Nontarget wildlife may react to hunters with avoidance, ambivalence, or attraction, depending upon the frequency of contact and the consequences of past contacts. We studied raccoons (Procyon lotor) located within the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Utah, before and during waterfowl hunting seasons to assess changes in the size of their distributions, locations, and travel distances. Raccoon distribution size did not change with the onset of hunting. Once hunting began, raccoons were located more frequently in areas with lower densities of hunters and less frequently in areas with higher densities of hunters. Raccoons also responded to the presence of waterfowl hunters by traveling shorter distances at dawn, when hunters were active, and longer distances at dusk. This shift in movement to dusk may have allowed raccoons to exploit food resources provided by hunters, such as litter and wounded ducks, when few waterfowl hunters were in the marsh.
Frey, Shandra Nicole and Conover, Michael R.
"Effects of Waterfowl Hunting on Raccoon Movements,"
Human–Wildlife Interactions: Vol. 4
, Article 12.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/hwi/vol4/iss1/12