Wildlife Enterprises on Mississippi Private Lands

We conducted a survey of nonindustrial private (NIP) landowners in Mississippi during the 1996-97 and 1997-98 hunting seasons to determine revenues collected and expenditures incurred for fee hunting on their properties. We mailed the survey to random samples of landowners who owned $16.4 ha within statewide and Mississippi Delta counties during 1996-97 and statewide and Mississippi Gulf Coastal counties during 1997-98. Questionnaires mailed over the two hunting seasons totaled 6,966 and resulted in 2,283 respondents. Game species pursued on lands committed to fee hunting included deer, waterfowl, turkey, quail, dove, and “other” game. Respondents reported expenditures for overhead items and wildlife management activities related to fee hunting on their lands. Two hundred thirty-six respondents reported gross revenues from fee hunting ranging from US$2,964 to $5,254 on average per landowner or $7.50 to $14.28 per ha, depending upon the region. Net revenues averaged from $1,539 to $3,244 per respondent or $3.90 to $9.54 per ha. Predictors of gross revenues from fee hunting in statewide data were forested and agricultural ha committed to the activity, waterfowl as the featured game species, and overhead expenditures incurred. We found that Mississippi nonindustrial private (NIP) landowners can diversify incomes derived from their properties through the development of fee hunting enterprises.

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