Yeti GOBOX Collection

Fixing Western Hunting

You are right its not. That's not at all what I'm saying, in fact the exact opposite.

I'm done and exhausted, this discussion is getting tiring since every time I say something, people twist what I'm saying or don't understand.

I'll try one last time - simply put I used to believe that donating money to wildlife organizations was considered advocacy and spending time researching, learning and submitting comments/emails to those making decisions was worth the effort. When I'm told that I'm not needed and these things aren't enough to actually help wildlife I'm starting to feel that I should just stop. It isn't just one person here, its dozens. There is very little appreciation shown to the role that the NR plays in wildlife management across the western states. Or at least that is how I feel each time I log into HT.
First of all, those things do help. Anyone saying otherwise is full of chit.

I went and looked at this thread and a couple others and I've not seen where it was stated that those efforts don't help wildlife. There is something beyond stated words that causes that feeling you express; a feeling other non-residents express.

Understand that Hunt Talk isn't a good representation of the average western resident hunter. Most western residents on Hunt Talk would raise resident fees in a heartbeat, which would take pressure off the funding part of wildlife agencies, which is a part of wildlife management. We cant get our fellow resident hunters or our legislatures on board with that, so it continues as is, even if the average HT member would pay 2-10x their current fee. Funding is the place where non-residents do the disproportionate share.

Yet, that is only a portion of what it takes. And most here who are residents would be happy to make up the differences in their home states of the west.

Life's most valuable commodity is time. Wildlife management and advocacy takes a ton of time. Geography and distance makes it hard for a lot of non-residents to take time to help in other states. That is a reality I accept. I don't expect non-residents to show up at legislative meetings, take time from their work to travel for fence pulls, to volunteer for a youth day here, to (insert the many other actions that require a physical presence).

And I know I can only do very little of that, if any, in Wyoming, or Colorado, or New Mexico, or Alaska, or ...... When residents of those states want to retain their share of a shrinking opportunity, I completely understand. I don't view that as discounting my license purchase, the comments I might send on issues in their state, or my donations to the NGOs who do work in those states.

Their desire to keep their opportunity isn't selfish. It isn't unrealistic. It is based on the realities of how our wildlife systems have worked since 1842. I might wish I wasn't subject to a 10% cap in Nevada and I would have burned my sheep points by now, but that is a wish not based in reality. I wouldn't confuse realities of how the systems work with western non-residents being selfish or unappreciative.

These discussions, like most of our social discussions, end up on the extremes. In this case it is the "We pay the freight and you'd be eff'd without us" statements against the "Eff you, we will do just fine without you and your money" statements. Both positions have some truth to them, but are not reflective of the reality of the situation and neither reflects the position of most Rs or NRs. And neither of those statements do anything to put more critters in the hills, a solution that makes most of these discussions go away.
 
@BackofBeyond here is another good example recently where the thread was a great topic but the whole R vs NR blocked a potential good discussion.


The question the article poses is a legit good one. The author had his opinion and both R and NR alike disagreed as well as some agreed. But it quickly turned and continued down this path of just NR fighting with words against R. Thus the eventual lock. The question asked has very little to do with opportunity, abit it probably is a cause and potential point to speak to. However, at its core I believe that most people universally feel like the trend is a bad thing because it's a concept that pushes us further from the NAM of wildlife management. Yet we couldn't all together get there in that discussion.
 
Meh, I apply as a NR in 8-9 states, have you ever one time heard me drone on and on and on about how poorly Montana treats me? Colorado? Utah? Arizona? Nevada?, etc?

That answer is no.

I also don't believe I'm the savior to their GF budgets and the last thing I expect from the Residents of a state I apply as a NR in, is a pat on the back for buying a tag or license. I OWE them a pat on the back and a thank you for even allowing me to hunt there as a NR.

The difference between you and me is night and day. Every single time I draw a tag in another State, I don't feel entitled to it. In fact, every single time it crosses my mind that I really can't believe I'm getting to hunt while I know there's hundreds if not thousands of Residents that aren't. Residents that deserve the tag and have done way more than I have. Residents that put up with living where they do, attend more meetings, do more on the ground projects, etc. I don't think I have a right to go around thumping my chest because I bought a higher priced tag.

In no way, shape or form does a Resident of another State I get to hunt owe me a thank you because I paid more for a tag there. That's just unbelievable that thought would even enter anyone's mind. I would feel embarrassed if a Resident hunter ever thanked me for hunting their State. There would be nothing but a prompt correction on who should be thanking who.

Yet, I see it in every thread, and very much directed at Wyoming. Which is pretty ironic, considering just about no other Western State that limits NR's more is even mentioned. The NR entitlement, specific to Wyoming, is staggering. Even more staggering there is scarcely a state more generous to a NR than Wyoming.

