PDA

View Full Version : Guaranteed Outfitter License



packer
02-21-2011, 11:37 AM
Just wondering what folks think about doing away with guaranteed outfitter licenses? I am not an outfitter,;) but I think the outfitters should have their 5,000. We may see more out of staters on public lands,and more private land owners will restrict hunting on their property because of this. This will also have residual effects on many small business related to the industry. I think the outfitter codes and rules need changed, but I don't agree with this change. Tell me why I am wrong! Yes, this law passed as an initiative

mntnguide
02-21-2011, 12:38 PM
Already happened. Bill I161 passed and thus discarded all guaranteed outfitter tags in Montana. Then FWP also raised the price on all non-resident tags. It is definitely a big debate right now. Idaho raised there prices on non-resident tags, then proceeded to lose millions of dollars the following year due to it.. will be interesting to see what happens, but personally I believe I161 was a terrible bill and its unfortunate it passed.

Blue Skies Hunting Advent
02-21-2011, 01:22 PM
I have a fealing that the same thing that happened in Idaho will happen in Montana. Only time will tell.

go4steelhd
02-21-2011, 03:19 PM
I agree with you Packer. I think this will put more poeple on public and block management. In the next few years I think this will cuase the quality of the animals to go down. Why I think this is most non res. will go down hunt for a week, and most of those who do not find a big buck will shoot a small four point the last day they have to hunt. Pretty soon there will be fewer bucks that make it to 4 or 5 years old.

Shane
02-21-2011, 05:37 PM
I agree this will put more people on public land, but some of the outfitters were getting carried away leasing up land and locking of property that had been open to the public for years. I feel that at least in the very limited draw areas the outfitters should not have been allowed guarenteed tags when the general public was only reciving less than 25 bull elk permits already.

Deadeye
02-21-2011, 05:40 PM
It will definitely make things interesting. Time will tell I guess.

Pass Thru
02-21-2011, 05:43 PM
It was a terrible bill. Anyone that thought this would put private lands into block management was mistaken. If the guides can't afford the leases, the hunters that can afford those leases will pick them up whether they are in state or out of state. Instead of non residents coming out for a week hunt with an outfitter they may be able to afford to stay for weeks crowding public lands. Jacking the prices up for non resident tags and taking away guaranteed tags from small business owners was a bad idea.

TwistedFrogs
02-21-2011, 05:51 PM
but some of the outfitters were getting carried away leasing up land and locking of property that had been open to the public for years. I feel that at least in the very limited draw areas the outfitters should not have been allowed guarenteed tags when the general public was only reciving less than 25 bull elk permits already.

I agree, i am only 23 years old an i have seen this happen. The open public-land where I began my love of mule deer was acquired by cabelas, and quickly closed forever. Very saddening.

ceby7
02-22-2011, 02:44 PM
I voted FOR I-161. The real reason behind this initiative is to curb the privatization of our wildlife. With a guaranteed client base, the outfitters were able to lease property from landowners for a higher price than the Block Management program could offer. For those who don't know, BM compensates landowners who open their land to the PUBLIC for hunting. BM funding comes from a variety of sources, including non-resident license sales. Plain and simple, BM couldn't compete with outfitters, therefore increasing tracts of land were being closed to the public that had for years been open. Beyond just the land and access issues, the underlying problem lies in the fact that too many outfitters are simply trying to build their businesses ($$$) with little regard to the ethics of hunting. As more land is closed, more hunters flock to public land, depleting those areas of any trophy potential. Outfitters then step in and basically sell the trophies on their properties to the highest bidder. It's the law of supply and demand. When the reason for hunting shifts from a tradition or passion to a business, which this law helps to slow down, many of us DIY, public-land hunters are gonna be out of a lifestyle.

packer
02-22-2011, 04:09 PM
Some of the large property owners are getting around the guide issue by charging a trespass fee to hunt on their property. I know of some these fees costing $4,000 and more. Maybe cut the number of guaranteed licenses in half. No matter what it looks like the native hunter is going to be the loser.

