Recreational hunters, fishers and divers in North Canterbury: outdoor enthusiasms in social contexts
This report discusses recent Lincoln University-based research on recreational hunters, fishers and divers and how they negotiate time away from work, and particularly from family responsibilities, to participate in their outdoor ‘enthusiasms’. Self-completed questionnaires were mailed to the membership of the New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association, North Canterbury Branch, and to a random sample of Fish and Game North Canterbury (full season) licence holders. The questions included: the age of first involvement in their preferred outdoor recreational activity; identifying those who were responsible for socialising them into that activity; their motivations for involvement; the work and family contexts of decision making about recreational trips away from home; the financial costs associated with pursuit of the activity; attitudes to clubs and club membership; and opinions about the future ‘health’ of their recreational activities. Socio-demographic data were also collected. In the case of both sub-groups – NZDA and Fish & Game – the response rate was higher than would normally be the case for self-completed questionnaires. The data were coded and cleaned and analysed using SPSS and tests of statistical significance were conducted on some, but not all, of the cross-tabulations. Respondents were overwhelmingly ‘male’ and were introduced to their preferred recreational activity at a very young age, with ‘Father’ being the most important agent of socialisation in the case of both sub-groups. Almost all NZDA respondents and most Fish & Game respondents indicated that their activity involved overnight or longer trips away from home. Inspection of types of recreational activity revealed, however, that almost one-third of duck and game-bird shooters and salmon fishers did not need to take overnight trips away from home to pursue the activity. Respondents reported that arranging trips in the context of their work and family commitments was ‘easy’ or ‘very easy’, and possible reasons for this response are explored. Motivators for respondents’ involvement in their preferred activity include ‘Being in wild places/natural environments’, ‘Catching/gathering food’ and ‘Spending quality time with friends/mates’. Some differences in the ranking of motivators were found between the two respondent sub-groups. When presented with scenarios which describe how decisions about expenditure on recreation are made, respondents indicated that they had either accumulated the financial resources they needed to pursue their activity, viewed themselves as being at a life-stage where they could afford to be ‘self-indulgent’ or believed that their recreational expenditure was a ‘priority’. The inconsistency between these and other data in the report are noted. While by definition all NZDA respondents belonged to a club, only 5.4 percent of the Fish & Game respondents did so. Fish & Game members who did not belong to clubs were presented with a list of twelve possible reasons as to why this might be the case. ‘I like to do my own thing’, and ‘I have friends I hunt/fish with’, were the reasons most frequently selected. More than four-fifths of all respondents indicated that the future of their preferred activity was ‘under threat’ in New Zealand, with ‘Loss of habitat’ and ‘Problems of gaining access to suitable sites’ being the most frequently selected explanations.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsrecreational hunting; recreational diving; North Canterbury; leisure; socialisation; social contexts; gender roles; recreational surveys; recreational fishing
Fields of Research0602 Ecology
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