Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Minnesota
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Lasharr, Kelsie, D.C. Fulton, L. Cornicelli. Experience Preferences and Place Attachment of Minnesota Wildlife Management Area Visitors. Human Dimensions of Wildlife. Published online May 26, 2022


Hunters in the United States are motivated to obtain and benefit from diverse experiences or experience preferences. Using a mail survey conducted during the 2015–2016 hunting season, we examined goal-oriented, introspective, and leadership experiences among hunters on Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Management Area (WMAs). We used k-means cluster analysis to identify six clusters based on experience preferences. We defined these clusters using their ranked experience preferences and segregated them into categories of either participants or enthusiasts. These clusters showed differences in demographic characteristics, as well as support for management actions on WMAs. Hunters in clusters with lower importance ratings of experience preferences also reported less attachment to WMAs. High levels of support for management actions were closely related to high levels of place attachment. Using information gained from describing the heterogeneity of desired experiences, managers may be better able to understand their constituents and prioritize management goals to provide a variety of hunting experiences.