In 2008, 5,000 Illinois residents were contacted to measure awareness of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and its management in Illinois, support for management actions, and actions taken as a result of CWD discovery in the state. Three thousand of the recipients were randomly selected residents of 1 of the 20 CWD-positive or adjacent counties. The remaining 2,000 were residents of the study counties who had purchased a deer hunting permit in Illinois in 2007. Forty-seven percent of individuals contacted responded to the survey (67% of the hunter and 33% of the public samples). Respondents from the public sample were less likely than hunters (49% public vs. 94% hunters) to be aware that CWD had been discovered in Illinois and to feel well-informed about CWD management in the state (19% public vs. 58% hunters). When asked what actions they would take upon discovery of CWD, 15% of hunters indicated they would stop hunting deer; however, 30% of public respondents said they would encourage their family and friends to stop hunting deer. Respondents from the public and hunter samples were not aware of most actions taken to manage CWD in Illinois. Only 56% of hunters were aware that a special deer hunting season had been added to increase recreational harvest of deer in the infected area. Additionally, 70% of hunters were aware that feeding deer had been banned. Public respondents were less likely to be aware of these actions. Despite low awareness of the disease and management, there was high support for almost all potential actions suggested. More than 50% of respondents felt that all necessary measures should be used to manage the disease. There was high support for increased recreational harvest, increased regulation of deer and elk farms, and increased sharpshooter harvest.
|Name||INHS Technical Report 2010 (15)|