Find another shoulder to cry on.
This is actually a really good point. Each time I hunt another state I am blessed and grateful for the opportunity to hunt such incredible animals in such incredible landscapes. You're exactly right, NR should never feel "entitled" to these opportunities. By the same token however, NR should also not be made the scapegoat for everything that goes wrong in a state.
 
This is actually a really good point. Each time I hunt another state I am blessed and grateful for the opportunity to hunt such incredible animals in such incredible landscapes. You're exactly right, NR should never feel "entitled" to these opportunities. By the same token however, NR should also not be made the scapegoat for everything that goes wrong in a state.
I should have just said that...
 
Want a place to start? Read here. Won't be hard to find what I'm pointing out.

To create a list of comments that could be amassed across this platform regarding NR hatred wouldn't be hard.

You want to help your cause? I don't expect much of a thank you because @BuzzH is correct, we do actually both agree that the NR should always be thankful for the opportunities shared with them. That doesn't mean we should be treated as garbage which is currently consistently happening and only going to keep getting worse every year as what's left for all continues to dwindle. This isn't a good path going forward.

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You think the residents in region 6 and 7 are complaining just to complain, or are they genuinely worried about the deer herd.
 
This is actually a really good point. Each time I hunt another state I am blessed and grateful for the opportunity to hunt such incredible animals in such incredible landscapes. You're exactly right, NR should never feel "entitled" to these opportunities. By the same token however, NR should also not be made the scapegoat for everything that goes wrong in a state.
I don't think they're a scapegoat.

But, if things have to give, I'll be 100% in favor of a Resident hunter when the opportunity tree needs a pruning. I would expect to be on the clipping end in the other 49 states I'm a NR in as well.

IMO, the long time, and best advocates are those closest to the resource and the land with long traditions of hunting, fishing, etc.

People on vacation don't usually have that same view, and I don't expect them to. They most likely care a whole lot more about where they live.

In fact, I can point you to dozens and dozens of posts where NR's say something to this effect, "Once I burn my points in Wyoming, I'm done with that state, they'll never get another dime of my money".

I won't apologize for favoring someone that will NEVER be done with Wyoming, and that's almost always the Residents.
 
@BackofBeyond here is another good example recently where the thread was a great topic but the whole R vs NR blocked a potential good discussion.


The question the article poses is a legit good one. The author had his opinion and both R and NR alike disagreed as well as some agreed. But it quickly turned and continued down this path of just NR fighting with words against R. Thus the eventual lock. The question asked has very little to do with opportunity, abit it probably is a cause and potential point to speak to. However, at its core I believe that most people universally feel like the trend is a bad thing because it's a concept that pushes us further from the NAM of wildlife management. Yet we couldn't all together get there in that discussion.
Yeah that one was really started in good faith 😆.

@rjthehunter: “If states keep shitting on Non-Residents, why would non residents help where possible?”
 
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You think the residents in region 6 and 7 are complaining just to complain, or are they genuinely worried about the deer herd.

This data does not surprise me. My best guess is that if you could break out the NR licenses sold by state, ND, SD, MN, and WI would be heavily represented. Regions 6 and 7 are their closest regions to hunt and offer a decent mix of access and hunting success.
 
Wyoming needs to wake up to the reality that Wyoming is America’s Western hunting camp. Kind of like Florida is the beach. Wyoming wants to have a mile of beach for each person. That’s just not realistic.
Louisiana and Mississippi went through this a while back. Louisiana added a salt water liscense so Mississippi went up on non resident deer. All it did was cost everyone more money.
 
@BackofBeyond here is another good example recently where the thread was a great topic but the whole R vs NR blocked a potential good discussion.


The question the article poses is a legit good one. The author had his opinion and both R and NR alike disagreed as well as some agreed. But it quickly turned and continued down this path of just NR fighting with words against R. Thus the eventual lock. The question asked has very little to do with opportunity, abit it probably is a cause and potential point to speak to. However, at its core I believe that most people universally feel like the trend is a bad thing because it's a concept that pushes us further from the NAM of wildlife management. Yet we couldn't all together get there in that discussion.
I agree that with shrinking herds complicated by huge resident population booms, non-resident reduction is coming to all of us. I agree that is a trend not helpful to the future of hunting. I agree that trend will drive away many who might otherwise feel vested in wild places and wild things.

I disagree that it pushes us further away from the NAM. One of the tenets of that Model is a Public Trust resource managed under a state-based system. The treatment of Rs and NRs differently is expected under that tenet of the Model, if the residents (Trust Beneficiaries and Trustees) feel it is beneficial to do so.

