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Abstract

Game theory and other approaches have been used to characterize problems involving high-exclusion-cost goods which also have the characteristic that marginal cost of an additional user is zero over some range. These analytical tools have made valuable contributions to understanding voluntary organizations and collective action. Resource systems for which composition or scale of the resource is an important factor do not fit neatly into the types of problems which are typically analyzed. The Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) in Southern Wisconsin is used as an example to illustrate where the existing literature must be modified to take account of particular features of this resource problem. Schelling's multi-person prisoner's dilemma model is modified to incorporate preferences and marginal benefits of deer quality to different types of hunters and to explore issues of resource sustainability. Against the odds, the private QDMA has successfully organized hunters to practice harvesting techniques consistent with improved herd quality.

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