CWD prevalence, perceived human health risks, and state influences on deer hunting participation

Risk Anal. 2011 Mar;31(3):488-96. doi: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2010.01514.x. Epub 2010 Oct 6.


This study examined factors predicted by previous research to influence hunters' decisions to stop hunting deer in a state. Data were obtained from mail surveys of resident and nonresident deer hunters in Arizona, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin (n = 3,518). Hunters were presented with six scenarios depicting hypothetical CWD prevalence levels and human health risks from the disease (e.g., death), and asked if they would continue or stop hunting deer in the state. Bivariate analyses examined the influence of five predictor variables: (a) CWD prevalence, (b) hypothetical human death from CWD, (c) perceived human health risks from CWD, (d) state, and (e) residency. In the bivariate analyses, prevalence was the strongest predictor of quitting hunting in the state followed by hypothetical human death and perceived risk. The presence of CWD in a state and residency were weak, but statistically significant, predictors. Interactions among these predictors increased the potential for stopping hunting in the state. Multivariate analyses suggested that 64% of our respondents would quit hunting in the worst-case scenario.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arizona
  • Deer*
  • Humans
  • North Dakota
  • Risk Assessment
  • South Dakota
  • Wasting Disease, Chronic / epidemiology*
  • Wasting Disease, Chronic / transmission
  • Wisconsin
  • Zoonoses / epidemiology*