When folks start talking about the NAM, I wonder if it got summarized to the seven tenets in a poorly explained manner. It is a lengthy dissertation that is hard to explain completely in seven sentences. It is based on State authority over the Trust Corpus (wildlife). The court cases made it very clear that there will be many different State-based laws to address the unique nature of each state and what is best for the Beneficiaries (citizens of that state). The cases also are explicit in stating that wildlife rights were never transferred to the Federal Government, so under the 10th Amendment, those rights are retained by the States.

Here is explanation of where the state-based concept originated. Martin v. Wadell in 1842 and later affirmed and explained in more detail in Greer v. Connecticut in 1896.

“Whilst the fundamental principles upon which the common property in game rests have undergone no change, the development of free institutions has lead [sic] to the recognition of the fact that the power or control lodged in the State, resulting from the common ownership, is to be exercised, like all other powers of government, as a trust for the benefit of all people, and not as a prerogative for the advantage of the government, as distinct from the people, or for the benefit of private individuals as distinguished from the public” (161 U.S. 519, 1896).

The trustee status of states in regard to wildlife is transferred to the federal government in the U.S. when wildlife falls within parameters of the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause (federal treatymaking power), Commerce Clause, and Property Clause. Chief Justice Taney, in articulating the Public Trust Doctrine in Martin v. Waddell in 1842 acknowledged this when he wrote that the powers assumed by the states were “subject only to the rights since surrendered by the Constitution to the general government” (41 U.S. 367 1842).
The entire dissertation of the NAM is here - https://wildlife.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/North-American-model-of-Wildlife-Conservation.pdf. The citation above comes from Page 12.

Point being, this disparity of how I get to enjoy wildlife in a state where I am a Beneficiary of a the Public Trust (Montana) compared to a state where I am not a Beneficiary (WY, CO, .......) is completely within the NAM.

In one state I am a Beneficiary (MT) and in the other state I am a Stakeholder (WY, CO, ...); two different terms, two different standings, one conferring rights (Beneficiary) and the other conferring mere consideration (Stakeholder) of what value I might contribute.

The less disparity between Rs and NRs, the better outcome for vesting as many people as possible in the cause of wild places and wild things. Yet, when there is less Trust Corpus (wildlife) to be shared, the first priority will be provided to the actual Beneficiaries of the Public Trust, the citizens of that state.

Thus @BuzzH comments that we are hunting as NRs in other states at the pleasure of those Trustees and Beneficiaries of that state. They could make it 0% of 10,000 X the cost, but their Trustees view non-residents as valuable Stakeholders, non-beneficiaries who help with funding the Trust Corpus (wildlife) and who are helpful in other considerations a Trustee must make.

None of this changes the complexities of rising resident populations of the west, the habitat destruction that comes with that, and the lower herd numbers that result in less opportunity.
 
If anyone wants to engage in policy the first step would be to watch at least a year’s worth of legislative sessions and game commission meetings for whatever state they are interested in. This day in age that can all be done on zoom. That is how the sausage is made.

By doing so, many of the most outlandish expectations, finger pointing, and questions would get sorted out before they ever came to be. Very few will ever do this very first step, and here we are…
 
I disagree that it pushes us further away from the NAM. One of the tenets of that Model is a Public Trust resource managed under a state-based system. The treatment of Rs and NRs differently is expected under that tenet of the Model, if the residents (Trust Beneficiaries and Trustees) feel it is beneficial to do so.
I was just specifically talking about the cost and how higher prices get us as a whole closer to paying for wildlife. It will impact NR first and it already has and will continue to be. When NR are gone, it will move to residents. That is what I was specifically getting at on how that isn't what the NAM is about.
 
The problem started with this thread's title. "Fixing" implies something is broken, but that problem was never defined. Every thread that jumps to solutions without defining the problem is doomed to go down this path.

Is the problem the move toward money being the driver of opportunity? declining opportunity? shrinking pie?

I chuckle when I see "boots on the ground" or people complaining about R doing more than NR in terms of actual work. Sure that is true, because of proximity. But there just aren't that many, or if there are communication needs to improve. I can remember one BOTG project I was notified of last year in my own state. I couldn't make it because I was out of town. Practically felt guilty for not making it and I certainly wish there were more.

I received my RMEF volunteer newsletter email last night. Topics in order of appearance below. Hard not to see that the $$$ is the driver of things. I would love to put more animals on the landscape. For some, $ is the only realistic way to contribute to that effort. Yes, that isn't a great trend if you think $ is the problem.
1) fundraising
2) recruiting new volunteers
3) banquets
4) advocacy (politics)
5) eulogy for a past volunteer
6) write up on regional directors
7) article on 40yr anniversary
8) more thanks to volunteers in PA
9) more political advocacy for CO

Edit: I should probably add that I understand it's February which is Banquet season and not much else to focus on.
 
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@BackofBeyond here is another good example recently where the thread was a great topic but the whole R vs NR blocked a potential good discussion.


