically, nature hunters included significantly
more persons under 30 years of age and far fewer over 65. These age
characteristics may suggest possible trends in motivation for
hunting. Nature hunters were also of higher socioeconomic status, as
indicated by more college-educated respondents and more fathers
employed in professional and business-executive occupations.

Nature hunters reported by far the most adult and childhood wildlife
interest, more backpacking and camping-out experience, and more
birdwatching activity. Importantly, nature hunters had far higher
knowledge-of-animals scale scores particularly in comparison to
dominionistic/sport hunters." [p.414]

[Nature hunters also] "...indicated strong concern and affection for
all animals... [However this affection is] ...somewhat generalized and
not specifically directed at pet animals or manifest in the feeling of
"loving" animals. The desire for an active, participatory role in
nature was perhaps the most significant aspect of the nature hunter's
approach to hunting. The goal was the intense involvement with wild
animals in their natural habitats. Participation as a predator was
valued for the opportunities it provided to regard oneself as an
integral part of nature. The hunt was appreciated for its forcing of
awareness of natural phenomena organized into a coherent,
goal-directed framework."  [p. 415]


"Dominionistic/sport hunters constitute 38.5 percent of all those who
hunted...  They were significantly more likely to reside in cities,
and to have been in the armed forces. Additionally, they differed from
utilitarian/meat hunters in reporting far less experience raising
animals for a product, and from nature hunters in reporting
significantly less backpacking and birdwatching activities. One
outstanding characteristic was their low scores on the
knowledge-of-animals scale. Interestingly, only anti-hunters, of all
animal activity groups studied, had equally low knowledge scores."

"...It appeared that competition and mastery over animals, in the
context of a sporting contest, were the most salient aspects of the
dominionistic/sport hunter's interest in the hunting activity. This
group did not reveal strong affections for animals." [p.416]

"The hunted animal was valued largely for the opportunities it
provided to engage in a sporting activity involving mastery,
competition, shooting skill and expressions of prowness. ...They were
not items of food but trophies, something to get and display to fellow
hunters. For the dominionistic/sport hunter, hunting was appreciated
more as a human social than as an animal-oriented activity."

Stephen Kellert, "Attitudes and Characteristics of Hunters and
Antihunters" (Transactions of the Forty-third North American Wildlife
and Natural Resources Conference, 1978). pp.412-423.
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