AMK Sportsman

Episode 154: Civics for Hunters - SB 143 with Mac Minard

roravetz

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Given Mac's background as a fish and game biologist for 30 years, ED of MOGA for 17 years, as well as being Chair of the Legislative Sportsman's Caucus Advisory Counsel, it was a very frustrating hearing him play dumb on some of the issues he clearly is an expert on, although I understand why he did. He seemed so calm and collected during the interview, I couldn't help but imagine he has to be a little more Pappy O'Daniel behind the scenes. After Randy brought some attention to this bill I could see him saying "The God D**n Bill is Languishing, we need a shot in the arm"
 

JLS

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Where the Wild Things Are
True. But the regulation clearly applied to East Side for the most part. With very few exceptions West Side outfitters don't own enough land with enough game to make it go. I always thought there was something wrong with the poor guys who outfitted on USFS land having to buy a thousand dollar outfitter license every year AND purchase the use permit AND guide their clients on public land where everyone is competing for the same animals. But the East Side rancher can lock up the land so there's no competition for game. And he doesn't even have to buy an outfitter license to make money off the animals that belong to the public. Is the state ensuring these outfitters are properly insured and have adequate safety training? How could they if the outfitters are not licensed? A couple of years ago I ran into a fella and his kid who were "guided" by a local rancher. The rancher only allowed them to shoot one buck on his property, then drove them around to area block management properties and turned them loose. The kid shot a massive buck in the coulee a few yards right below me and my buddy. It was a very unusual situation where neither party could see each other. Temp was fifteen below and blowing and they didn't know what they were doing so I offered to gut the buck rather than watch that kid freeze his fingers. Showed them a shortcut to load it up. They were not using that outfitter again!
There are plenty of ranches in the Big Hole, Madison, Bitterroot, Rock Creek, Blackfoot, etc, so your comment about it being an east side issue is simply untrue.

As to your other questions about insurance, safety training, etc., that was decided by the legislature when they exempted landowners who are outfitting on their own deeded land. I honestly could care less about that. It's their liability.

As to the outfitted hunter shooting a buck on Block Management, it may or may not be legal. If it was a paying client it would be illegal. If it was a person paying a trespass fee on a neighboring ranch it may not.
 

SD-Esox

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I understand stand MOGA is their to support the outfitting industry, but the question / opinion I have about this bill is this just creating a “false’” demand for an industry ? If the outfitters have a tough year because a lack of willing clients / health pandemic is no different than me in the construction industry having a bad year due to economy or a market flooded with “suppliers”
And what would be next if this doesn’t work do they start looking at the historical numbers of residents hunters using outfittters and now go after that pool of tags also.

In SD he have a similar issue where outfitters want to increase the number of NR waterfowl liscenses. They have clients come here for pheasants and see our abundance of waterfowl. The commercial pheasant industry has pretty much lock the non-landowning resident hunter from access to private land in this state and don’t want the same to happen to our waterfowl hunting
 

tim629

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upstate NY
interesting podcast, glad i was in the truck alone asking myself "is this guy serious?"

a few times he hits at the cost of trying to get tags but his proposal is more expensive than putting in for a few years and going DIY, I also think randy did a great job putting out that other states can figure it out so montana outfitters can up their game. Also if the outfitters average 39% of the NR tag holders, they are fighting hard to keep their same average which to me feels like something is being hidden
 

