Hunter Preferences and Willingness to Pay for Hunting Leases
Previous analyses of hunting leases need to be refined by addressing the decision to lease, incremental willingness to pay (WTP) for those already leasing, and number of leases purchased. Requisite data for this study were generated on the basis of a survey of Mississippi resident and
nonresident hunters. Results suggested that a hunter decision to purchase a lease was influenced by hunting avidity, availability of alternative hunting access options, perceived hunter crowding on public lands relative to private lands, and household income, whereas the number of leases purchased
was influenced by alternative access options and hunter perception of congestion on public lands compared with that on private land. Thus, factors influencing the decision whether or not to purchase a lease and number of leases purchased were not the same. Incremental median WTP ranged from
$0.56 to $6.40 per acre, depending on alternative hunting access options, hunter perception of crowding on public lands, availability of game species on leased lands, and duration of the lease agreement. This result suggested that Mississippi landowners who currently allow hunting
access may be able to enhance lease-related total gross annual financial returns by $800 to $9,200 if they improved management of their lands or modified their lease agreements consistent with hunters' genuine concerns.