The question the article poses is a legit good one. The author had his opinion and both R and NR alike disagreed as well as some agreed. But it quickly turned and continued down this path of just NR fighting with words against R. Thus the eventual lock. The question asked has very little to do with opportunity, abit it probably is a cause and potential point to speak to. However, at its core I believe that most people universally feel like the trend is a bad thing because it's a concept that pushes us further from the NAM of wildlife management. Yet we couldn't all together get there in that discussion.
Whinging

Who would have thought watching Bluey with my kids would expand my vocabulary.
 
Here’s a wild thought. How about we start with quit doing marketing campaigns and how to video to the 10s, no 100s of thousands of people first. Then we pull back on some Technology like muzzle loaders that can shoot 600 yards.. you know, actually make them primitive in every western state. Also long range shooting tech, which I partake in with many shots over 600 yards. Why don’t we start with these before limiting the people who have been hunting for the right reasons for decades? Hunting is suppose to be difficult, not just the stalk and pull of the trigger or release of the arrow, but the entire process of finding where to go.
 
I was just specifically talking about the cost and how higher prices get us as a whole closer to paying for wildlife. It will impact NR first and it already has and will continue to be. When NR are gone, it will move to residents. That is what I was specifically getting at on how that isn't what the NAM is about.
You do relize that the higher prices in wyoming were pushed by wyoga to help wealthy nr get tags easier.
 
Going back to the title and purpose of this thread here's a few that may not be perfect but may help steer things in the right direction.

1. If you get a tag, you burn your points. Draw, general, OTC, first choice, second choice, third choice, antlerless, landowner, all of em, you burn your points. We can expand on why this would help later.

2. Access is by far one of the biggest overall problems. If we want landowners to open their land to public hunting it will require a bigger incentive than the wads of cash thrown at them by leasing. What about property tax breaks for land enrolled in access programs. And it may not be popular but landowner/nuisance tags need to be drastically reigned in. This includes the east where farmers can get dozens of free "nuisance" deer permits while keeping their land closed. To be clear, I fully support the basic right of a landowner to keep others of their land. BUT, I would argue that if you want extra permits you need to be enrolled in an access program. Otherwise you get the same permits everyone else does.

As a side note, number two applies just as strongly to the whitetail states here in the east, where I would argue that access is probably at its worst. Public land is extremely scarce and it is not uncommon to see ten or a dozen trucks hunting a single 500 acre or smaller piece of state land. And as more and more properties get leased, it just gets worse.

@Big Fin I'd be curious to hear your perspective on this
 
Going back to the title and purpose of this thread here's a few that may not be perfect but may help steer things in the right direction.

1. If you get a tag, you burn your points. Draw, general, OTC, first choice, second choice, third choice, antlerless, landowner, all of em, you burn your points. We can expand on why this would help later.

2. Access is by far one of the biggest overall problems. If we want landowners to open their land to public hunting it will require a bigger incentive than the wads of cash thrown at them by leasing. What about property tax breaks for land enrolled in access programs. And it may not be popular but landowner/nuisance tags need to be drastically reigned in. This includes the east where farmers can get dozens of free "nuisance" deer permits while keeping their land closed. To be clear, I fully support the basic right of a landowner to keep others of their land. BUT, I would argue that if you want extra permits you need to be enrolled in an access program. Otherwise you get the same permits everyone else does.

As a side note, number two applies just as strongly to the whitetail states here in the east, where I would argue that access is probably at its worst. Public land is extremely scarce and it is not uncommon to see ten or a dozen trucks hunting a single 500 acre or smaller piece of state land. And as more and more properties get leased, it just gets worse.

@Big Fin I'd be curious to hear your perspective on this
#1 - I've promoted that for years. You get a tag of any sort, in any manner, you burn your points. I would add to that some tighter rules on returning tags and getting points restored. Some states almost incentivize returning tags for almost any reason.

#2 - I am on board with ideas that help open public access. I also know how easily some of those programs get abused. With state-funded access programs to private lands, such as BMP in MT or HMA in WY, I'd increase caps for some of these landowner payments to compete for good access. I'd give landowners flexibility to implement rules that reduce their headaches and concerns. I'd have the states take over the reservation systems like Wyoming does for HMAs, so it isn't a hassle for landowners and eliminate making the program nothing more than a "friends and family" of the landowner opportunity. I'd be generous with cow/doe tags, but only valid on private lands. Any landowner tag program, which I view with skepticism due to how abused those programs can be, would require access to adjacent or landlocked public lands, as Nevada requires.

It's pretty simple, at least in my view. The core elements to improvement are 1) increasing herds through habitat and other management prescriptions, and 2) keeping/increasing access to as many acres as possible. Without access to the game, the value of robust herds is compromised. With tons of access and no game remaining on those accessible lands, the value of robust access is compromised.
 
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