Table of Contents
This research paper has three main goals:
- to summarize findings from previous studies on the value people place on hunting,
- to identify the factors that influence these values, and
- to evaluate how well certain models can predict these values.
The authors analyzed data from 80 studies, with many of them coming from the United States. They found that deer hunting was the most studied type of hunting and that a method called contingent valuation was most commonly used to determine how much people value hunting.
Gren I-M, Kerr G. A Meta-Regression Analysis of Hunters’ Valuations of Recreational Hunting. Sustainability. 2023; 15(1):27. https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010027
Type of Animal
The study found that the value people place on hunting varies depending on the type of animal being hunted. For example, hunting larger animals like elk and moose were considered more valuable compared to hunting smaller game like waterfowl. This could be because larger animals provide more meat and are more sought after as trophies.
The researchers also discovered that a person’s income has a significant impact on the value they place on hunting. People with higher incomes tend to value hunting more. This finding is consistent with other studies showing a positive relationship between income and the value people place on outdoor recreation in general.
The study found that the method used to estimate hunting value also affected the results. The contingent valuation method, which is commonly used, resulted in lower estimated values compared to other methods. This suggests that this method might not always provide the most accurate estimates of how much people value hunting.
The authors also identified certain factors that were not included in their analysis but could potentially influence hunting values. These factors include the number of days spent hunting, the availability of animals, hunting regulations, ease of access to hunting locations, how crowded the hunting area is, the scenic beauty of the area, and the availability of alternative hunting options.
Previous studies have shown that people tend to value hunting experiences more if they have better scenery, more abundant game, fewer hunters around, and a higher chance of getting a trophy. Despite not accounting for these factors, the models used in the study could predict hunting values reasonably well, with errors below 30% on average.
This suggests that the models could be useful for estimating hunting values in regions where no previous studies have been conducted. Such estimates can be helpful for policymakers and wildlife managers who need to consider the economic value of hunting when making decisions.
The researchers acknowledge that transferring estimated values from one region to another can be a controversial approach. However, their findings indicate that the factors influencing hunting values are similar across different locations.
By accounting for factors like income, type of game animal, and valuation method, the study argues that it is possible to transfer hunting value estimates between regions. This is particularly relevant for areas like Europe, which has many hunters but few studies on hunting values.
The authors emphasize that wildlife management is a complex issue that involves not only the economic value of hunting but also its impact on the environment, culture, safety, social aspects, and agriculture.
By providing a method for estimating hunting values in regions without existing studies, this research can help policymakers and wildlife managers make more informed decisions. Further research is needed to systematically quantify the total value of hunting internationally, which requires overcoming challenges related to data consistency and the effects of hunting activities.