A large majority of Americans approve of hunting, but many believe that a lot of hunters are unethical or unsafe, according to a study sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The three-year study by Responsible Management of Haerrisonburg, Va., showed that nearly 75 percent of Americans approved of hunting. Of those, 40 percent strongly approved. Only 11 percent strongly disapproved of hunting.
The study also showed the number of hunters as a percentage of the U.S. population fell from 10.2 percent in 1980 to 9.3 percent in 1990.
Meanwhile, the number of anglers climbed from 26 percent in 1980 to 27.4 percent in 1990.
The study showed 62 percent of Americans believe “a lot” of hunters violate hunting laws or practice unsafe behavior while hunting. Drinking and hunting are perceived as being the most widespread problem.
The study included focus groups, a telephone survey and an analysis of data collected as part of FWS’ 1991 survey of hunting, fishing and wildlife-associated recreation.