Using persuasive messages to encourage hunters to support regulation of lead shot

Authors


  • Associate Editor: John Daigle.

Abstract

Lead shot from hunting adds the toxic metal to environments worldwide. The United States banned lead shot for hunting waterfowl in 1991 and 26 states have lead shot restrictions beyond those mandated for waterfowl hunting. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) was interested in studying hunter attitudes about expanded restrictions on the use of lead shot for hunting small game to understand what communication strategies might increase public support for potential restrictions on lead shot. We mailed messages about lead shot, including 1,200 control messages and 400 of each of 9 treatment messages, and surveys to 4,800 resident small game hunters. We compared attitudes and intentions related to a possible ban among control and treatment groups. Compared to the control message, all treatment messages elicited more positive attitudes and intentions to support a ban. A basic factual message, messages with references to Ducks Unlimited, and a first-person narrative message generated the strongest support for a ban. Results also demonstrated a substantial relationship between the use of lead shot and response to persuasive messages supporting a ban. © 2012 The Wildlife Society.

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