FWP Proposed Changes - 2021 Season Setting

Nameless Range

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 6, 2013
Messages
4,045
Location
Western Montana
I am currently riding in a car across central MT and so I am doing this all on my phone, but figured a fresh thread to discuss the proposals FWP is gonna try and push on Montanans could be good.

Attached are the files Ben Shared as jpgs, as opposed to pdfs, in case someone can't open pdfs.

I have gut reactions in red, but admit they aren't thought through really.I hope folks can speak to the proposals specifically, so intelligent and cogent opposition where needed, can be consolidated for all to see and think about.

I'm sure there's a good reason why everyone's choosing to bite their tongue at this point, but I'm too dumb to know what that reason is, so here's what I know-

-Each regional biologist was sent a list from Director Worsech of what changes need to be proposed for this winter's biannual season setting process. If they do not make these changes, they need to defend to him why they can't make that change.


I am opposed to top-down approaches to wildlife management. I want management based on the expertise of local biologists. Montana is a varied landscape, and we should expect a variance in management across the state, if it is good.

-Individual hunting districts will be lumped into much larger regional districts, that will be uniform across species.


We have needed for a long time, more acute management across the state. Within an HD there are elk/deer that we are focusing pressure on, that have nothing to do with competition for grass on once side of the HD 50 miles away. We need geography based, scientific management.

-These regional districts will need simplified, blanket regulations.


I am not a priori opposed to a simplification of regulations, but this is obviously a top down approach having little to do with actual management.

-If there are limited entry districts within these regions that are largely general units, those areas that are now limited entry will go general (I.E. 324 and 300 mule deer will now be part of much larger general mule deer units). CWD travels faster in trophy districts so those will be leaned away from.


Poz said, "Believe in the people". This is a drum I will beat repeatedly. To our fellow hunters who hunt public land I will always ask, "Has mule deer hunting on public land gotten better or worse over the last few years? Do you think this will improve that? When you hunt elk on public land do you think to yourself, there are just too many elk out here?" Do you think this will improve public land elk hunting? Do you think the state needs to reduce its elk herd by a third?

I would wager the answer to all those questions will be no. This is where people can help.


-All unlimited permits will be removed.


I have mixed feelings on unlimited permits. The HD I grew up hunting was unlimited, and in the last 3 years since they have removed the unlimited permits, less mule deer have been killed by less hunter days. I think this may not be universal though, and as urban areas in MT grow, it could go the other way. I don't have enough info.

-All sub-units will be removed.


Don't have a strong opinion.

-All permits with less than 50 tags are to be removed.

Seems wholly arbitrary.

-There will be no more "attached" opportunities like the B/C WMA tags, antelope doe tags that are offered to buck tag holders, etc.


If the same amount of tags are allocated, but to more people, it could potentially make things a chitshow, vastly increasing the amount of hunters on the landscape (think 360 pronghorn). That said, I don't have enough info to feel strongly.

-All permits/B tags will be district/region wide, so no public land only, private land only restrictions. If it's a shoulder season HD, then you can hunt anywhere within that HD with a shoulder season tag.


This is a terrible idea, and will exacerbate the harboring of elk on private lands. FWP needs to focus on the distribution of elk, and not raw populations. This will make public land hunting worse and worse and simply drive elk to private ground where hunting doesn't exist or is limited.

-The permit only areas that are kept will be lumped into much larger permit only areas. Think Sapphire range mule deer permit rather than 270, 261, etc, or Missouri river breaks elk permit rather than 621, 622, 631, 632 etc.


Again, we need more acute management that takes into consideration the distribution of critters. Why are you breaking something that works?

I've also heard rumors that there's a push to go general bull elk hunting in all of these new HD's that are over objective, but I'm not that positive on that one.


The Elkhorns, the Breaks, etc. The most sought after elk tags in Montana would be no more. That will piss some folks off.
 