backcountrybowhunter
02-22-2011, 06:30 PM
I lived in MT for 24 years and hunted there most of my life. I worked for the USFS for Mt's forests and love my home state. The tag changes to me is a bummer. I can no longer afford the out of state rates to hunt my home state. Making the tags almost $1000 for the combo is ridiculous after paying so much less in the past. The real issue for MT in my opinion is the wolves. I returned home last year to hunt the forest in which I worked everyday in for 3 years to see animal numbers in the dumps. I saw less than 40 deer in the 3 weeks I was home and elk was super tough. I used to see over 40 deer a day 7 years ago. Raising the tag prices to those prices when the animals numbers SUCK is stupid. Just my 2 cents!

mntnguide
02-22-2011, 07:52 PM
Exactly what has happened in Idaho. For some reason officials decided to raise non-resident prices even with our growing struggle with wolves. The Fish and Game then proceeded to lose large amounts of money the following year due to a lack of non-residents deciding to come back and hunt, and do take into effect the fact that Idaho still has guaranteed outfitter tags throughout the state, yet there was still a major decline in hunters. Now with I161 in Montana, aside for the loss of outfitter tags, the price raise isnt going to help anything. Block Management in Montana relies almost entirely on the funds brought in by Non-Resident tag sales. So now even though the outfitters might not lease the land, in no way is that land guaranteed to become BM. If Montana experiences the same thing as Idaho, There will be no more funds to support more Block Management, and could even lead to less BM due to a major loss of revenue. Only time will show what this situation will bring, but with the herds throughout Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming feeling the major impact of wolves, other actions are needed to keep the major revenue non-residents bring to each state.

TwoBear
02-23-2011, 07:34 PM
For the purposes of disclosure I am an outfitter.

I-161 has effectively made Montana a glorified OTC draw state. Everybody who puts in for a license will get one. Leasing will not slow down, in fact, it will probably increase do to the ease of getting a tag. Difficult to justify a lease at 50% draw odds, but certainly becomes viable with 90%+ odds. We effectively took income out of the hands of the local economy and turned it over to out of state interest. It was said that reputable outfitters will not be effected, and maybe for the short term that is true. However, repeat business is an important function of quality businesses, and if those repeats are subject to a draw and fail, the repeat client is lost. The outfits that never get repeats are going to have to fill camps every year with new clients, they are uneffected. The outfits that get punished then are the quality ones, seems kinda backwards in my eyes. My clients have no better chance of drawing then the crooked outfit down the street. (figure of speech there).

I think we should have invested time and money into enhancing our public land resources. Quality hunting opportunites on public land can mitigate the desire to lease private lands. Right now, I feel that much of the private land debate is an issue of "percieved" quality. There are some awfully dandy bulls on public land, but the may require the work many are not inclined to put in. If we open up the private hunting rounds to the general public, how long before every bull and buck is in the back of a pickup truck? I like having these places. At the end of the day we have a ton of public land with quality hunting for the hard hunter. I-161 wasn't necessary, and will not achieve the goals many voted for it for. I still think it was an anti-outfitter, anti-NR law. Just for the record, I do lease a river bottom ranch here for mules and horses. We let 8 bowhunters in after whitetails, free of charge. I have never leased a piece of ground for hunting in my life.

Romey
02-23-2011, 10:39 PM
Right now, I feel that much of the private land debate is an issue of "percieved" quality. . I-161 wasn't necessary, and will not achieve the goals many voted for it for.
Exactly! A++

mntnguide
02-23-2011, 11:04 PM
Great point TwoBear

Shane
02-24-2011, 10:54 AM
Can anyone of you outfitters explain to me why you should be "guaranteed" the ability to purchase tags in a limited draw area that the local residents have to apply for. Those tags should not be going to the out of stater like they were. More out of staters were hunting some of those districts than residents. That is not right in my opinion. The outfitters guiding in districts where general permits were good was not a problem, the limited districts is where i feel the problem was.

TwoBear
02-24-2011, 12:54 PM
Can anyone of you outfitters explain to me why you should be "guaranteed" the ability to purchase tags in a limited draw area that the local residents have to apply for. Those tags should not be going to the out of stater like they were. More out of staters were hunting some of those districts than residents. That is not right in my opinion. The outfitters guiding in districts where general permits were good was not a problem, the limited districts is where i feel the problem was.
The outfitter sponsored license was a license, not a permit. For LE districts clients still had to draw in the second drawing just like everybody else. An example, my clients could purchase the elk/deer combo license under the outfitter tag, however, in my unit deer is a LE draw unit. Even though they had the deer/elk license, they had to apply, just like everybody else, to get the special mule deer permit. Montana via law also has a up to 10% set aside for NR hunters.