JBGESV

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Feb 18, 2021
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I have read loads on SB 143 from all sides. The numbers are all so misleading and the treatment of the material is overly simplified by the sponsors.
1 I have been hunting in MT for decades; my ALS number ends in “26”. My buddies and I used to load-up and drive 27 hours to Plentywood to chase birds for a week. As our resources grew, we added deer and antelope to the mix and spent a bunch more money as we could afford it. We have purchased everything from guns and ammunition, to game carriers and gifts for our families.
2 If someone drew a big game tag and the others did not, we all made the trip anyway. How often does an outfitter have a client bring along 2 or 3 friends that don’t have tags? The narrow definition of “revenue and expenditures” misses the point.
3 How often have you seen a guided hunter eat a bowl of tag soup? DIY hunters routinely eat tag soup for a variety of reasons. Outfitters want/need their clients to be successful, and it is a lot harder to stick to your criteria when you have invested so much in a guided hunt. If more licenses go to guided hunters, more animals will be harvested. Not to mention that DIY hunters rarely wrap-up early and head home.
3 Our family has grown to love MT, and as a result, we bought a derelict historic home and are investing a small fortune in renovations. We are still non-residents, but MT taxpayers. This journey began 27 years ago with my first trip to Malta. How do you calculate decades of DIY trips and a home purchase in comparison to a once every few years guided trip?
4 MT is a checkerboard of private, state, tribal, and federal land. If residents (or outfitters) were forced to pay an equal-sized access fee to federal lands (national forest, BLM, national wildlife refuges, WPAs, etc) as non-residents that may level the playing field or at least open a few eyes. There would be endless funds for habitat access, improvements, weed control, ... When non-residents come to our national seashore they pay the same rate as residents. Universal access fees for federal lands administered by federal authorities that are funded by the entire country? There is a scary thought. How about a universal lottery for tags on federal lands? Can you imagine if resident hunters had the same draw odds as non-residents?
5 Non-resident hunters pay for a disproportionate share of MT FW&P budget, and this must translate to funding for the Block Management Program. Resident hunters benefit from federal lands, non-resident hunter license fees to gain access to private lands, and numerous conservation organizations (eg, RMEF, DU). This is entirely true for outfitters as well.
6 Grazing, logging, mining, and drilling are all under attack on federal lands. These are easy-to-target practices that benefit a handful of business interests that exploit the natural resources we all own regardless of state of residency. Property rights, ESA, APR, 2nd amendment challenges, and a host of other movements could make this a real battle. If no one has taken notice, the political climate in DC has deteriorated. If this divisive nonsense continues, we will all lose access to incredible places like the CMR, Bob Marshall, Scapegoat, ... try selling guided hunts without access to these places or the migration corridors that keep the game herds healthy.

Western states and non-resident hunters should go hand in glove. We need each other and there are many benefits for all. I respect the state’s right to self-government and I appreciate the local concerns. SB 143 is not a good vehicle for improving outcomes. It is a slippery slope to a bad place. Let’s not undermine a system that has created so much opportunity for so many people.
 

OntarioHunter

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I am impressed that so many of you have stayed on top of this.

The only outfitter hunting I have done is in South Africa. But it is in a different world from North America. The only public land in South Africa is national parks. Hunting is all on private land. Nonresident hunters have to pay for a government license and trophy fees (which apparently are something worked out between the outfitter and landowner). Harvested game animals are processed and sold on the market. No hunter safety regulations ... but each nonresident hunter must have a PH (professional hunter) by his/her side. I enjoy my time in Africa ... but it does not compare to the enjoyment of solo hunting on free land in Montana. Not even close. Forget about the cost factor. Fortunately I can because I have more money than I could reasonably spend in a couple of lifetimes (relatively speaking it's not that expensive down there: eight animals [including cape buffalo)] @ approx $9,000 [licenses, PH, and trophy fees] + $1200 airfare + $2,000 taxidermy ... or $1,500 US/animal all inclusive - not bad!). Anyway, the point of this digression is DIY is not only the more affordable way (maybe) IT YIELDS THE BEST TRUE HUNTING EXPERIENCE. Today too much emphasis is being placed on trophies/dollar rather than hunting for the sake of being out there. We can thank commercialization of the sport for that. It's why I keep it as simple as I can. Same guns I started out with as a kid. No electronics. No ATV or snow machine. No 200hp bass boat. No fishfinder. I did step up to 4x4 ... back in 1984. I guess I have stayed the same in the hope that hunting will stay the same ... not just for me, but for future generations. I want my grandson to be able to wander the same forests, prairies, and lakes I did and experience them as intimately as I did. But that is not the direction hunting is going. Soon it will be all about who has the most money. Protecting businesses instead of what's really important. Saving jobs doesn't help us if we shit in our bed to make them. I see this bill as just another step in Montana's great stampede to that end. It breaks my heart.
 
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idahohuntr

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Dec 19, 2013
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I thought this was a great podcast - and the biggest civics lesson was the polite debate that occurred between two parties who did not agree. I strongly oppose the subject bill and MOGA's position, but I do have slightly more respect for Mr. Minard than I did before the podcast. I don't disagree that he was evasive and political on a number of responses, but he was open to dialogue and was not rude or disrespectful when Randy made key points on behalf of DIY hunters.

Perhaps what surprises me most is that given Mr. Minard and MOGA's attack on Randy's appointment to the RMEF Board several years ago, I don't know that if I were Randy I would have been inclined to invite Mr. Minard to my show. Perhaps there has been some off-line discussions or apologies in the years since, but I would consider what transpired with respect to the RMEF board to be a low blow. Enough so to disqualify an invitation for debate. Randy is a much bigger person than I think I could be if I were in his shoes.
 

matthughes9214

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Feb 13, 2021
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Thanks for doing a podcast on this issue, Randy. No disrespect to Mac, but like other comments above I got the impression he isn't fully informed on the issues this bill creates for non-resident hunters. You bring up many logical arguments that indicate this bill just doesn't pass "the smell test." If passed I'm concerned non-resident elk/deer hunting will only become harder to do in Montana. Probably not rocket science to figure out that they'll eventually want to pursue the 60% allocation of non-resident tags again.

