Missouri Fifth Graders' Knowledge About Deer

Missouri fifth grade students (N = 2,581) selected from a stratified random sample of 100 public elementary schools were surveyed to determine their knowledge about white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Students possessed good general knowledge about deer biology, management and hunting. Statements about habitat management and specialized information for deer proved most difficult for students as indicated by mean correct responses of only 51% and 45%, respectively. It was noteworthy that only 45% of the students agreed that deer hunting is a good method for controlling the deer population, and only 42% believed it an acceptable activity. Students attending schools in Ozark Plateau and Glaciated-Osage Plains natural divisions possessed better knowledge about deer than did students in Mississippi Lowland and urban regions of the state. Recreation and meat were recognized as primary reasons people hunt deer.

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