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  1. #11
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    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!

  2. #12
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    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.

  3. #13
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    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.
    Two Bear Outfitters

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoBear View Post

    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++

  5. #15
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    Great point TwoBear

  6. #16
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    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.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post
    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.
    Two Bear Outfitters

  8. #18
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    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.

  9. #19
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    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.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by packer View Post
    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
    NRA Life Member OHA Life Member
    Hunter for Life

 

 

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