Eastman's: Worst Big Game Reporting State

Sytes

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Sep 25, 2009
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Montana
Always found big game reporting a significant opportunity for improvement...


I have various issues with several states and how they do their reporting, but Montana takes the cake. Two of the last three years, the State has not even counted deer or elk hunters, so there are no unit or controlled hunt success rates posted on their web site for 2016 or 2018. We also hear from hunters all the time that they don’t trust what Montana does report.
 

bullbugle307

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Jul 19, 2018
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I'm all for mandatory reporting in Wyo as well. I talked to a biologist last year about it while checking my deer for CWD and he bristled at the mention of mandatory reporting. He said they're very confident in their harvest statistics. I guess I'll have to agree to disagree with WGFD on mandatory reporting. I always fill out the harvest surveys but I know that many don't.
 

ccc23454

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Sep 22, 2010
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Wyoming
WY should have a disclaimer with there made up significant amount of their numbers and atleast MT can number there zones correctly. WY cant adjust there zones numbers to match for each animal? Shows you how disorganized they are.... idaho system works pretty good and is easy (10day rule)
 

antlerradar

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Oct 23, 2012
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SE Montana
I have no idea why FWP would not want to go to mandatory reporting. I hope that FWP is just happy with the current system and feel that mandatory reporting is unnecessary. The cynical part of me thinks that FWP is opposed because mandatory reporting would show that places like the Custer are being hunted in to the ground and that the data would not back up FWP's current management. Lets hope the cynical part of me is wrong.
 

Schaaf

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Fort Peck, MT
The cynical part of me thinks that FWP is opposed because mandatory reporting would show that places like the Custer are being hunted in to the ground and that the data would not back up FWP's current management. Lets hope the cynical part of me is wrong.
Yep. A lack of information makes it easier to justify the “throw wildlife management at a wall and see if anything sticks.”
 

wllm1313

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Dec 9, 2015
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Aurora, CO
CO, MT, and WY all have terrible reporting systems. I've written numerous emails to our commission, and asked BHA to include it in their comment on our new season structure. Montana residents really need to hammer MFWP as well.

This is all the western states, I built this table for discussing elk but I did research reporting... as you can see at this point mandatory reporting is the norm.


110007
 

MTGomer

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MT —> AZ
Around the time 2019 elk applications were due, I got the elk harvest survey phone call from FWP from the 2018 season. Then, in mid June I got a postcard in the mail asking me to indicate which type of land ownership I killed it on. Seems very inefficient, and very late to gather the data, not that they would make any decisions or changes based on the data, anyhow.

Of course, even responding to these is entirely optional, if you are one of the random ones selected.
 

406LIFE

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Aug 18, 2016
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Bitterroot Valley, MT
I'm not cynical about FWP as the comments above. Biologists want the best info available; mandatory reporting will help with that. There is much that has tied there hands legislatively and financially.
 

tjones

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Lots of guys and many Sportsmen groups have been pushing hard for mandatory reporting for many years.

Inaccurate harvest stats are why accurate spring flight surveys are so important. An accurate count of what’s on the ground helps set permit and license levels.
 

Mthuntr

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Oct 9, 2009
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In the Sagebrush of Montana
Coming from the midwest 16 years ago, I was very confused by the lack of reporting on the side of FWP. Funny that in 2005 I shot a buck in an area that I felt wasn't crowded with ample opportunity for a nice buck...10 years later it's a zoo but management hasn't changed.

I'm all for mandatory reporting especially online...just click a few boxes of basics and maybe have a map of the districts and say I shot my deer in District X. Then your next year licenses/applications are available
 

Sytes

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Sep 25, 2009
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Montana
Lots of guys and many Sportsmen groups have been pushing hard for mandatory reporting for many years.

Inaccurate harvest stats are why accurate spring flight surveys are so important. An accurate count of what’s on the ground helps set permit and license levels.
More financial accountability / managed practical use of - for the aerial counts and mandatory reporting would be a step in the right direction. Reminded me of a prior post regarding the aerial counts.

I've heard all those same excuses for that piece of chit helicopter the FWP spends a boatload of money on for years.

Every time a count is off, they must have missed a bunch of elk due to timing of the flight, the bulls were timbered up, every excuse under the sun.

How about just do your job right, fly on good days, and due it in a timely manner? Novel idea...but not good for excuse making on why the elk populations are circling the drain.

Of course, there's that pesky check station data too...elk hunters are doing just groovy in regions 1 and 2.
 

MTGomer

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Sep 25, 2015
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MT —> AZ
A lot of people would oppose it being mandatory.

It could be voluntary. It could just be that if that’s the choice you make, you lose your bonus points and pay $300 for a base hunting license instead of $10 the next year. More data, more choices and more revenue. FWP loves the latter.
 
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