Survey of landowner attitudes to red deer management along the west coast of Norway

  • Katrin Prager (Creator)
  • Atle Mysterud (Funder)
  • Leif Egil Loe (Contributor)
  • Altea Lorenzo-Arribas (Contributor)
  • Hans Bull (Creator)
  • Mikkel Slaaen Kvernstuen (Creator)



The study was based on a quantitative design to allow the examination of a large sample of the population of landowners whose properties are used for deer hunting in the southwest of Norway. The geographical focus was determined by the location of red deer populations and associated management issues. The number of red deer harvested is by far the highest in the southern part of the country along the west coast. Municipalities targeted in the study are located in the counties Rogaland, Hordaland, Sogn og Fjordane, Møre og Romsdal and Sør-Trøndelag. The number of red deer harvested in these five counties was 30,628 in the 2015 hunting season, which represents over 90% of all red deer harvested in Norway.

The questionnaire was designed based on previous studies on deer management and hunting behaviour, and amended based on insights from informal discussions and comments from a project board consisting of hunters, representatives of landowners, ecologists and a social scientist. A pilot test was carried out with two landowner representatives. The questionnaire included questions on the participant’s property, number of deer harvested, their hunting motivation, and opinions about current red deer management and collaboration. In order to determine the extent to which respondents held a particular attitude or perception, we presented statements which respondents were asked to rate on a 5-point Likert scale for their level of agreement or importance. The majority of questions were closed-ended questions, with some open-ended questions used to elicit additional views or experiences.

Data collection was carried out via an online survey (in Norwegian) using LimeSurvey software. The timing of the survey in January 2016 was aligned with the end of the hunting season. The hunting season in Norway lasts from 1 September to 23 December. We therefore anticipated that the participating landowners could give an accurate account of the recent hunting season and their experiences.

The link to the online survey was sent to landowner associations who then distributed it amongst their members. We cooperated with the Norwegian Forest Owner Associations (NFOA) and Norwegian Farmers Union (NFU), both organisations with a national coverage of membership. Cooperating with these organisations was expected to increase the likelihood of responses. According to the number of email addresses held in their membership databases, the survey invitation was sent out to a total of 5,795 members. This number includes 2,441 NFU members in the five counties included in this study; approximately 1000 NFOA members in their sub-organisation Vestskog (covering Rogaland, Hordaland, Sogn og Fjordane counties); and 2,354 NFOA members in their sub-organisation Allskog (covering Møre og Romsdal and Sør-Trøndelag counties). It is therefore not possible to determine the exact population in the study and derive a response rate, or claim representativity of the entire Norwegian landowner population. We received 509 responses but not all completed every question in the survey.
Date made available7 Oct 2018
PublisherUniversity of Aberdeen
Date of data production4 Jan 2016 - 31 Jan 2016
Geographical coverageSouth western Norway

Funder and Grant Reference number

  • Other
  • This study was funded by the Norwegian Research Council as part of the DeerUnit project (Grant number 230275).

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