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Colorado big game license allocation

Oak

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Many of you may not know that the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission had a discussion at their August meeting about resident/non-resident big game license allocations.

Colorado currently offers up to 35% of limited deer and elk licenses to non-residents, with the allocation being up to 20% in high demand units. These are units that took an average of 6 or more points for resident hunters to draw, based on a 3 year average the last time it was calculated (2008-2010). This amounts to about 1% of the total limited deer and elk licenses, so a vast majority of hunt codes are allocated at the 65/35 level.

With development of the new 5-year season structure this year came the opportunity for the Parks and Wildlife Commission to revisit the resident/non-resident license allocation in relation to resident demand for those licenses. The PWC has the authority to act or not to act during this process. If they do not act, the units being allocated at 80/20 would stay the same. A review of current demand for licenses showed that if the 3-year average was recalculated using 2012-2014 demands, approximately 22 additional deer hunt codes and 4 additional elk hunt codes would go from 65/35 to 80/20 allocation. This is largely due to a reduced number of licenses available due to deer winter kill and elk populations being brought closer to objectives.

The Colorado Outfitter's Association brought their attorney to the August PWC meeting to testify that outfitters are concerned that the PWC is unfairly restricting access to licenses for non-residents and suggested that such restriction could be cause for a challenge (lawsuit) under the Colorado Administrative Procedures Act, Colorado Constitution and the U.S. Constitution. Now we know that the rights of States to allocate licenses any way they see fit has been upheld multiple times by the Courts. But the WC is very diluted by outfitter, landowner and non-hunting (parks) interests, and they may be susceptible to the Bullying 101 tactics by the outfitters. The attorney suggested that the COA would be "thrilled" if the PWC proposed an across the board allocation of 60/40 with a hard cap (guarantee of 40% for non-residents).

The entire 1 hour discussion and testimony about the license allocation can be heard beginning at about the 20:00 mark of Part 4 of the audio archive at this link. There is an accompanying pdf of the PowerPoint presentation that was given to the PWC linked at the bottom of the page (item #26).

The outcome of the discussion at the August meeting was that a sub-committee of 5 Commissioners was created to develop the issue and bring information and recommendations back to the full Commission. This sub-committee consists of:

1) Bray - Representing Agriculture and a member of the Colorado Outfitters Association; 2) Horne - Representing Sportsmen and Outfitters, who is an outfitter herself (J Bar H Outfitters) and a past Board Member of the Colorado Outfitters Association; 3) Perricone - Representing Sportsmen, and a member of the CBA and other sportsman's groups in Colorado; 4) Zimmerman - Representing Non-Profits and renewable energy and land conservation and personally represented herself as the lay person on the committee, and 5) Zipp - Representing Sportsmen as a fisherman from Pueblo and member of Sierra Club. (I stole this list from a poster on another forum. Thanks, Todd)

This sub-committee will hold its first meeting in Glenwood Springs at 5pm on September 11. Given that more than 2 Commissioners will be involved, this is a public meeting, although it is not being well-advertised. There is however a meeting notice here.

Resident sportsmen should be offended and furious about this attempt by outfitters to gain access to additional licenses for non-residents, before the increase in allocation to landowners through the landowner preference program has even been realized (it goes into effect in 2015). Our system for 2015 would currently allocate 20% of limited licenses to landowners for resale to the highest bidder, and then either 35% or 20% of the remaining 80% to non-residents. This means that 36-48% of all limited licenses would be available to non-residents. The landowners and outfitters are proposing a system that would make 52% of all limited licenses available to non-residents.

Let's not forget that Colorado offers unlimited OTC elk tags, meaning that every single non-resident that wants to hunt elk in CO can do so every year. Our limited deer and elk license non-resident allocation is currently greater than any other western state. I certainly hope that resident hunters can find the time in their busy schedules to vociferously voice their opinions to the PWC about this issue, either in person at the PWC meeting or the sub-committee meeting, or by email.
 

HighDesertSage

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What would be the best email address to write to? I already think it's absurd how many tags LO and NR's get. Under the new system, residents are only going to get 45%. I was hoping things would change for the better, not worse.
 

Greenhorn

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Would this help ME get a tag? :) I've got 7 deer points.

I'd be chapped if I was a CO resident. Over half limited permits to non-residents, and 20% for sale to the Darren Newsoms types?

Lame.
 

Zach

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I'm not sure if I can make that meeting, 3 hour haul midweek might be hard to pull off.

I'll try to write the commission though, thanks for posting Oak!

I borrowed this from jlmatthew from another site:

For folks that are concerned about the issue, let the commission member know your feelings about it!

[email protected]

Gaspar Perricone [email protected]

William Kane [email protected]

Chris Castilian [email protected]

Robert Bray [email protected]

Jeanne Horne [email protected]

James Pribyl [email protected]

James Vigil [email protected]

Dean Wingfield [email protected]

Michelle Zimmerman [email protected]

Dale Pizel [email protected],co.us

Alexander Zipp [email protected]

Mike King [email protected]
 

Oak

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Would this help ME get a tag? :) I've got 7 deer points.

