Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Recreation and Park Administration

First Advisor

Ryan L. Sharp

Department Affiliation

Recreation and Park Administration

Second Advisor

Michael J. Bradley

Department Affiliation

Recreation and Park Administration

Third Advisor

Melinda S. Wilder

Department Affiliation

Natural Areas


Over the past several decades the number of individuals participating in hunting has decreased dramatically. This issue is important as hunting plays a major role in the US economy, is also the basis for the modern model of wildlife conservation, and can serve as a conduit for individuals to experience nature.

The purpose of this research was to identify barriers to hunting for college students, as well as identify lifestyle factors that can be used to create a profile for college students who are ideal for hunter recruitment efforts. Students at Eastern Kentucky University, Northern Kentucky University, and Western Kentucky University were surveyed for this study. Researchers discovered that 70% of those surveyed had not participated in hunting in the past three years. However, results also showed that a 71% of respondents approved of hunting while 30% had participated in hunting. The largest barriers for college students to hunter were Time and Lack of Interest.

Cluster analysis also revealed an Environmentally Inclined group (EINC) of college students who were slightly more interested in hunting than the Environmentally Indifferent group (EIND). A Potential Hunter (PH) group was also made up of individuals who expressed some interest in hunting but had not participated in hunting in the three years prior to this study (2011-2013). This (PH) group accounted for 30% of the overall sample of college students.