Economic Impacts of White-tailed Deer Hunting in Mississippi

We conducted a five-year study during the 2001-2005 hunting seasons to determine the economic impacts of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) hunting in Mississippi. Activity days for state residents ranged from 2,390,619 to 3,181,957 and for non-residents, 265,103 to 357,253. Total economic impacts ranged from US $761 million to $1.03 billion (in 2007 dollars). Over the five years, number of full- and part-time jobs supported by deer hunting activities ranged from 26,489 to 37,888. Aggregated economic sectors benefiting the most were services, manufacturing, and trade. Statewide economic multipliers were low (from 1.63 to 1.65) compared to other types of recreation expenditures but nevertheless represent a $1.63 to $1.65 return on every dollar spent on white-tailed deer hunting in Mississippi. Our results suggested that white-tailed deer hunting and its associated economic impacts were the largest for hunting of any species in Mississippi and is important to the state economy. We recommend that our results, which provide a measure of importance to white-tailed deer, be used by wildlife managers in the southeastern United States to help facilitate the assessment and prioritization of wildlife management decisions on issues related to research endeavors, habitat management, clientele expectations and satisfaction, and controversial issues such as baiting and wildlife diseases.

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