I'd be chapped if I was a CO resident. Over half limited permits to non-residents, and 20% for sale to the Darren Newsoms types?

Lame.

Typical non-resident, buying preference points instead of hunting licenses. What are you waiting for?:)
 

Dinkshooter

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Would this help ME get a tag? :) I've got 7 deer points.

I'd be chapped if I was a CO resident. Over half limited permits to non-residents, and 20% for sale to the Darren Newsoms types?

Lame.

Typical non-resident, buying preference points instead of hunting licenses. What are you waiting for?:)

He's been reading HF to much and waiting for the glory tag:D!
 

Bambistew

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Our system for 2015 would currently allocate 20% of limited licenses to landowners for resale to the highest bidder, and then either 35% or 20% of the remaining 80% to non-residents. This means that 36-48% of all limited licenses would be available to non-residents. The landowners and outfitters are proposing a system that would make 52% of all limited licenses available to non-residents.

Do you know if there are stats listing the actual number of LO vouchers purchased by resident/NR? I would be willing to bet that more than 1/2 of LO vouchers are sold to residents... just a guess, but I know a fair number of CO residents who regularly buy vouchers.

I remember looking up the actual split of NR/Res for deer/elk draw and OTC tags a while back. I can't remember if I posted the numbers or not, and I can't find the numbers I crunched. Going from memory, it was something like 80% of deer hunters were residents, and 75% of all elk hunters. Don't hold me to those numbers though, just recall that it wasn't that close to the draw split... and the majority of hunters where residents. It would be interesting to see if you could infer data from the proposed increase against the current harvest rates.
 

Oak

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The stats for voucher use are available if you ask CPW, but I believe it is probably close to 50/50. That doesn't mean that they are not available to non-residents, only that the landowner is choosing to sell them to residents. It would be more interesting to see the breakdown of buck and bull vouchers, as I'm guessing most of the cow and doe vouchers go to residents.

One of the pieces of information that the PWC asked the CPW for is the total number of limited and OTC licenses issued to both residents and non-residents from 2000 to 2013. That should be available at the meeting next week, but CPW indicated in the presentation that 40% of OTC sales are non-resident (that would be bull elk only).

I'm not tracking what you are getting at regarding current harvest rates. Unlike some states, we don't care about how many animals non-residents kill, only how many licenses they are issued.

At any rate, there is no other western state that even comes close to CO in the percentage of deer and elk licenses issued to non-residents. And it's still not enough for the outfitters.
 

Oak

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Here is a bit of dialogue transcribed from the audio of the discussion, which indicates that the PWC hopes to increase non-resident allocation without input from the public:

Chairman Kane at 57:45: “Is there a way that we can refine the system we have, without having to go back and revisit the universe of the entire underlying philosophy of the whole 80/20 and 60/40 and re-invoke that whole statewide debate? I’m wondering if there aren’t some tweaks and clarifications relative to perhaps the hybrid draw and firming up some of the caps in here to make more licenses available to out of state hunters and follow through on what Commissioner Bray thought was the deal in 2005. You know that just feels intuitively like a much more appealing thing for us rather than having to go back and rewrite the whole Constitution of the United States relative to this. Because I think that if we’re going to approach it globally we are talking about reengagement with the public and statewide roundtables, and this is just an enormous commitment of both Commissioners’ time and staff time and if there’s a way we can get at it efficiently, as one Commissioner speaking, that sounds like a very attractive alternative.”
Chairman Kane at 1:04:40: “We just have to change a spark plug here, let’s not take the heads off.”
Commissioner Bray replied: “I would support the Chairman’s recommendation that we can tweak things and don’t have to recreate the world, or at least talk about tweaking things, and try to keep it civil and in-house, I think there are some things we can do that will make it a better system, without huge, wholesale changes.”
Chairman Kane at 1:19:00: “The mission is to see what improvements can be made within our existing system structure to address what has been perceived by some as an inappropriately rigid system relative to the out of state hunter.”
Chairman Kane at 1:20:10: “I don’t think it should be burdensome; hopefully you know conference calls, you can do a lot of this over the phones and with email, and so that people aren’t burning up the highways to get this done.”
 

HighDesertSage

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I don't understand how this is happening? Are CO sportsman just not aware of what is going on? How difficult would it be to contact the Denver Post or GJ Sentinel and see if they would be interested in doing an article. I know a lot of sportsmen read the outdoor section. I have never contacted a newspaper agency, I would be willing to give it a shot though.
 

Oak

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I have contacted the Scott Willoughby with the Denver Post, Dave Buchanan with the Daily Sentinel and Dale Rodebaugh with the Durango Herald. Buchanan ran a tepid column in the Sentinel yesterday (below). I have heard that Willoughby intends to do so as well. Just send them an email, tell them your concerns, and ask if they would be willing to write a column about it.
 

