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Wild-harvested venison yields and sharing by Michigan deer hunters

February 7, 2018

An increased societal focus on wildlife as food and recent policy deliberations regarding legal markets for wild-harvested meat are encouraging wildlife managers and researchers to examine the amount, use, and distribution of meat yielded through recreational hunting. We used responses to questions on the Michigan Deer Harvest Study to estimate the maximum yield of edible venison and assess hunters’ sharing behaviors. We estimated 11,402–14,473 metric tons of edible venison were procured during the 2013 hunting season. Of hunters who harvested a deer, 85% shared their venison. Hunters who shared did so with an average of 5.6 people (SD = 4.5). Sharing occurred most frequently within tight social networks: members of hunters’ households (69%), relatives (52%), and friends, neighbors, or coworkers (50%). In the absence of legal markets, venison is distributed widely by hunters and greatly amplifies the number of people benefiting from hunting. Nonetheless, we also identified the potential breadth of exposure to disease or contaminants from wild-harvested meat.

Publication Year 2018
Title Wild-harvested venison yields and sharing by Michigan deer hunters
DOI 10.1080/10871209.2017.1409372
Authors Amber D. Goguen, Shawn J. Riley, John F. Organ, Brent A. Rudolph
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Human Dimensions of Wildlife
Index ID 70195186
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Atlanta