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Characteristics of wild turkey hunters in Texas: comparing turkey stamp buyers to members of the National Wild Turkey Federation
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This thesis examined wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) hunters in Texas. It also examined the differences between people who are members of the Texas Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, and people who are not members, but bought turkey stamps to hunt turkeys in Texas. Turkey hunting and membership fees are a major source of income for wild turkey management and other wildlife programs in Texas. In this study, members of the Texas Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (hereafter members) and turkey stamp purchasers (nonmembers) were compared using mailed, self-administered surveys with questions addressing hunting methods, attitudes about different management scenarios, social relations, participation, demographic, and socioeconomic characteristics. Statistical analyses (Chi-square tests and general linear models) indicated that members preferred hunting in the spring with shotguns, approved of different management scenarios to increase turkey populations, and were different demographically than nonmembers. Members preferred changing hunting methods as a management strategy. Nonmembers preferred allowing gobbler-only harvest for both fall and spring seasons and implementing a 1-bird bag limit. On average, members were slightly older than nonmembers. Nonmembers reported a greater mean number of years hunting turkeys in Texas than members. About equal numbers of respondents hunted during both fall 1996 and spring 1997 seasons. More than 90% of both groups reported hunting turkeys as additional game while hunting white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) during fall 1996. More members than nonmembers hunted primarily with shotguns during fall 1996 and spring 1997. More nonmembers than members hunted turkey with rifles, with or without bait, in fall 1996 and spring 1997. However, the majority (77.5%) of both groups hunted with shotguns during spring 1997. Nearly every comparison between members and nonmembers in this study indicated these affiliations were 2 distinct subgroups of the turkey hunters in Texas. However, members constituted <2% of turkey hunters. These results suggested that although the members were organized and may be more vocal and visible to wildlife agencies, they did not represent the total turkey hunting population in Texas. Therefore, the attitudes, opinions, and preferences of both members and nonmembers need to be considered when making turkey management decisions.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 42-45).
Issued also on microfiche from Lange Micrographics.
Harmel-Garza, Karen D (2001). Characteristics of wild turkey hunters in Texas: comparing turkey stamp buyers to members of the National Wild Turkey Federation. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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