Studying conflict and coping in recreation is important because some coping strategies may provoke distress, while others may lead to positive emotional changes. Building on applications of the transactional stress coping model to park visitors, anglers, and other recreation participants, we explored how Minnesota grouse hunters responded to interference by all-terrain vehicle (ATV)/off-highway vehicle (OHV) users, deer hunters, other grouse/bird hunters, general other hunters, hikers, and bear hunters. We examined relationships among interference, coping, and satisfaction for grouse hunters, and examined how hunter beliefs about ATV use related to perceptions of conflict with ATV users. Encounters with ATV users, deer hunters, other grouse hunters, and hikers lead to problem- and emotion-focused coping, including displacement, confrontive coping, and psychological distancing. Interpersonal conflict with ATVs was positively related to perceptions of interference from ATV users, while no/limited conflict was negatively related. Conflict and coping had a minimal effect on satisfaction. Management implications: Although reported levels of interference from other user groups was relatively low, grouse hunters reported moderate interference from ATV users and the use of confrontive coping in response to interactions with ATV riders. Confrontive coping has been associated with increased distress, and deserves attention. However, interference from ATV users was low to moderate and most grouse hunters in the study personally use ATVs for recreation, so there is limited need for management to address conflicts between grouse hunters and ATV riders. Nevertheless, zoning for ATV-free grouse hunting could be tested in areas with reported conflicts between hunters and ATV riders.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources . We thank the individuals who returned a mail survey and provided invaluable data for this project.
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