Gardner shutdown

fowl_minded

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I was talking to a buddy last night and he brought up a subject about Gardner. He went on to say did you hear about Gardner and the backcountry, I said no, thinking he was going to tell me about the wolves or grizzly bears that they have seen while guiding hunters. He said the fish and game is proposing a huge tag drop to try to increase the number of elk. To be exact they want to drop the tags from 1260 to 75! Now anyone who knows anything about elk hunting in Montana knows about Gardner and the backcountry area around it. That same person also might know that the Northern yellowstone elk herd that use to thrive there was over 20k strong before the wolf introduction. Now it's less that 3k! If the fish and game shuts down tags around Gardner it would totally kill that town and put lots of family's out of work whether it's outfitting or the local business. My buddy asked me to past it along to every hunter I know and ask them to stand up and show there support. Fi Don't let the fish and game shut down Gardner! Instead they need to take a look at their bullshit wolf quotas around that area and take more of them things out! Please pass this issue along folks to anyone you know that's an elk hunter!
 

JBS

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I value resource management over protecting basically one outfitter. I am all in favor of making Gardiner a limited special permit. With 75 permits I would enjoy hunting there. The way it is now with it being unlimited first choice it completely caters to the nonresident guided hunter.
 

rmyoung1

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I grew up in the Gardiner area. I appreciate your concern for the community. Unfortunately, the ship sailed many years ago. As mentioned, there's only really one large outfitter left. The glory days of the Gardiner hunt (and it's impact on the community) are long gone.
 

Hem

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I rather doubt that a substantial decrease in tags for the Gardner area will"kill" the town.YNP is keeping that town afloat just fine.
 

shoots-straight

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If the biology says we go limited entry then I'm for that. I always put the resource ahead of personal, and special interests.

Sometimes there has to be a price paid before you actually can increase opportunity.
 

brownbear932008

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Last time I hunted the Gardner area I couldn't believe how it had dried up during elk season that was about 5 years ago. Having said that there are very few outfitters left there and the ones there don't do very well most of the time. Gardner has turned into a summertime tourist town basically the way I see it,half the town shuts down and takes the fall/winter off after making the money in the summer. I do think the wolf quota is low and the elk are hurting badly. However I think elk management should be first on the list not outfitter jobs the tags need cut and wolves controlled better for a while sad to see what has happened there.
 

Drake4

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That same person also might know that the Northern yellowstone elk herd that use to thrive there was over 20k strong before the wolf introduction. Now it's less that 3k! If the fish and game shuts down tags around Gardner it would totally kill that town and put lots of family's out of work whether it's outfitting or the local business. My buddy asked me to past it along to every hunter I know and ask them to stand up and show there support. Fi Don't let the fish and game shut down Gardner! Instead they need to take a look at their bullshit wolf quotas around that area and take more of them things out! Please pass this issue along folks to anyone you know that's an elk hunter!

Yeah...and the 1000's and 1000's of of late season cow tags they used to give out had absolutely nothing to do with the population decrease. :rolleyes:

Gardiner is dead during hunting season as it is. The tag decrease would hurt one outfitter. I agree 100% with Shoots and JBS.
 

Bugle 'Em In

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Shoots...I absolutely agree with what you are saying.

Purely honest question here...what did the biologists say / do when the elk population graph looked like it was going down a double black diamond ski slope?
 

mtmander

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I am for decreased elk tags if there is a increase in work quota for the area. The total wildlife resource need to be managed together for the benefit of all the animals.
 

shoots-straight

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Shoots...I absolutely agree with what you are saying.

Purely honest question here...what did the biologists say / do when the elk population graph looked like it was going down a double black diamond ski slope?

They gave out thousands of antlerless tags because the Elk Managment Plan said we needed to get down to around 4000 head of elk. We are there.

If you don't like the Elk numbers then people need to get active and tell those in control that those numbers are BS.

This scenario is going to take place across the state in some areas. The new "Shoulder Seasons" are going to hunt cows for 6 months. One such Elk managment unit has a objective of around 200 head. Think that's not BS?
 

thecrittergitter

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Although I absolutely agree with you that the wolf quota is very much absurd and way to low in that area, I think the elk need a way to come back. A combination of more wolf harvest and less elk harvest is the answer. Gardiner is never going to have an economy crash just because of less elk tags. As it is, the only one I can see benefiting from the current situation is the local outfitter, which I have first hand just horrible hunting ethics and behavior from. I would hope more people see the value in getting back and keeping a good elk population than worrying about their interest in shooting one..........
 

