Elk Advisory Board - Choose Your Weapon

BuckRut

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So I attended the first EMP meeting in Wisdom Mt on the 20th. Mostly attended by Ranchers that live in the Big Hole Valley.

Most complained that there was too many elk in their cattle's pasture once in awhile. They didn't want those Elk on their lands breaking fences and eating grass that they feel belongs to their cattle. Most said they don't allow the public to hunt. Most said they wanted more bulls, in the public lands, and less hunters their too.
Scratched my head and not because of mosquito bites.


In HD 332 the Elk objective hasn't been met in years,(because of liberal season package and not following EMP), so in order to keep the liberal package and get support for that from the department they are asking sportsman to ask to lower the objective there so then the liberal season package fits.

I scratched my head a few more times.

So what if we incorporate a spear season? Give those guys 2 weeks of archery, Then we go to a traditional archery season? Say 2 more weeks of archery? Then we go to general archery season for 2 weeks? Then traditional muzzleloader season for 2 weeks? Then lever action rifles and no telescopic sights, again 2 weeks. Then finish off the year with a 2 week season of general rifle.

Chose your season at it's finest. There will be less pressure during everyone of those 2 weeks.
There will be a lot less elk killed, and not sure that will make the department happy on cow elk.

Oh so we allocate the rifle dudes to the rest of the shoulder seasons because they choose rifle?

Not sure how to allocate things fairly? How do we do that?

At his point I'm thinking scorched earth effect. Lets piss Putin off a little more and everything's fixed.

I've got a head ache now.

Once upon a time, (20 years ago or so), the hunting in the Big Hole Valley was exceptional.
Tolerance to elk the summer there ended that. No real reason other than they felt they were losing something, as the area there usually always has enough to eat for all.
Sad really.
OK, I'll be more positive next post. Promise..
Let them complain all they want. Most of those ranchers also aggressively deny access to the USFS lands beyond there ranches.
 

MTelkHuntress

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Times are always changing and I think it's best to try to be ahead and plan better with the resource in mind. There was a time when you didn't need a license and could shoot whatever you wanted. Well, populations crashed and we had to implement changes to limit hunting opportunity so that populations could recover.
These long seasons are not sustainable at all and we need to redistribute elk among other changes. With our current season structure, it's already bad but I believe it could still get worse with the direction we are going. At that point, I fear we would have to make major changes when it is already too late but then again maybe we would just do nothing for the sake of opportunity.
If we don't seriously sit down and have an open mind, nothing will change. There's lots of good ideas out there to build on but it seems hunters need to get out of their own way first and be honest with themselves and do right by the resource.
 

DougStickney

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Was just at the elk management plan meeting in miles city. Poor turn out but choosing your weapon was brought up in conversation and people did not like it. I’m all for it along with choose your district. People still don’t want to give up a thing. It won’t turn out well in the end. Along with the new emp that is going to be a train wreck.
 

WIbiggame

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What would you residents of MT think if it was pick your season but still OTC? Meaning you have to pick to archery or rifle and could still do both OTC but you have to buy 2 license?

Here in WI resident and non resident deer are OTC, but you need to buy an archery and rifle license separately.

Would give you 2 bull tags? I assume prices might need to be adjusted a little bit?
 

shoots-straight

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Let them complain all they want. Most of those ranchers also aggressively deny access to the USFS lands beyond there ranches.
They weren't combative at all. They just have a this cake and eat it too mentality. Most seem to like elk as long as they are in the forest service lands.
 

FoodIsMemories

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Newspaper Article in the Billings Gazette

In an effort to address overcrowding and pressure on public lands the Elk Management Citizen Advisory Group is recommending that wildlife managers require hunters to choose either archery hunting or rifle hunting.

As a long time resident of Montana, I value my hunting opportunities. This "requirement" goes against something I strongly value, because my time hunting is mostly spent with friends and family. Hunting to me is a family value ... a lot of quality time spent with those friends and family.