mntnguide
02-24-2011, 01:19 PM
Also, as with Idaho...Im not positive about Wyoming or Colorado's draw units, That 10% that NR are entitled to does in no way mean that they will get 10% of the tags. At the very most NR will be able to get is 10% of the draw unit tags. Some years NR will draw 10% of the tags sometimes less. Draw units will always provide more tags to the Residents of the state.

buckfvr
02-24-2011, 08:46 PM
As a NR, I can tell you I was excited about the draw odds going up for general licenses, but then the price got jacked up. I love hunting Montana! I am lucky that I met my wife here in Minnesota and that she is form Montana. I have hunted there about four different times with my father-in-law. This was to be the year I go back again, but that isn't going to happen. With the cost going up and the price of gas predicted to be at about $5 a gallon by memorial day, I just couldn't pull the trigger on the tag. I think FWP is going to get a nasty surprise this year when NR take their money else where. It's a shame!
As far as the guaranteed tags goes. In my short time in Montana, I have seen land leased up by outfitters that in previous years all one had to do was knock on the landowners door to get permission. I don't blame the landowners or the outfitters, we all need to make a living, but from the outside looking in, I think that a compromise could have been reached, that would have saved the outfitters as well as the NR.

Jerry
02-24-2011, 09:39 PM
Some of the large property owners are getting around the guide issue by charging a trespass fee to hunt on their property. I know of some these fees costing $4,000 and more. Maybe cut the number of guaranteed licenses in half. No matter what it looks like the native hunter is going to be the loser.

This happens in Oregon all the time! There are owners that are getting rich off selling "rights" or charging so called trophy fees.
This is the one issue that drives me nuts. The way we are going if you don't have very deep pockets you won't be able to hunt

bullbuster
02-24-2011, 10:31 PM
buckfvr echoes the sentiments of many hunters around the country. Unfortunately, the nonresident hunter is seen as a cash cow and state legistatures and outfitters both share the blame for their revenue problems. Tag prices and guide fees have been rising steadily, always testing the top to see "what the market will bear". Sure, there will always be high rollers willing to spend whatever it takes, but like most entitlements, eventually there aren't enough rich people to pay all the bills. Why does the Bear guide on Kodiak get $15,000 for 5 days of his time? What is he doing for me that that the $5000 Elk guide isn't? Yeah, I know he's got another $1000 in logistic expenses, but does he really need to make a year's salary in a month? Do the states need to charge nonresidents ten times, or more, the price of a resident tag? States like WY and AK even force you to hire a guide. There is no end to the creativity used to extract money from us NR dopes. Look at the carrot-and-stick lottery scams these greedy states keep coming up with. If they want to know why their monopolys are failing, they need to look in the mirror.

packer
02-28-2011, 03:20 PM
You are right! Guarantee Outfitter tags only let holder into the draw system!

brian.320
03-13-2011, 01:37 PM
My friends and I [there are 6 of us] have been coming out to sw montana for the last 5 years hunting national forest. We all buy the combo licease, and bowhunt for elk. On a average year our group spends about $6500-7500 a year counting licease,gas,food,2 nights lodging, and a few drinks at a bar. All but about $300-400 is spent in montana. This year our money is going to colorado. I know of quite a few other people doing the same. I called montana gfp with a ? on a different matter and this subject came up, the employee said that the people of montana probably compromised their budget. Time will tell.

Futboler
03-29-2011, 02:50 PM
As of March 28th, MT FW&P have sold about 15,800 of their 17,000 Big Game Combo hunting licenses. They will know the exact # by April 18th. Licenses not sold will go to non-residents who apply online on a first-come first-serve basis. Any surplus licenses leftover will likely go into a surplus sale around the 18th of April (as reported by the Great Falls Tribune). So if you're a non-resident that missed the 3/15 application deadline, you might be able to still pull a combination license.

Stringmusic
04-02-2011, 08:55 AM
Colorado in advertising like crazy. They are taking advantage of this change in Montana for sure.

Like Futboler said, left over tags go on sale April 18th. I have friends still willing to pay the extra money to hunt Montana over Colorado.

