The influence of the hunting experience on quality of life
Barratt, Elizabeth Laurel
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Tourism is one of the fastest growing experience industries worldwide and the experiences gained by the tourist are of utmost importance for the enhancement and growth of this industry. However, even though studies have been conducted on various tourists to determine the different factors that influence their experiences, for example the service rendered by the tourism destination, only a few studies show the influences on a hunter’s hunting trip. There are various types of tourisms, thus implicating that there are different type of tourists, and for this instance in wildlife tourism, hunters are concentrated on. Hunters like all other tourists, have their own unique needs and perceptions when visiting a hunting destination. Although literature is available on tourist experiences and Quality of Life (QoL), applying these two concepts to hunters is a contribution to literature on tourism and QoL. This study shows that there are differences between factors that influence hunters’ quality of lifeand those that influence tourists’ quality of life. Different individuals have different needs and different factors consequently influence their quality of life on the whole. In this instance, for example, for the hunters these factors are the social aspects; the other hunters accompanying them during their hunt and not merely the kill itself. . Although hunters do hunt wild animals, they appreciate the wildlife and being in nature more than the hunt itself, and the company (other hunters) has a great influence on their experience. However the hunters are not significantly influenced by whether their families come along or not; it is more about the hunt itself and being one with nature. The results show that the hunters are not influenced by any negative effects or incidents that may occur prior to, during, or after the hunting trip. The hunters’ marital status has an effect on the results, and also the financial stability of the individuals, and the type of v hunting trip because the hunters’ time and the type of hunt depend on the dependants at home. This study indicates all these factors and identifies that hunting does have an influence on a hunter’s QoL. The following factors that contribute to the hunters’ satisfaction or dissatisfaction have been identified in the literature study: Facilities at the hunting destination, crowding that may occur, competency and professionalism of the hunting guide, social components, interaction during the hunting trip, being in nature, the hunter’s performance, equipment and skills regarding the usage of this equipment, different constraints e.g. financial, harvesting of animals, environment and the wildlife that is hunted, previous experiences and bagging of the animals. Through this literature hunting destinations can upgrade their facilities to ensure that the hunters gain optimal experience satisfaction, thus enhancing their QoL.