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Abstract

Wisconsin's 600,000 deer hunters will bear the brunt of the economic losses from chronic wasting disease (CWD) in the Wisconsin deer herd. Though studies have not been done to pinpoint a precise value, preliminary estimates place the losses to deer hunters at between $70 million and $100 million this fall. CWD will also cause deer hunters to spend less on their sport this year than they have in the past. However, the impacts of reduced hunter spending on the Wisconsin economy should not be too large. Losses to the deer hunting economy will be counterbalanced as resident hunters spend their money elsewhere in the economy. Some spending by nonresident hunters will be lost, but deer hunting is a very small part of the tourist economy. Nevertheless, some people in rural areas will suffer economically as fewer urban deer hunters spend money on the services they provide. If additional bad news about CWD is forthcoming before fall, the losses could be much larger.

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