Hello! I'm a researcher; would anyone here be willing to help me out...?

Discussion in 'Introductions & Greets' started by iona, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. iona

    iona AH Member

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    Dear all,

    My name is Meera, I'm a first year PhD student at the University of Sheffield in the UK. My research interest is in hunting and wildlife conservation. As a researcher I feel I must be upfront and tell you that I myself have never taken part in a hunt. This being said I am able to admit that this is due to personal preference and my opinion on the value of hunting as a conservation tool is neutral; I believe there may indeed be valid reasons to support hunting as a form of conservation for wildlife and also as a vital economic resource for people in places such as Africa (which is where my research will be focused).

    My research is more specifically targeted though at the attitudes of hunters such as yourselves. I would like to know some of the things that motivate you to hunt and how you feel about the animals involved.

    Would any of you be willing to take part in a survey that I will be conducting in early 2013? As I stated earlier, the aim of this research is neutral observation and data collection; I am not affiliated with any hunting or anti-hunting organisations and I am genuinely interested in the opinions of people such as yourselves. If you would be willing to take part please reply to this post. Naturally if you would like to know more about the project I will be happy to answer any queries.

    Any information you give in the survey will of course be handled in the strictest confidence.

    Many thanks for your time, I look forward to hearing from you.

    Meera
     
  2. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    Welcome to AH Iona hope you enjoy the site and the discovering process.

    My best always.
     
  3. iona

    iona AH Member

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    Thank you Jaco!
     
  4. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hi welcome to AH. you seem pretty upfront about why you joined, so i was wondering what experience with wildlife and its forms of conservation you have if any, and what made you choose this subject for your university course? :)
     
  5. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Iona

    Welcome to AH.

    You are not the first to ask this question, however you seem to be open in your findings.

    Who is this research being compiled for, and what will it be used for?

    We have many knowledgeable members on AH that may or may not assist you.

    What is your primary focus in the study?

    Which country or country's will your research be taking place in?

    Will this be a boots on the ground in the field kind of research for you where you do field work with back up question-airs from the different hunting forums members...

    Or on the other end, will you sit in your easy chair and ask questions kind of research?
     
  6. iona

    iona AH Member

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    Hi Spike,

    Thanks for your response.

    My personal experience with conservation so far has been limited to projects in Britain; mainly with birds. I've taken part in projects such as planting trees in areas of disused land and I also donate to my local wetlands center (I live by the sea) which offers a place for birds to nest free from disruption. As far as African wildlife conservation goes I have absolutely no experience which is why I would like to learn as much as possible from people like yourselves who have had first hand experience. My lack of knowledge in this field is also part of why I chose it as a topic of study; I am always keen to learn new things.

    I also chose this particular subject because as a Masters student I studied the impact of national parks in Tanzania on local people. Through this I came to realise that organisations such as the WWF are not always upfront about the impact their models of conservation have on indigenous people and this lead me to question my ideas on conservation methods altogether. It's fair to say I'm still very confused! This is why I am fascinated by this topic and why I would like to learn more.

    I hope this gives a better impression of my motives for research.

    Best wishes

    Meera
     
  7. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    Welcome to the forum.
    As previously stated, I think that if this is truly non-bias research you will be welcome with open arms and have more information than what you know what to do with. However, (and a lot of these guys can smell a rat better than me) if it is not legitimate, you will probably be gone before you have a chance to tell us all BYE. I hope that it is legit, the more people are informed about the truth of why we hunt and the enjoyment one can have doing such, the better off we will all be.
     
  8. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    when you were doing your masters how long did you spend in tanzania and which of the nat parks did you get to visit? i am asking because most of the parks in tanzania are surrounded by govnt hunting blocks, and some of the reserves are utilised as hunting areas as well as for photographic , so i thought you might have got some ideas of how hunting worked for the benefit of conservation at the time. dont mean to sound like an interrogator ;)
     
  9. iona

    iona AH Member

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    Hi James,

    Thank you for your reply.

    My research is for my PhD which I have three years to write (I only started 2 months ago so it's very early days). How the research ends up being used depends on how 'good' it ends up being! If it is well received as an academic piece of work it may well be published (by whom I do not know at this stage, most likely a journal such as Conservation Biology or Human Dimensions to Wildlife). On the other hand if the research fails for some reason it may not be read by anyone other than my supervisor! I have no interest in using my work for purposes other than the academic.

    At present the focus of my research is on how hunters feel about animals and what this means for conservation. To be very blunt; I want to know if people have complex emotional attitudes towards wildlife or if they just enjoy the act of killing. From the literature I've read so far I'm convinced that the act of hunting is not simply about killing. However there are few (if any) studies which ask hunters themselves in-depth questions on this matter and this is what I would like to pursue.

    I have said a little bit more in the post I have just made in response to Spike (see above).

    I would like to use Tanzania and Zimbabwe as my primary areas of focus because I have a little pre-existing knowledge of their history. However I have also made some contacts in Namibia and South Africa so I am open to speaking to people from across Southern Africa.

    Ideally I will come out and do face-to-face interviews but unfortunately I am a self-funded student which means I am not given any money by the university; I am in fact working at the same time as doing this PhD. Therefore I simply not be able to afford to make visits in person but if this turns out to be the case I would like to conduct telephone/skype interviews and send out questionnaires by email or post. I realise that research done from a desk in England will have it's flaws but it is something which I may not be able to avoid.

    I hope this answers your questions adequately.

    Best wishes

    Meera
     
  10. iona

    iona AH Member

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    That's OK Spike, I am happy to answer any questions. Unfortunately I could not get the funding to come out to Tanzania myself so the Masters was written more as a review of the existing literature rather than a new piece of data collection. I do have some idea of how hunting can help conservation. What I could not find out much about was how hunters themselves felt and that's what I want to learn more about - this time using my own interviews rather than reading the work other people have done.
     