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Dinkshooter

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I really like how according to most outfitters.................................only NRs spend money while hunting, tell that to my bank account.:rolleyes:

Or could it be, most residents do not use the services of outfitters?;)
 

HighDesertSage

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Oak: Emails have been sent to The Sentinel, Herald, Gazette, and Post.

Dinkshooter: Agreed. All in, I am probably around $1500 on my resident hunts.

Draftstud: Not everyone in CO smokes pot. 90% of people I deal with here are hardworking, good people that probably have no idea what's going on, and probably won't until it takes them three years to draw a deer tag that they used to be able to get every year. Not because they don't care, just to busy and the information is not readily available. Also, the few select people that I know do smoke pot are still hardworking good people.
 

Bambistew

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The situation in CO always amazes me. Hard to believe that so few (LO and outfitters) dictate policy. I guess its not that strange, its the same way here.

Is CO really hurting for money that much that they need to sell MORE NR tags? 60/40 is friggn insane.

Good luck with your fight, I sent comments to the commission, not sure it will do much good being a NR... not sure it does much good being a resident from the sounds of it. IMO it should be 80/20 and put a cap on total OTC elk tags.

I'll be watching this one intently.

Is the commission appointed by the Governor? Any chance you will see a changing of the guard anytime soon?
 

Oak

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Bambi, the Commissioners are appointed by the Governor. Despite all of the tough talk, I don't anticipate a change of guard in November.

This proposal is being brought forth by the outfitters as a fairness to non-residents issue mostly, not a budget issue. But the outfitters are smart enough to spin it as good for the budget of the CPW and the rural economies of the state. The real problem is the landowner and outfitter interests on the Commission, and the fact that the Commission is also watered down a bit since the merger with Parks. I brought this up back when the merger was happening. I'll see if I can find a thread.

I think if you take a look at the Commission makeup, you can see how issues like this quickly gain traction. The current members of the Commission are:

Kane, Chairman: Represents Parks and Outdoor Recreation. Has a background in planning and design for mountain resort communities and works for Aspen Skiing Company.

Castilian, Secretary: Represents Parks and Outdoor Recreation. He is an attorney, a former director of the State Board of Land Commissioners, former Legislative Director for Colorado Counties, Inc., and currently works as the Manager of Government and Community Relations for Anadarko Petroleum Corporation.

Bray: Represents Agriculture. He is owner and operator of Bray Ranches and is a member of the Colorado Cattlemens' Association, the Colorado Farm Bureau, Colorado Woolgrowers, the Colorado Outfitters Association.

Horne: Represents Sportspersons and Outfitters. She is the owner and manager of J Bar H Outfitters LLC in Meeker, a family-owned big game and fishing outfitting business which she started in 1998. She is a member of the Colorado Outfitter's Association, Colorado Bowhunter's Association, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Safari Club International and Big Game Forever.

Perricone: Represents Sportspersons. He is currently the Co-Director of the Bull Moose Sportsmen's Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to representing a complete sportsmen's agenda. He is the Conservation Chair of Denver Chapter of Trout Unlimited and is a member of Colorado Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Colorado Wildlife Federation, Colorado Bowhunters Association, Rocky Mt. Elk Foundation and the NRA.

Pizel: Represents Public at-large. He is the owner/agent of Broken Arrow Land Co. and the manager of the Rio Oxbow Ranch near Creede. He has won awards for his grazing practices on the ranch, was the founder and a former board member of the 1st National Bank of Creede, former board member of the Rio Grande Water Conservation District and Mineral County Planning and Zoning.

Pribyl: Represents Public at-large. He has worked in public policy management and corporate advocacy at the state and federal level for more than 35 years at U S West Communications, MCI Communications and Level 3 Communications. He has also served in major positions for two U. S. Senators and a Governor. He is an avid skier, hiker and as time allows, angler and camper.

Vigil: Represents Agriculture. He is a former Las Animas County Commissioner who runs his family's farm on the Purgatoire River in Trinidad.

Wingfield: Represents Agriculture. Runs an active cow-calf and dryland farming operation in Yuma County, along the eastern border of Colorado. He has been a Yuma County Commissioner since 1997 and on the Board of the Yuma County Cattlemen’s Association for the past 28 years.

Zimmerman: Represents Non-profits. She is the vice president of operations for Innovative Energy in Breckenridge and a former ski instructor and wildland firefighter. She spent eight years in land conservation and was previously the executive director of both the Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project in Denver and the Rincon Institute in Tucson.

Zipp: Represents Sportspersons. He is the owner and manager of The Drift Fly Shop in Pueblo, CO and maintains memberships in Trout Unlimited, the Pueblo Nature and Raptor Center and the Sierra Club.
 
Yeti

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