Attachments

  • 192-21-FWP All-MEMO-Changes to Season Settings & Regs_page-0001.jpg
    192-21-FWP All-MEMO-Changes to Season Settings & Regs_page-0001.jpg
    611.1 KB · Views: 108
  • 2021 season setting timeline_page-0001.jpg
    2021 season setting timeline_page-0001.jpg
    658.6 KB · Views: 106
  • 209-21-MEMO-Regulation Changes Further Guidance_page-0001.jpg
    209-21-MEMO-Regulation Changes Further Guidance_page-0001.jpg
    859.5 KB · Views: 90
  • 209-21-MEMO-Regulation Changes Further Guidance_page-0002.jpg
    209-21-MEMO-Regulation Changes Further Guidance_page-0002.jpg
    177.8 KB · Views: 82
  • Boundary Guidance1024_1.jpg
    Boundary Guidance1024_1.jpg
    104.3 KB · Views: 80
  • HTRRWG recommendation and supporting info for elk permits and licenses 09232019_page-0001.jpg
    HTRRWG recommendation and supporting info for elk permits and licenses 09232019_page-0001.jpg
    698.2 KB · Views: 78
  • HTRRWG recommendation and supporting info for elk permits and licenses 09232019_page-0003.jpg
    HTRRWG recommendation and supporting info for elk permits and licenses 09232019_page-0003.jpg
    797.9 KB · Views: 73
  • Hunting District Simiplification Recommendation_Waltee_page-0005.jpg
    Hunting District Simiplification Recommendation_Waltee_page-0005.jpg
    58.2 KB · Views: 82
  • Hunting District Simiplification Recommendation_Waltee_page-0001.jpg
    Hunting District Simiplification Recommendation_Waltee_page-0001.jpg
    533.2 KB · Views: 79
  • LPT simplification ideas_page-0001.jpg
    LPT simplification ideas_page-0001.jpg
    904.4 KB · Views: 84
  • LPT simplification ideas_page-0003.jpg
    LPT simplification ideas_page-0003.jpg
    120.6 KB · Views: 83
  • SeasonSettingGuidance1.jpg
    SeasonSettingGuidance1.jpg
    588.8 KB · Views: 71
  • SeasonSettingGuidance2.jpg
    SeasonSettingGuidance2.jpg
    641.2 KB · Views: 70
  • SeasonSettingGuidance3.jpg
    SeasonSettingGuidance3.jpg
    244.9 KB · Views: 103

Schaaf

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 14, 2014
Messages
3,275
Location
Fort Peck, MT
Quentin Kujala on 03/09/2021- "the bill does allow a landowner.. to sponsor up to 10 persons for non transferrable landowner elk licenses valid only on the landowners deeded property."

Director Hank Worsech on 03/09/2021 in front of the House Fish Wildlife & Parks Committee- "they (landowners) can get up to 10 nonresident combination licenses that they can use on their property, only their deeded property, so they can't use it on public land or anywhere else, they are restricted to that area."

Director Hank Worsech in August of 2021-

• All regions will review hunting districts, license/permit types (LPTs), and season date structures to reduce the number and increase the size of hunting districts, reduce the number of LPTs and season date structures,

• Avoid – Often not distinct making it hard for hunters to identify in the field; use only if no apparent alternative. ▪ Ownership – BLM/State/Private boundaries



Seems as though the desire to reduce License Permit Types and those private/public boundaries is a relatively new desire. Or maybe it's just a different route to reach the same outcome.
 

MTelkHuntress

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 20, 2019
Messages
450
Location
Missoula, MT
I'm still reading through and processing/discussing but I keep coming back to the thought that if we lump districts together, if there is some sort of wildlife emergency/ die off....those big hunting districts can't be shut down? I'm not sure how often those actually happen but this whole thing just looks bad. I look forward to what others have to say about these changes, people much more educated than me on this subject.
 

Sytes

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 25, 2009
Messages
9,437
Location
Montana
Good move Bret. Thanks. Maybe we can keep the political smears (any side not labeling one or the other) in the other thread and keep a quality run of articulated content here.
Thanks to all for taking the time to share this intel.

This, right here, is the defined value of Hunt Talk.
 

JLS

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
13,444
Location
Almost Arkansas…..
I'm still reading through and processing/discussing but I keep coming back to the thought that if we lump districts together, if there is some sort of wildlife emergency/ die off....those big hunting districts can't be shut down? I'm not sure how often those actually happen but this whole thing just looks bad. I look forward to what others have to say about these changes, people much more educated than me on this subject.
You are correct, it makes it much more difficult to implement emergency regulations.
 

JLS

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
13,444
Location
Almost Arkansas…..
So as I sift through all of the documents, several things come to mind.

1. The regulations are a mess and could stand some revisions.
2. The confusion with respect to regulations goes far beyond hunting district boundaries and permit/B tag terminology.
3. In this age of technology, how big a deal are district boundaries?
4. I feel like a lot of this is simply catering to dumb people
5. The handwriting is on the wall for limited entry elk units.
6. Hank is going full send on opportunity. Any hope of better management is diminishing.
7. MT should be managing by allocating hunters into smaller geographic areas, similar to what WY and ID do.
 

tjones

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 9, 2009
Messages
3,952
So as I sift through all of the documents, several things come to mind.

