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Exploring the views on hunting of Spanish hunters: effect of age and public vs. anonymous opinions


We explored the views held by Spanish hunters on hunting, and assessed how these views varied according to participant characteristics and whether or not the responses were made public via a hunter’s magazine. Hunters expressed many positive values in relation to hunting, but were critical of their own community as well as other stakeholders. Spanish hunters felt misunderstood and even attacked by society at large. There was also a widespread negative perception of the future of hunting. The frequency of references to different opinions varied between anonymous and public respondents and in relation to age group. Participants who expressed their opinions publicly mentioned the ecological values of hunting more frequently, were more critical towards their own community, and viewed the future of hunting more positively than anonymous participants. This may indicate an intended projected positive image; namely, Spanish hunters may publicly emphasize those views that improve their position in society.

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We are grateful to all the hunters who voluntarily participated in our interviews and to two anonymous referees for their constructive comments on the MS. Sarah Young revised the English. This study was initiated as part of HUNT-Hunting for Sustainability project (http://fp7hunt.net/), which was funded by the European Union’s Framework Programme 7; was partially funded by Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha through project PPII-2014-016-A; and contributes to PIE 201330E105 (CSIC). M. Delibes-Mateos is currently funded by V Plan Propio de Investigación of the Universidad de Sevilla (Spain).

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Correspondence to Jesús Caro.

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Caro, J., Delibes-Mateos, M., Vázquez-Guadarrama, C. et al. Exploring the views on hunting of Spanish hunters: effect of age and public vs. anonymous opinions. Eur J Wildl Res 63, 88 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10344-017-1146-x

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  • Conflict
  • Hunters
  • NVivo software
  • Opinion
  • Public image
  • The spiral of silence