When we are being told there are too many elk, why would you limit opportunity? Reducing the number of hunters in the field during either weapons season (archery or rifle), makes no sense. By limiting residents, such as myself, you are reducing the amount of time and money I spend on hunting (gas, groceries, supplies, gear, etc.). The MT Legislature(s) have passed laws making it easier for people who have moved out of state to come back home to hunt. It's ideas, laws, and programs like these that contribute to the "overcrowding issue". If you want the privileges' with living in Montana ... move and live in Montana (We refer to it as the "Big Sky Tax"). Stop allowing kids under 12 to hunt before the season or with a mentor. Sorry ... I could not hunt until I passed Hunters Safety and was twelve. My kids were not offered the opportunity to hunt before twelve and they survived or didn't need counseling. It's OK ... twelve is the "cut-off". The kid will survive and appreciate hunting at age twelve. The "feel good idea" is adding to the perceived problem of overcrowding.

The things we value are being stripped away by ideas, regulations, and legislative bills. I really hope residents speak up and show up when asked to comment on ideas such as the idea of "choose your weapon". But, unfortunately ... this Country is changing ... Montana is changing with all the people moving here.
Hell yes!
 
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Firedude

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Just a suggestion but Idaho tried for a while adding some muzzleloader seasons with archery only tags. One of my prefered hunt areas is that way still. Granted rifle is draw only but the idea is good. Short rifle season or longer archery season with a muzzleloader season later in the year. Maybe a good compromise?
 

seeth07

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Elk quotas are based on tolerance by private landowner(s)

True, but social tolerance is a legitimate factor in determining objectives.

They didn't want those Elk on their lands breaking fences and eating grass that they feel belongs to their cattle. Most said they don't allow the public to hunt. Most said they wanted more bulls, in the public lands, and less hunters their too

They just have a this cake and eat it too mentality. Most seem to like elk as long as they are in the forest service lands.

Let them complain all they want. Most of those ranchers also aggressively deny access to the USFS lands beyond there ranches.

It is so sad how far away it seems the state of Montana has moved away from the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. No where in the 7 principles does it cover allowing an interest group to influence wildlife allocation and management to point they have in your state. Good luck fellas!
 

MTTW

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I say do it. I would pick a weapon and pick a district. I actually don't know which weapon or district I would choose.

With that said, it is my opinion that you will not redistribute elk without redistributing hunters. By this I mean increase pressure on private and decrease pressure on public.

Sadly I am pretty sure that it will not be accomplished in my lifetime, if I live to be 100. It can only be accomplished with landowner consent, and that won't happen if there is financial incentive to do the opposite.
You have to take the money out of elk, and I see that going in the opposite direction.
I don't believe that we drove the elk to the mountains in the old days. I believe that we killed the accessible elk and the inaccessible elk lived. Same thing we are doing now but in the opposite direction.

I would love to be wrong so let's restrict hunting on public now. I have never seen mtfwp do anything other than apply a bandaid so I am not going to hold my breath.
 

seeth07

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Sadly I am pretty sure that it will not be accomplished in my lifetime, if I live to be 100. It can only be accomplished with landowner consent, and that won't happen if there is financial incentive to do the opposite.
You have to take the money out of elk, and I see that going in the opposite direction.
I don't believe that we drove the elk to the mountains in the old days. I believe that we killed the accessible elk and the inaccessible elk lived. Same thing we are doing now but in the opposite direction.
You are a wise man sir. Very well said.
 

GLA-FLA

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My $0.02..

Choosing a weapon will only result in people pouring a little extra into their specified season.

I think rifle could benefit, however archery would have similar saturation issues.

In order to make any substantive change they would need to subdivide the season. (NM comes to mind)

If I were king for a day:

1st Archery: 9/1-9/15
2nd Archery: 9/16-10/1

1st Rifle: 10/15-11/1
2nd Rifle: 11/2-11/15

Additional nuances:
1) All 2nd Rifle mule deer would issued LE

2) All 1st Rifle elk would be issued LE

3) Explore splitting archery vs. rifle in more LE elk units (Bear Paws come to mind)

4) Mothball the muzzy season
 

BuckRut

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They weren't combative at all. They just have a this cake and eat it too mentality. Most seem to like elk as long as they are in the forest service lands.
Of course they are not combative. They have their property and they lock the road access to reach the USFS land beyond so they get that land virtually to themselves to. I am very familiar with the area.
 