MT21
04-07-2011, 04:04 PM
This might not be the most popular post here, but I don't I-161 went far enough. Outfitting is ruining hunting in Montana. I think all outfitting should be banned on public land. Public land is the last sanctuary most average hunters, and those that don't want their hands held by outfitters, have. If property owners want to lease out their property, that is their choice, and no one can stop them. But with that they should be taxed accordingly when it comes to $$ received from outfitters (there are too many loopholes in the tax system, esp. when it comes to farms and ranches). Landowners have the right to allow who they want on their property if anyone at all; however, the wildlife of Montana belongs to the citizens of the state of Montana and shouldn't be monopolized. Plain and simple, the average guy is being priced out of hunting slowly but surely.

TwoBear
04-26-2011, 12:59 PM
The average guy is not being priced out of hunting. That is simply a slogan used by those who buy into such nonsense. Good grief there are millions of acres of public land for the average hunter to hunt on with or without outfitters. Why would anybody argue for the destruction of an entire industry? Sounds a little socialist to me. Outfitting is a huge industry in Montana and it gives millions upon millions to the state economy. Your solution is to ban parts of it and tax the snot out of the rest? Levy taxes on private landowners? How about the state starts paying landowners for feeding, watering, and providing shelter for the publics wildlife? Sheeze dude.....

Shane
04-26-2011, 09:19 PM
TwoBear,
I am a land owner here in Montana and was wondering why you think the state should pay a land owner for feeding, watering, and providing shelter for the wildlife. We found a real simple solution for this problem and it doesn't cost anyone any money, and in all reality is the best idea out there, allow the public a little access to the wildlife they own and quit trying to force everyone except the rich people from out of state to the public land. I have seen what happens with private vs public land and I can't believe how senseless some people can be. People with private land lock it up or lease it out and expect everyone to hunt public land, so there is more pressure on public land, so the animals move to the private land to be safe, and guess what happens, the private guy and the outfitter leasing his place complain because of overgrazing and a hundread of other problems. Im no scientist but this seems like an unnecessary problem with a simple solution, just me though. And one more thing, the millions that you outfitters put into the economy really doesn't even begin to the amount the individual put into the economy. I own a pickup and camper that are extra to my daily drivers just to hunt, and that was all purchased and paid taxes here in Montana. My wages pay taxes, and property tax, not to mention the money that goes to the local archery shop and sporting good store that then is spread around even more to those workers and other businesses. And all the groceries and fuel spent for just living day to day here, plus the extra spent all summer attending archery shoots and scouting. If this is all added up it doesn't take too many as you say "average" hunters to out spend the little bit of money the out of state clients contribute to the local and state economy. Most of there money is spent before they ever get to Montana. I have friends that have gone on guided hunts and they say other than the money payed to the outfitter 98% is spent at home on the supplies needed. And just for those that don't already know all the the out of state liscenses sold out even at the higher place, people view Montana as a great opportunity for a quality hunt, we need to preserve that.

TwoBear
04-27-2011, 10:26 AM
I don't think the state should pay landowners, I was pointing out the absurd claim that landowners should be taxed based on outfitting their lands. It seems to me there has been the development of a "populist" attitute with hunting over the last few years. I hold private property rights above all else as the conerstone of the capiltalist way of life. Private property rights trumps hunting 100% of the time in my book. Anybody can hunt private land that wants to, you just simply buy it, end of story. What we really have going on anymore is those who cannot afford private land of their own, wanting to hunt somebody elses private land for free. The above poster mentioned banning outfitting on public land! Outfitting has been around long before anybody on this board was even alive. I do not support taxation and banning of an industry because the general hunting membership doesn't feel like they are getting a fair shake. Why not ban all commercial operations on public land? Lets ban or tax anything that effects our percieved notion of what hunting should be.
Frankly, I am tired of outfitters being blamed for everybody who doesn't have the gusto to get their bull. I spend half the year on the back country trails, and a fair amount of it with boot leather on the ground. Every rifle season I can hump trails and with in a mile all boot tracks are gone. I can go over to eastern Montana and hunt private land antelope all day just by banging on doors, yup, I do it every year I hunt over there. I guess the free BMP lands are not enough, I guess the millions of acres of public land are not enough, lets go attack landowners and outfitters, ridiculous.

RUTTIN
04-27-2011, 12:36 PM
I don't know that this thread was to become a public land, private land debate. For me the problem is for the average joe hunter, it is getting to expensive to afford the tag. I loved hunting Montana, but with the new price on the tags they will not get my money anymore.