Recreational turkey hunting exemplifies the interdisciplinary nature of modern wildlife management. Turkey populations in Minnesota have reached social or biological carrying capacities in many areas, and changes to turkey hunting regulations have been proposed by stakeholders and wildlife managers. This study employed discrete stated choice modeling to enhance understanding of turkey hunter preferences about regulatory alternatives. We distributed mail surveys to 2,500 resident turkey hunters. Results suggest that, compared to season structure and lotteries, additional permits and level of potential interference from other hunters most influenced hunter preferences for regulatory alternatives. Low hunter interference was preferred to moderate or high interference. A second permit issued only to unsuccessful hunters was preferred to no second permit or permits for all hunters. Results suggest that utility is not strictly defined by harvest or an individual's material gain but can involve preference for other outcomes that on the surface do not materially benefit an individual. Discrete stated choice modeling offers wildlife managers an effective way to assess constituent preferences related to new regulations before implementing them. © 2017 The Wildlife Society.
Schroeder, S. A., Fulton, D. C., Cornicelli, L., & Merchant, S. S. (2018). Discrete choice modeling of season choice for Minnesota turkey hunters. Journal of Wildlife Management, 82(2), 457–465. https://doi.org/10.1002/jwmg.21382
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