Forest Economics, Management and Policy

Fee-access hunting in Mississippi

In this age of urban sprawl, a need and demand for recreational areas has increased. Public lands can no longer meet these needs. Rural communities and individual landowners are poised to take advantage of this increase in demand by leasing their lands for recreational opportunities. The forest economics, management and policy group have initiated a study to assess how Mississippi landowners can supplement their incomes by engaging in fee-access recreational enterprises. The study, led by Ian Munn, looked at demographic characteristics of participating and non-participating landowners, property characteristics, types and amounts of fee-access recreation provided by Mississippi landowners, business characteristics of the endeavors, and factors influencing the amount of revenue landowners receive. Over three-fourths of fee-access participating landowners sold annual hunting rights with an averaged gross revenue of $6,000. Nonparticipating landowners perceived problems to be more significant than participants actually experienced. All landowners ranked information about general wildlife management, laws and regulations, and liability concerns as most important, and nonparticipating landowners felt that information was relatively unavailable. Ideally, these results will help to identify ways for landowners to engage in fee-access business ventures and help university educators, extension personnel, and public agencies target underserved landowners by addressing problems and knowledge gaps among Mississippi’s non-industrial private landowners.