White-tailed Deer Semen Auction Data: A Hedonic Analysis
Keywords:Hedonic Price Analysis, White-tailed Deer, Semen Prices, Cervid, Auction
In 2008, the cervid (i.e., deer) production and hunting industry had an economic impact of $318.4 million in Texas and $3 billion in the US. Antlers of whitetail bucks are prized trophies for hunters. Hence, breeders make great investments to manage genetic potential for antler growth in their herds. Sire selection accounts for up to 90% of genetic changes in managed livestock herds. Therefore, researchers have investigated the value of sire characteristics using hedonic analysis of auction data for race horses, beef cattle, and dairy bull semen. Similar hedonic analyses have evaluated attributes of hunting leases and permits. However, no hedonic studies have been conducted on auction data for semen originating from confined white-tailed deer farms in Texas. Publicly available data on semen prices, buck antler scores, and whether the buck was considered typical or non-typical were collected from the Texas Deer Association. Auction prices ranged from $120/straw to $20,500/straw of semen with a mean of $2499/straw. Modeling price as a function of white-tailed deer characteristics and breeding location indicates significant premiums for higher antler scores (p<0.01), Texas genetics (p<0.01), and deceased bucks (p<0.05). Therefore, breeders may consider these important characteristics in breeding program development.
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