1. The regulations are a mess and could stand some revisions.
2. The confusion with respect to regulations goes far beyond hunting district boundaries and permit/B tag terminology.
3. In this age of technology, how big a deal are district boundaries?
4. I feel like a lot of this is simply catering to dumb people
5. The handwriting is on the wall for limited entry elk units.
6. Hank is going full send on opportunity. Any hope of better management is diminishing.
7. MT should be managing by allocating hunters into smaller geographic areas, similar to what WY and ID do.
This plus I think we are seeing a preview of the new EMP. Betting elk objective numbers go away.

When FWP starts lumping non similar Hds together that currently have completely different management strategies there is no way objective numbers can work going forward. Flight surveys won't be needed.
 

JLS

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
13,444
Location
Almost Arkansas…..
This plus I think we are seeing a preview of the new EMP. Betting elk objective numbers go away.
Yes. General season bulls and B tags.

As an addendum, it’s ironic that elk management is trending towards the same generalized free for all that has dominated deer management in Montana.
 
Last edited:

nick87

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 12, 2014
Messages
4,023
Location
Northern Illinois
What’s funny is some of the worst confusion (at least for NR) was created by the legislature in bonus points vs preference points.
On that note I've been on the fence for the last two years to buy points. After reading this I think it was best I saved my money.
 

4ohSick

Active member
Joined
Aug 28, 2020
Messages
95
Location
Helena, MT
On that note I've been on the fence for the last two years to buy points. After reading this I think it was best I saved my money.
If you timed it right, you might have a couple days to get a world class bull on a general tag before every elk with antlers is wiped out of the Elkhorns/Breaks.
 

Greenhorn

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 19, 2000
Messages
8,101
Location
land of smallish to average rams
If you timed it right, you might have a couple days to get a world class bull on a general tag before every elk with antlers is wiped out of the Elkhorns/Breaks.
:rolleyes: I could be wrong but I think those chances at "world class" bulls in breaks/elkhorns were long done years ago...
 

brocksw

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
453
Is this season setting open to public comment?

When are results released?

Is the citizen's elk group involved or have any say or provide any guidance for this season setting?
 

JLS

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
13,444
Location
Almost Arkansas…..
And most without
Likely yes and no. Here’s how I see this playing out. I think @antlerradar already alluded to something similar.

Hunt districts will go to general bull with OTC B tags. Elk on public ground will get piss pounded. Landowners who want to harbor elk will. Landowners who want to piss pound elk will.

There may be a blip of opportunity for Joe Public in the short term, but it will quickly diminish and ultimately end up far worse.

Also, as we have seen in the past, the influx of novel elk hunters will put far more pressure on mule deer resources than they can handle.
 

tjones

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 9, 2009
Messages
3,952
Is this season setting open to public comment?

When are results released?

Is the citizen's elk group involved or have any say or provide any guidance for this season setting?
The timeline is in post #1, top row, 2nd from the left.
 

brocksw

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
453
The timeline is in post #1, top row, 2nd from the left.
ok, so this is for 2022 and public comment period deadlines are listed. Thank you. I should read this in order next time instead of skipping around and missing some pages.
 
Last edited:

bigsky2

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2016
Messages
525
Location
MONTANA
Likely yes and no. Here’s how I see this playing out. I think @antlerradar already alluded to something similar.

Hunt districts will go to general bull with OTC B tags. Elk on public ground will get piss pounded. Landowners who want to harbor elk will. Landowners who want to piss pound elk will.

There may be a blip of opportunity for Joe Public in the short term, but it will quickly diminish and ultimately end up far worse.

Also, as we have seen in the past, the influx of novel elk hunters will put far more pressure on mule deer resources than they can handle.
I didn't even think of that, but that's a good point. See the Missouri Breaks.
 

brocksw

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
453
I commonly hear complaints about the MT tag system being confusing and complicated. While it's never afflicted me, I do understand how people could think that and be frustrated by it. I would be very curious to hear the biologists who oppose this state their reasoning and discuss other solutions. Perhaps they object because it is the best way to utilize the pref and bonus point system with the way the current system is set up and they would be more accepting of changes if the whole point system was revamped. I have often wondered it would be best to just go to a straight bonus point system for all units in MT and get rid of the pref point/general tag. Would be much easier to just apply in 1 unit and draw or not draw.

Additionally, with the BS proposed in the last legislative session regarding pref/bonus points. Perhaps some simplification would be beneficial in combating bad legislation being able to take advantage of all the workarounds made available by the more complex point system.


1628713855045.png
 

Forum statistics

Threads
96,863
Messages
1,469,619
Members
30,469
Latest member
AlexT.
Top