Characteristics and Opinions of Texas Hunters

A telephone survey of 3,081 Texas hunters was conducted after the 1981-1982 hunting season. The typical hunter was white, urban, middle aged (x =40, SD = 15 years), male, was a college graduate, had an average income of $28,150 (SD =$6,100), and held a white-collar job. The average age of hunting initiation was 14 (SD =8) years. Respondents hunted an average of 22 (SD = 14) years and learned about hunting mostly from experiences in Texas. Mixed bag hunting was the norm, but 75% hunted white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). The recreation and sport associated with the hunt rather than the harvest was the reason why 70% of the respondents hunted. High lease cost (23%) was the main factor which would contribute to desertion from hunting. Respondents who hunted without leases (62%) used land owned or leased by friends or relatives. Nonlease hunting expenditures averaged $445 (SD = $935) per hunter and white-tailed deer leases averaged $395 (SD =$547) per leasee. Most respondents (82%) favored giving the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department full regulatory authority over all wildlife and eliminating the veto power of county commissioners courts (68% ). Less than 1% of the hunters surveyed belonged to wildlife conservation organizations compared to 22% who belonged to the National Rifle Association. Respondents said the single most reliable source of information about wildlife and hunting in Texas was printed media (50%) consisting primarily of sporting magazines (80%).

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