Economic importance of elk hunting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Open-File Report 2005-1183
Prepared in cooperation with Colorado State University
By:  and 



The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Park Service (NPS) are preparing a management plan for bison and elk inhabiting the National Elk Refuge (NER) and Grand Teton National Park (GTNP). These animals are part of the bison and elk herds in Jackson Hole, one of the largest concentrations of free-ranging bison and elk in the world. A range of alternatives for managing the bison and elk herds in the project area will be developed in an Environmental Impact Statement. The EIS will include an analysis of elk hunting programs related to the NER and GTNP. Management of the Jackson elk herd on the NER and GTNP can impact the number of hunters allowed and hunter harvest ratios on the NER, GTNP, and Bridger Teton National Forest (BTNF).

To assist the EIS planning effort, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) conducted a survey of elk hunters that hunted within the Jackson elk herd units during the 2001 hunting season. The objective of this survey and analysis was to quantify how much hunters spent in the local and regional economy and the associated economic impacts such as income and employment effects. Spending by elk hunters in the Jackson area generates considerable economic benefits for the local and regional economy. An elk hunter usually buys a wide range of goods and services during a hunting trip. Major expenditure categories include outfitter/guide fees, hunting licenses and supplies, game processing, lodging, food, and gasoline.

As more hunters come to an area, local businesses will purchase extra labor and supplies to meet the increase in demand for additional services. The income and employment resulting from purchases by hunter at local businesses represent the direct effects of hunter spending within the economy. In order to increase supplies to local businesses, input suppliers must also increase their purchases of inputs from other industries. The income and employment resulting from these secondary purchases by input suppliers are the indirect effects of hunter spending within the local economy. The input supplier’s new employees use their incomes to purchase goods and services. The resulting increased economic activity from new employee income is the induced effect associated with hunter spending. The indirect and induced effects are known as the secondary effects. Multipliers capture the size of the secondary effects, usually as a ratio of total effects to direct effects (Stynes, 1998). The sums of the direct and secondary effects describe the total economic impact of hunter spending in the local economy.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Economic importance of elk hunting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2005-1183
DOI 10.3133/ofr20051183
Year Published 2005
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Fort Collins Science Center
Description iii, 21 p.
Country United States
State Wyoming
City Jackson
Other Geospatial Grand Teton National Park, National Elk Refuge
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details