fowl_minded

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Just got to the office and glad to see some feedback. Let me start off by saying I havent myself hunted Gardner since I was a teenager with my uncle and dad. We used to hunt with Warren and his outfit during the late season and they and we also used to do a trip into the back-country for many years (early season). My buddy i was talking to actually used to work for Warren for many years and he wanted me voice this subject to anyone i knew. So after thinking about it I thought why not post it on Hunt Talk for everyone to see. I myself am not opposed to limiting tags, but to go from 1260 to 75 is pretty drastic. Maybe what they should do is limit tags to lets say 500 for an example and for people who draw that tag make it a "5 point bull" rule or actually restrict tag holders to only hunt in the district vs. everyone having a plan c for the late season. I dont disagree that the last week or so of the season is a absolute shit show with deckard flats and that whole area, and I do think there could be a better way to manage that. If they are going to limit the elk tags fine but the FWP needs to look at that wolf managment too down there too I mean how can you have that area have a quota of two wolves in 313 and 316!
 

shoots-straight

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Although I absolutely agree with you that the wolf quota is very much absurd and way to low in that area, I think the elk need a way to come back. A combination of more wolf harvest and less elk harvest is the answer. Gardiner is never going to have an economy crash just because of less elk tags. As it is, the only one I can see benefiting from the current situation is the local outfitter, which I have first hand just horrible hunting ethics and behavior from. I would hope more people see the value in getting back and keeping a good elk population than worrying about their interest in shooting one..........

That's just it cg. The EMP says that area is "AT" objective. There will be no way to "come back". Those elk numbers are where they should be according to the "Plan".

http://fwp.mt.gov/fishAndWildlife/management/elk/default.html#elkPopulationDistribution

300 or so under, but that means "AT" as far as management goes. I doubt any reduction in hunter numbers will occur. The outfitter dude is safe to keep utilizing his area without concern.
 

shoots-straight

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A minority group of sportsman have been trying to get the rest of the hunters aware of this problem for years. We have been posting this information and other parts of the EMP to let people know what's coming at them. I believe most my posts go un noticed when I bring it up. People just want to see pictures of dead critters, and stories.

I believe in a few years there will be a massive cry across the state after all the opportunity has dried up. Then it will be too late. It might already be!

We need to seriously demand that the EMP be re written. We spent about a year trying to update areas in Ravalli County only to be trumped by a new wildlife division personal.
 

mtlion

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I grew up hunting Gardiner in the Good ol days. I killed my first bull there and it holds a special place in my heart. I would love to see it return to what it once was. I think shoots is right the EMP needs to be rewritten.
 

Bugle 'Em In

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Shoots....your posts don't go unnoticed and are respected. The shoulder season is a joke, as are the EMP's. Again, I don't disagree one bit with your post.

I've made my $0.02 on FWP's comment sections (when open). Us sportsmen just got kicked in the mouth regarding the shoulder season's. I was just wondering what part the biologists play in helping curb against the politics in management plans.
 

Straight Arrow

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I grew up in the Gardiner area. I appreciate your concern for the community. Unfortunately, the ship sailed many years ago. As mentioned, there's only really one large outfitter left. The glory days of the Gardiner hunt (and it's impact on the community) are long gone.
RMYOUNG1 is right in pointing out the long-gone economic impact of hunting on the Gardiner community. The sad reality is that the area benefits economically more from "wolf-watchers" these days.

Shoots is correct also in my opinion, in that the EMP is long overdue a revamp and hunters should be more supportive of sustaining viable elk numbers than numbers of permits.
 

dwhite0622

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Although I absolutely agree with you that the wolf quota is very much absurd and way to low in that area, I think the elk need a way to come back. A combination of more wolf harvest and less elk harvest is the answer. Gardiner is never going to have an economy crash just because of less elk tags. As it is, the only one I can see benefiting from the current situation is the local outfitter, which I have first hand just horrible hunting ethics and behavior from. I would hope more people see the value in getting back and keeping a good elk population than worrying about their interest in shooting one..........

Spot on crittergitter.....Has anyone seen an article or link on this proposal? This is the first I have heard of it. A lot of great points in this thread so far. In my experience the reality is, there is just too much pressure on these elk from all directions whether it be human or wolf predation. Every elk in the Gardiner area is well educated to hunters and wolves alike, and most of them spend their entire life in some degree of stress as a result. Even if the wolves can't kill every elk in the hills, the biologists I have spoken with all seem to agree that the fear factor of the wolves ultimately leads to a decrease in calf production and the overall health of the herd. Less pressure from every side is the only solution I see here.
 

Ben Lamb

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Shoots....your posts don't go unnoticed and are respected. The shoulder season is a joke, as are the EMP's. Again, I don't disagree one bit with your post.

I've made my $0.02 on FWP's comment sections (when open). Us sportsmen just got kicked in the mouth regarding the shoulder season's. I was just wondering what part the biologists play in helping curb against the politics in management plans.

It is time to update the EMP, beyond time in fact. It's also time to repeal 2003' HB 42 which is the legal requirement that FWP manage "at or below" objective: http://leg.mt.gov/bills/2003/billpdf/HB0042.pdf
 
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