Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management (MPRTM)


Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Baldwin

Committee Member

Dr. Jeffrey Hallo

Committee Member

Dr. Aby Sène-Harper


Public land is an invitation for many to engage with the natural world through a variety of different activities. Sometimes these activities are mutually exclusive and can cause land use conflict, which natural resource managers must navigate. One example of this conflict is restrictions to Sunday hunting. In South Carolina, Sunday hunting is allowed on private late but banned on public Wildlife Management Area (WMA) land. This regulation remains from ‘blue laws,’ laws prohibiting certain activities on Sundays to honor the Christian Sabbath (Balestra, 2008). Blue laws are typically thought of as prohibiting alcohol, but eleven U.S. states currently have restrictions on Sunday hunting (Casola et al., 2020). There is little research to specifically understand the populations’ attitudes, values, and perceptions of Sunday hunting. A statewide survey was conducted to inform South Carolina Department of Natural Resources on the citizens of South Carolina’s favorability toward Sunday hunting (n = 12,463). The survey offered participants the chance to answer open-ended questions about why they were opposed or in favor of hunting on Sundays. This thesis research utilizes thematic coding and analysis of the two open-ended questions from the entire survey. Results of the thematic coding provide a framework for understanding the reasons South Carolina residents are in favor or opposed to allowing hunting on Sundays. Reasons for being in favor of Sunday hunting include 1) more opportunity, 2) limits on time, 3) economic benefit, and 4) a separation of church and state. Reasons survey participants gave for being opposed include 1) safety, 2) religion, 3) tradition, and 4) impact on wildlife. A typology was developed from the data to understand these reasons in context with each other. The typology consisted of four categories of people engaged with SC public lands: pragmatic, ideological, adaptable, and indifferent. A continuum was created to illustrate how all of the categories might interact with one another in practice. This research can help multiple-use land managers in developing communication strategies and understanding, identifying, and predicting conflict in land use.



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