Anyways, thanks for all the work you do on this forum and for DIY and NR hunters!
 

bayoublaster7527

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Aug 2, 2017
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Great podcast, very well done. It always amazes me how much political power hunting outfitters yield at the state level, to have multiple bills draw up that benefit them at the cost of everyone else.
 

HAP

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I listened to the whole podcast and I have to hand it to you Randy for keeping your cool and being prepared with all the facts, extremely well done. I don't know if I could've done the same as I can get emotional at times like that. I can't stand it when a politician/lobbyist tries polishing a turd and telling you it ain't really $%^&.
 

Jc2020

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Feb 10, 2020
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I enjoyed the pod cast thought Randy did a good job and felt Mac came across and uninformed and fake I hope this does not pass.
 

sneakypete

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Well, I hope it failed. New MT regs out today with nothing about outfitter subsidy tags as I call them!
 

1976

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Mohall, ND
I have not done a guided hunt in Montana, have been DIY last 12 yrs there, however I have in New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona, which AZ was more of a hunt with an good friend more than guided, anyhow my NM and CO were pretty tough odd hunts and 10 yr waits which I planned ahead money wise to hunt guided. They were great fun hunts, with CO being an easy know when I will draw hunt, NM was name in the hat and one of the hunts was once in a lifetime. Cut to the chase, if MOGA wants repeatability in clients, how the hell will they keep fresh meat coming through the door. I just don't get it, I suppose they would rather pick there repeats by the way they tip is my guess.
 

FreeAir84

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Alexandria, VA
I reached out to @Eric Albus and @Big Shooter to see if a MOGA representative wanted to be on my podcast to talk about SB 143. They were able to connect with Mac Minard, the ED of MOGA and we found a window of time to share a mic this morning. I asked my editor to turn this around as a high priority.

Some advance notes to keep in mind as you listen. I sent Mac a list of talking points. I do not view my podcast as a place to blindside people. This is not a discussion intended to be a trap for MOGA. I promised Mac he would have the first 20 minutes to explain the rationale for MOGA bringing forth this bill as it was originally proposed and the rationale for the amendment down to 39%. And that he would have the chance to provide commentary or rebuttal to any of my points.

I'm confident in my positions and reasons for opposing this bill. I am sure Mac is confident that he is doing the work his association expects of him. Neither of us likely changed the other's mind on any of the issues.

I gave Mac the benefit of all courtesies to explain his rationale, having full confidence that our audience fully understands the issues and can sort out the facts from sales pitch, how this bill will impact them, and what is at stake in the bigger picture when an effort is made to override a citizen's vote on this same issue. The math is the math and that math shows this is a big hit to the self-guided non-resident.

Part of what we learn from this is where MOGA feels is their strongest defense and by ignoring some topics they show what they feel are their weakest positions. Hopefully this will generate some discussion and expand advocacy and awareness.

As much as I disagree with all principles this bill represents, thanks to Eric and Rod for arranging this and Mac for taking the time.

Listen directly at this link -----> https://www.stitcher.com/show/hunt-...nting-politics-primer-montana-sb-143-81631896

Download directly at this link -----> https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/hunttalk/21021320-20HT20Podcast20-20MT20Guide20Bill.mp3

Or, use your podcast app and search for Hunt Talk Radio and download the most recent episode #154.

I will continue to follow this bill through the entire legislative process, doing a YouTube video to compliment this podcast and possibly doing another podcast as the bill progresses. That podcast will be more of an explanation of how to be an advocate within the legislative process. And hopefully encourage people to get even more involved in protecting the hunting they have and the access necessary for such.
This was a great discussion. Well done representing this platform. Thanks so much for your voice Fin!
 

44hunter45

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North Idaho
If the guest is to be believed, NR DIY hunters and anglers never eat food, buy gas, or sleep in hotels.

Mac said often that Randy is very smart, but NR applicants are not.

So MOGA overshot their number goals in the first draft of the bill in order to create the false impression they were willing to negotiate to consensus. Then it was pointed out to them that being manipulative, “May not be effective. “ Yathink?

A business man who assumes upon his clientele and calls them stupid is an idiot.

What became obvious to me as I listened is that MOGA and their ED see NR hunters as a resource to be exploited and they are defending their slice of pie.

This is exactly why I DIY.
 
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