Hunter Perceptions of Risk, Social Trust, and Management of Chronic Wasting Disease in Illinois

Erin E. Harper, Craig A. Miller, Jerry J. Vaske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Management to reduce the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in northern Illinois includes a controversial sharpshooting program. A mail survey of northern Illinois deer hunters was conducted (n = 3,391, response rate = 58%) to examine support or opposition toward this program, and factors contributing to these reactions. Logistic regression revealed that support for sharpshooting was statistically greater when: (a) respondents trusted the agency’s (Illinois Department of Natural Resources) management of CWD, and (b) perceived risks of CWD to both personal health and deer health increased. Support for sharpshooting was less when hunters trusted CWD information provided by the agency. This regression model predicted 72% of hunter opposition to the program and 74% of support. Log-linear analysis showed that trust and risk interacted in their effects on support or opposition toward sharpshooting. Findings supported past research examining social trust and risk perceptions in predicting other cognitions associated with CWD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)394-407
Number of pages14
JournalHuman Dimensions of Wildlife
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 3 2015


  • CWD
  • Illinois
  • perceptions
  • risk
  • sharpshooting
  • trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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