Time constraints and the competition determine a hunter's decision to shoot

New research from Florian Diekert et al., Andries Richter, Inger Maren Rivrud, and Atle Mysterud, published in PNAS, looks at how social context influences the individual hunter’s decision to shoot or not to shoot an animal.

Researchers from Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES, IBV, UiO), Department of Economics at Heidelberg University, and Environmental Economics and Natural Resources Group, Wageningen University, collected data on red deer hunting. Photo © Johan Trygve Solheim 2015.

A study by Florian DiekertAndries RichterInger Maren Rivrud, and Atle Mysterud finds that specific social and natural constraints play into a hunter’s decision to shoot a particular animal. Natural predators as well as human hunters help to control wildlife populations, but human hunters subjects animals to mortality rates that exceed natural rates, demonstrating a need to understand how hunting selection patterns influence the development of wildlife populations. To understand the interplay between social constraints and hunting choices, Florian Diekert and colleagues analyzed data on red deer hunting incidents from more than 250 locations in Norway between 1999 and 2010. In combination with the deer dataset and additional meteorological information, the researchers developed a theoretical hunting model that incorporated formal and informal cultural values and rules and regulations to draw conclusions on the constraints that govern a hunter’s decision to shoot an animal. The results indicated that a number of constraints, including nearing the close of a hunting season, few animal sightings, and competition among hunters, increased the likelihood that a hunter would shoot an animal. Moreover, factors such as moon phases, hunter work schedules, and the cost of hunter fees related to labor and hunting licenses also influenced the selectivity of an animal by a given hunter. The findings might be relevant to wildlife management practices, according to the authors.

Source: PNAS press office.

For more information, please contact Atle Mysterud (at CEES, IBV, UiO: Email: atle.mysterud@ibv.uio.no) or Florian Diekert (corresponding author of the PNAS publication, currently at Heidelberg University: Email: f.k.diekert@gmail.com).

Published Dec. 15, 2016 10:12 AM - Last modified Dec. 15, 2016 10:17 AM