Ask Randy: Non-resident tag allocation

Big Fin

Staff member
Dec 27, 2000
Bozeman, MT
Now that we have loaded up videos in the AskRandy project, we are getting A LOT of inquiries. As expected, during this period when we have to submit our applications for non-resident hunting tags, a lot of guys are asking how it is that non-residents can be treated as they are in these various western states.

It has been discussed here in the past and on many other web forums; that because there is much Federal land in these western states, the pricing and tag allocations toward non-residents is wrong. In this video, I try to explain the legal and Constitutional issues that have brought us to the point in America where allocation of hunting opportunity and the pricing of such is a state issue, with no connection to land ownership, whether private or public land.

It is a very difficult topic to distill into a short video segment. I tried many times and this is the shortest I can get it. I hope it provides some background as to why things are the way they are when it comes to non-resident hunting allocations. I suspect I will get a bunch more emails on the topic once this rolls. I will probably make it the subject of a podcast, if our podcast is given the green light to go ahead.

Please feel free to share in places you think would be helpful.

Keep sending the questions to - [email protected],


Active member
Apr 29, 2014
Philipsburg, MT or NC
Very informative , Randy explained it so even I could understand the laws that allow the states the
right to 'manage' he resident/non-resident license quotas.

Randy how does this work with Indian reservation land ? I hunted on a reservation, in Arizona, and I bought my license from the reservation. The hunting season on the reservation was different that the season in Arizona.

Topgun 30-06

Active member
Jun 8, 2009
Allegan, MI
Hunting an Indian Reservation is similar to hunting a foreign country, as many have major control of the fish and game, including their own licensing, law enforcement officers, etc. within the boundaries of the Reservation. The use of the word "full control" that I used in my initial response wasn't quite the way to describe the lands, as BuzzH mentioned. It can vary depending on the state the land is in, as some require state licenses in addition to what Tribal requirements are, while others allow the tribe close to, if not, full control. Some require state seasons to be followed by other than Tribal members, while others are the same as the Tribe follows and some require non Tribal members to adhere to the actual state game laws. Many Tribal lands are tightly controlled by the Tribes such as the Jicarilla in NM that requires expensive fees for elk and deer hunting along with a Tribal guide, while others allow more open and easier access. The biggest Reservation in Wyoming, to the best of my knowledge, doesn't even allow a non Tribal member to be in a hunting vehicle with a legal Tribe member during a hunt on the property and their Wildlife Officers will issue a ticket for that violation.
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Well-known member
Jan 9, 2001
Laramie, WY
Reservations really vary...some let everyone hunt, some allow only tribal members to hunt, some have their own hunting licenses.

The tribes absolutely DO NOT have full control of fish and game, even within the borders of the reservation, and on tribal land.

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