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

Schroeder, S.A., A. Landon, L.J. Cornicelli, D.C. Fulton, L. McInenly. 2021. Cognitive and behavioral coping in response to wildlife disease: The case of hunters and chronic wasting disease. Human Dimensions of Wildlife (Published online 4/30/2021). DOI: 10.1080/10871209.2021.1919340


Studying recreation coping is important because some coping may provoke distress, and lead to departure from participation. The transactional stress coping model has been used to examine response to social conditions (e.g., conflict, crowding) in outdoor recreation. Building on this work, we explored how Minnesota deer hunters coped with the presence of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in the state. Results are based on a survey of 2018 firearm deer hunters. We examined hunters’ reported behavioral intentions in scenarios related to the presence of CWD, and if the disease affected human health. Results suggest that most hunters would cope using product shift (i.e., eating meat after a “CWD not detected” test result) rather than displacement (i.e. hunting elsewhere or not hunting). Hunters who may cope by quitting hunting reported lower levels of involvement and higher levels of concern about CWD. Results have implications for CWD management in the state.