Changes in Illinois hunters' beliefs about chronic wasting disease management between 2012 and 2022

Jerry J. Vaske, Craig A. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous human dimensions articles related to changes in perceptions about chronic wasting disease (CWD) have focused on psychological variables (e.g., risk, trust). We expanded the scope of comparison and included 27 CWD management-action variables. We obtained data from 2 mail surveys of resident deer hunters randomly sampled from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources' (IDNR) permit holders, administered first in 2012 (n = 5,663, response rate = 55%) and again in 2022 (n = 1,237, response rate = 43%). Hunters in 2022 were less aware of IDNR's management actions (e.g., increase the number of deer permits) than the 2012 hunters. Alternatively, the 2022 hunters were more supportive of actions the IDNR should pursue (e.g., use deer sharpshooting) than the 2012 hunters. Hunters in 2012 were more supportive of testing for CWD than the 2022 sample, although the differences were small. Conversely, the 2022 hunters were always more likely to believe that each IDNR action (e.g., use deer sharpshooting) was more effective than those during 2012. Statistical differences can be partially attributed to the large sample size as the average Cohen's d across all 27 items was only 0.159 (i.e., small). Overall, findings demonstrate the importance of tracking changes in beliefs over time, as such changes can influence an agency's management actions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1434
JournalWildlife Society Bulletin
Issue number2
Early online dateMar 27 2023
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • INHS
  • chronic wasting disease
  • time comparison
  • sharpshooting
  • deer hunters
  • CWD management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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