Motivations and Support for Turkey Hunting Regulations in Illinois

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Hunters have diverse motivations for pursing the eastern wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) in Illinois. Understanding experience preferences among hunters may assist wildlife managers in making management decisions that improve hunter satisfaction and participation. Our objectives were: 1) develop a typology of turkey hunters in Illinois based on turkey hunting motivations; 2) determine satisfaction with the spring turkey season; and 3) identify demographic differences between turkey hunter groups. In 2019, we mailed a self-administered questionnaire to a random sample of 5,000 turkey hunters in Illinois. We received 2,601 usable questionnaires for a 54% response rate. Respondents indicated the importance of 15-items across three motivational dimensions for hunting (affiliation with family or friends; appreciation of nature; and achievement of turkey hunting goals). We used cluster analysis to group hunters into four types using motivation items. Variance was largest among affiliation and achievement items. One-third of respondents (34%) were motivated primarily by affiliation motivations with achievement motivations being moderately important. The second largest group (29%) indicated affiliation and achievement motivations were equally important, had the least hunting experience during the spring turkey season in Illinois (x = 11 years), and were most likely to be a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) (23%). A third group (19%) found affiliation motivations important and achievement motivations slightly important, while being older (x = 54 years old) and experienced turkey hunters (x = 14 years). The fourth group (18%) were the most experienced turkey hunters (x = 14 years) and oldest (x = 56 years old), though each motivation was moderately important overall. Overall satisfaction was not significantly different between groups, though satisfaction with turkey behavior and harvest was significantly different between groups. Our research suggests that overall satisfaction was similar between groups, though there are significant differences in satisfaction and demographics.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication81st Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference
StatePublished - 2021


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