YoungGun

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My $0.02..

Choosing a weapon will only result in people pouring a little extra into their specified season.

I think rifle could benefit, however archery would have similar saturation issues.

In order to make any substantive change they would need to subdivide the season. (NM comes to mind)

If I were king for a day:

1st Archery: 9/1-9/15
2nd Archery: 9/16-10/1

1st Rifle: 10/15-11/1
2nd Rifle: 11/2-11/15

Additional nuances:
1) All 2nd Rifle mule deer would issued LE

2) All 1st Rifle elk would be issued LE

3) Explore splitting archery vs. rifle in more LE elk units (Bear Paws come to mind)

4) Mothball the muzzy season
I agree- choose your weapon, choose your district is a good conversation starter, but I honestly think we as hunters would probably still find ourselves pretty crowded. I would be much more in favor of choose your district, choose your dates, with the prime dates being limited in nature, but not to the degree of permit hunts.

IF, and it's a big IF, MTFWP believed in data and numbers, they could actually allocate tags much more efficiently to address real or perceived population issues, such as issuing more late cow tags when the elk are condensing in the valleys, and issuing more bull tags post rut, but before the weather really hits while they are dispersed, etc.

Mule Deer would stand to benefit immensely from choose your dates and having the rut hunt be limited in nature.
 

SAJ-99

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It is so sad how far away it seems the state of Montana has moved away from the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. No where in the 7 principles does it cover allowing an interest group to influence wildlife allocation and management to point they have in your state. Good luck fellas!
I didn’t say that. I simply said social tolerance is a legitimate input into the determining of objectives. You have to take into account the perspectives and incentives of the various participants. There are more Whitetail deer in North America now than when the first boat hit Plymouth Rock. Do we use NA mode to manage the original estimate or to what can be supported by the land, including the golf courses and parks we have now and take the car collisions and Disease outbreaks as a cost of maximizing the population? This is hard stuff.

I think a lot of people with the solution of “just allow access” haven’t listened closely. A lot of the landowners bearing the brunt of elk problem have those elk outside of the hunting season dates. During the season they often don’t have elk. Should they join Block Management and put a note saying there are no elk there until April but they are in BM to get the benefits? Do you as a hunter want to walk around a ranch and not see anything?
 

seeth07

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Do we use NA mode to manage the original estimate or to what can be supported by the land, including the golf courses and parks we have now and take the car collisions and Disease outbreaks as a cost of maximizing the population? This is hard stuff.
No you are certainly right and correct. Its hard to define where wildlife "should be". Its also hard to define "how much wildlife" when the ecosystem in which they all live now involve humans.
 

Ben Lamb

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I didn’t say that. I simply said social tolerance is a legitimate input into the determining of objectives. You have to take into account the perspectives and incentives of the various participants. There are more Whitetail deer in North America now than when the first boat hit Plymouth Rock. Do we use NA mode to manage the original estimate or to what can be supported by the land, including the golf courses and parks we have now and take the car collisions and Disease outbreaks as a cost of maximizing the population? This is hard stuff.

I think a lot of people with the solution of “just allow access” haven’t listened closely. A lot of the landowners bearing the brunt of elk problem have those elk outside of the hunting season dates. During the season they often don’t have elk. Should they join Block Management and put a note saying there are no elk there until April but they are in BM to get the benefits? Do you as a hunter want to walk around a ranch and not see anything?

This needs to be reread by everyone.
 

wllm

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@JMG not sure what the right solution for MT is... but I think it's much easier to fill a tag in CO's 5 day rifle seasons than in Montana's 12 week season.

You all need to push for something better than the status quo of "opportunity" at all costs.
 
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