The economics of spring turkey hunting in Virginia
Bittner, Linda A
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This study explored the economic aspects of spring turkey hunting in Virginia. Because spring turkey hu nting is a nonmarket good, a market price does not exist for it. Data on hunters' expenditures on equipment and licenses is useful but does not represent the total economic value of the resource. The total economic value includes the hunters' willingness to pay above the expenditures they currently make. This value is called the net willingness to payor consumer surplus. It can be derived through several methods. In this study, the travel cost method (TCM) and the contingent valuation method (CVM) were used to derive this value. Using the TCM, the net economic value of spring turkey hunting in Virginia was estimated at $9.1 million. This translated into an average value of $166.00 per trip. The contingent valuation method estimated the value per trip at $7.71. This value was extremely low due to problems with the procedures used. It is, at best, a lower bound estimate of the net willingness to pay per trip. The TCM values are more appropriate to use because they are based on hunters' actual behavior. The TCM, unlike the CVM, derives an actual demand curve which allows the estimation of total net economic values.
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