Assessing the viability of game meat sharing as a strategy to increase support for hunting and wildlife conservation

venison
project completed

Problem/Need:

Sharing and consuming wild harvested meat (WHM) - a culturally significant interaction within nature worldwide - creates links between human and natural systems. Little is known about the dynamics of WHM sharing and consumption in modern society, particularly in areas of the global north. The goal of this project is to identify provisional and cultural ecosystem services provided by WHM in Michigan.

Personnel:

  1. Dr. Brent Rudolph - DNR Principle Investigator
  2. Dr. Shawn Riley - Michigan State University Principle Investigator

Findings/Recommendations:

  1. Fostering opportunities for sharing and consuming wild harvested meat may be a practical and effective strategy to increase participation in hunting and garner acceptance and support for hunters and hunting among Michigan residents, particularly with groups underrepresented in hunting, such as urbanites and racial minorities.
  2. Encouraging hunters to share their meat in social settings where non-hunters are present may be the most readily implemented method to maintain the social relevancy of hunting, encourage positive attitudes toward hunting, and potentially recruit new hunters.
  3. It is not clear that a regulated market in WHM would increase the number of beneficiaries of the current wildlife management system, and, in fact, could have the opposite effect. Imposing an economic value on WHM in this system could change who benefits and how, and the number of beneficiaries of this system, for better or worse.

Partners:

  1. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Pittman Roberston Wildlife Restoration Act Grant
  2. Michigan State University - Department of Fisheries and Wildlife