What I don’t understand is on some of the questions between 65 and 74 the hunters provided totally contradicting answers to some of the questions.
Questions 65 – 74 asks hunters to circle one of four choices…”Agree”, “Neither agree or disagree”, “Disagree” or “I don’t know.” Below are some of the answers that I find not only interesting but in almost total and complete contraction.
Question # 65 states: “Deer populations should be managed for healthy and sustainable forest habitat.” Hunters responded with 75% agreeing and only 8% disagreeing.
Question # 66 states: “Deer populations should be managed for healthy and sustainable deer populations.” Hunters responded with 88% agreeing and only 3% disagreeing.
Question # 67 states: “Deer populations should be managed for safe and acceptable levels of deer-human conflicts.” Hunters responded with 57% agreeing and only 18% disagreeing.
Question # 69 states: “Keeping deer in balance with natural food supplies is necessary.” Hunters responded with 81% agreeing and only 5% disagreeing.
Yet on the very next few questions hunters provided contradictory responses to basically the same questions asked in a slightly different way.
Question # 70 states: “There are not enough deer unless some are starving to death each year.” 18% of the hunters agreed while only 52% disagreed and the other 30% not agreeing, disagreeing or knowing. Isn’t that a contradiction to what they had just stated in the previous question?
Then with # 72 they ask: “If needed to improve deer population health, I would accept lower deer populations and seeing fewer deer when hunting.” Here only 29% agreed while 36% disagreed with the other 35% somewhere on the fence or not knowing. Isn’t that a contraction to the 88% that agreed when asked question # 66?
Question # 73 asks: “If needed to improve habitat conditions, I would accept lower deer populations and seeing fewer deer when hunting.” With this question only 27% agreed, 37% disagreed and once again 35% were on the fence or didn’t know what they thought. How I that not in contradiction to the way they answered question # 65?
Question # 74 asks: “If needed to reduce deer-human conflicts, I would accept lower deer populations and seeing fewer deer when hunting.” In this one hunters did almost a complete flip-flop from their response to question # 67 with only 17% agreeing, 51% disagreeing and this time only 32% being on the fence or not knowing what to think. Once again though the answer is in contradiction to the way they had answered # 67.
I guess this leaves me really questioning just what hunters are saying with their answers to the deer population questions. Are they saying that even though they understand the importance of having deer populations in balance with their own habitat and food supplies they still don’t care if the deer populations or their food supplies are sustainable when it means they will not see as many deer as they wish could survive without food and habitat? It really leaves me kind of questioning just what the hunters really think or know about the realities of nature or how the deer/habitat/food relationships mesh together. Do hunters not see them as connected in any way? Don’t they care or is it that they really don’t understand it? I am scratching my head over what those contradictions in hunter responses really mean.