  11. iona

    iona AH Member

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    Hi 35bore!

    Thanks for your reply. I realise that anyone reading my posts may be a bit wary of my motives but I would like to reassure you all that my motives are honest. I will put my hands up and say that I love wildlife and I believe in the importance of conservation. However, I believe these are feelings we may well have in common. The only interest I have in doing this project is in finding good ways of protecting animals in their natural habitat. If hunting can genuinely help us do this then I will welcome the opportunity to discuss it as a viable conservation option.
     
  12. Divernhunter

    Divernhunter AH Veteran

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    'if they just enjoy the act of killing" is a red flag to me.

    I know of NO HUNTER that enjoys the killing part alone. Most of the people I know (and myself) have emotional feeling for the animal killed. Actually I often pass on animals as it is the hunt not the killing that is most important to me. Sure I want to bring home an animal as that is the point of most hunts but the killing means the hunt part is over. That is a letdown in a way.
    I know that man must hunt to keep the animals in check in many places due to factors caused by man. I also know it has been in me to hunt since I can remember and must be a genetic thing. In spite of what the tree huggers say.
    I enjoy being where the animals are in whatever country or part of a country they are.
    I enjoy the meat from the animals just as I enjoy beef/pork/lamb etc.
    I also know that the money I spend on my hunt especially where I go to hunt will help the local population.

    It is not about the killing. It is about the total HUNTING expierence including the preperations before, the travel, being where the animals are, and after the kill the meat/trophies(and they do not have to be the biggest), photos and the memories.
    Actually the best trophies to me are a smaller buck deer that was my first and then I almost died in an auto wreck on the way home. Another is an average+ pronghorn antelope which was taken is a 5 day blizzard with 2*F temps and 40+MPH winds When it was suppose to be nice weather. They are trips I will always remember. I also remember many other hunting trips and many I never got a chance to kill any game. That happens alot here where I live. But I still enjoy the hunt.
     
  13. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    ok meera you have been up front to start with, and answered the questions put to you by some of us with what seem to me to be honest answers. i am sure some of us will be able to help you with your research. its refreshing to find someone in the uk thats interested in finding out about this subject , especially in a university... :)
     
  14. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    welcome and enjoy the site iona
    you seem honest and passionate about you studies
    i wish you well
     
  15. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    iona,

    Welcome to AH, I'll take you at your word. I'm in a bit of a hurry at the moment to get to my son's Christmas music program. For now I'd like you to read this article from one of the U.K.'s news sources. Please reply back when you have and I will then fill in the rest of the story that the article left out.

    Rhino story: Pensioner's incredible bond with orphaned rhino whose mother was shot by poachers | Mail Online
     
  16. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    All right then, guess I'm in. My take on you're last statement is that conservation through hunting has proven itself time and time again. Hunting controls (any said animal's)population to a normal/sustainable level. Provides food for me and my family, in some instances food for the less fortunate, prevents sickness/disease in a given herd, and helps to greatly decrease "motor vehicle vs. wild animal" accidents (which in most cases are more traumatic for the animal than a bullet or arrow).
     
  17. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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    iona, Welcome!
    I, too, am one who is willing to help your study but we all want to make sure we are not being sandbagged for some other purpose as we have all been "fooled" at one time or another. Divernhunter has mentioned what many of us feel. It is not just the shooting that is important, in fact, as was mentioned, that might be the least important part of the hunt for many, if not most.
    As in any endeavor, whether it is car racing, fishing or football, there will always be some who muddy the waters with unethical or ulterior motives. That is just human nature but to label ALL hunters as blood thirsty killers (as many have) with no thought to what they are hunting is just wrong. You have touched on a subject for your thesis that should take you into research even far back into the "market hunting" days when hunting was unregulated. You will need such a background to have a clear vision of how things are run today in most places around the world. I realize your focus is on portions of Africa but you also need to look into the Pittman-Robertson Act for Wildlife Conservation here in the USA. As the majority of African hunters come from America you will need that background. You should also look into Safari Club International and their website and read all you can about how much those folks pay and help to support wildlife all over the world. The Pittman-Robertson Act was passed with the help of hunters and SCI is supported by thousands of hunters.
    If you dig into these subjects and understand what they do in the support of wildlife then when you come back here for help you will have a strong foundation for your follow on questions. I applaud you for your study and your apparent interest in the "hunters side of things". If you can come here with a foundation to speak from you will find most everyone here will be more than willing to help you.

    If you could mention who your faculty sponsor is at your university, someone here may know of that person and it would go a long way to vetting you on this forum.

    Again, welcome to the best forum on the net
     
  18. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Welcome to AH iona! I have read every post on this thread and your reply to them and so far you seem to be very honest and up front so feel free to include me in your survey and as a 58 year old hunter who has hunted almost every day of his life and those days not hunted were wasted and I will try to answer your questions as best as I can. I would also like to ask of you when you have done your research that you would be kind enough to post your finding and conclusions here on AH for those of us to read.
     
  19. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Meera

    Thank you for taking time to answer questions we all have asked.

    If you have the time you should be able to review some hunting report that members have put forth.

    This could help you in member to send PM to for later assistance.
     
  20. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    Well how was that? Quite a discovery so far, it will be good working with the vast number of trophy/sport/recreational/part time hunters, another one I can see coming though are professional hunters (guys that provide a living for themselves and their, and laboures families).

    It's good to have a neutral party on the site for once, (with clear intentions) I am not here to convince any single person what I can add once again is that I believe you'll be pleasantly surprised in your findings throughout.

    Keep well Meera...

    My best always
     

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