Montana big 4 tag question

Badlandcat

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Dec 23, 2010
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Montana
I'm sure everyone got the email the other day about the deadline to purchase your big 4 tags (I include buffalo) if you drew one.
I have a couple questions.

1 What happens to the tags that people don't buy?
2 How many non-hunters draw a tag, just to make sure it doesn't get used?
3 How do we get FWP to go make to having a person put the full amount of the tag at the time of application?

Just random thoughts.
 

YoungGun

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Feb 7, 2014
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Bozeman
I'm sure everyone got the email the other day about the deadline to purchase your big 4 tags (I include buffalo) if you drew one.
I have a couple questions.

1 What happens to the tags that people don't buy?
2 How many non-hunters draw a tag, just to make sure it doesn't get used?
3 How do we get FWP to go make to having a person put the full amount of the tag at the time of application?

Just random thoughts.
Not sure on #1- would assume they are re-allocated, but I doubt it happens very frequently.
#2- I'd assume very, very few if any for any of the "big 4". Not saying it doesn't happen, but since they would need to have hunters education to even apply, and then beat the odds like the rest of us to even draw, I'd be shocked if this has happened more than once or twice, if ever, in Montana for Moose, Sheep, Goat or Bison.
#3- Like New Mexico? I'm not sure you'll see that happen anytime soon. MTFWP enjoys having the masses put in and collecting their $$. Could/should the fees be higher? Sure. Does charging the full amount make a large reduction in the number of hunters that apply? Absolutely.
 

runningmt

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1. Hank gets to hand pick the recipients, the Wilks brothers get most of them

2. Conspiracy theory, it doesn’t happen

3. Opposite direction MT is heading, you’ll soon be required to apply for MSG as a resident, with a 50 cent fee tacked on to your vehicle license renewal……odds for a breaks sheep permit will be .00000000001%
 

MTGomer

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Interesting, I chose to donate my refund to Block Management (great idea to offer that)

They sent me the refunds back anyways
Maybe I donated it.

Here’s another little inconsistency… After finding out my friend had an AZ sheep tag, I mailed my Non res native combo back prior to Aug 1 for 80% refund, like I’ve done in the past.

They just mailed them back to me with a letter that says they’re ineligible for the refund.
 

Elkwhisper

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Billings, MT
They don't require you to purchase the buffalo tag until just prior to hunting. The tag is expensive and some / most years the buff don't even leave the park.
 

YoungGun

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478
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Bozeman
This reminds me… FWP never sent me my $4 refund this year. I don’t want it but they never sent it.
I just got my refund yesterday- guessing *if* they get the appropriate refunds out, they'll be late, as one could expect.
 

Badlandcat

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Dec 23, 2010
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Montana
Not sure on #1- would assume they are re-allocated, but I doubt it happens very frequently.
#2- I'd assume very, very few if any for any of the "big 4". Not saying it doesn't happen, but since they would need to have hunters education to even apply, and then beat the odds like the rest of us to even draw, I'd be shocked if this has happened more than once or twice, if ever, in Montana for Moose, Sheep, Goat or Bison.
#3- Like New Mexico? I'm not sure you'll see that happen anytime soon. MTFWP enjoys having the masses put in and collecting their $$. Could/should the fees be higher? Sure. Does charging the full amount make a large reduction in the number of hunters that apply? Absolutely.
#1 been in MT along time and have never heard of anyone getting a reissued tag.
#2 If I remember right during covid hunters ed was online and no field day
 

Bambistew

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Chugiak, AK
Maybe I donated it.

Here’s another little inconsistency… After finding out my friend had an AZ sheep tag, I mailed my Non res native combo back prior to Aug 1 for 80% refund, like I’ve done in the past.

They just mailed them back to me with a letter that says they’re ineligible for the refund.
What's a NR nat8ve combo?
 

MTGomer

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Lov2hunt

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Not sure on #1- would assume they are re-allocated, but I doubt it happens very frequently.
#2- I'd assume very, very few if any for any of the "big 4". Not saying it doesn't happen, but since they would need to have hunters education to even apply, and then beat the odds like the rest of us to even draw, I'd be shocked if this has happened more than once or twice, if ever, in Montana for Moose, Sheep, Goat or Bison.
#3- Like New Mexico? I'm not sure you'll see that happen anytime soon. MTFWP enjoys having the masses put in and collecting their $$. Could/should the fees be higher? Sure. Does charging the full amount make a large reduction in the number of hunters that apply? Absolutely.
I'm trying to figure this out as I go. Why would there be a suggestion of increasing prices to eventually leave the hunting for the affluent? Don't get me wrong. I'm not low income. I make more than I spend. But it becomes the same thing with, say, football tix. It gets so expensive that your average Joe/Jane can't afford it anymore. This is irregardless of the state. I'm not just saying this about MT
 

YoungGun

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I'm trying to figure this out as I go. Why would there be a suggestion of increasing prices to eventually leave the hunting for the affluent? Don't get me wrong. I'm not low income. I make more than I spend. But it becomes the same thing with, say, football tix. It gets so expensive that your average Joe/Jane can't afford it anymore. This is irregardless of the state. I'm not just saying this about MT
Montana hasn't increased their prices since 2015-2016 to my knowledge.
The fact that if you draw/buy a sheep tag in Montana for $125/1250, while Wyoming charges $152/2330, Idaho charges $166.75/2626, Arizona $313/1815 etc. would suggest that a slight increase for both residents and non-residents would still be fair. We can't expect tag prices to be frozen in perpetuity, especially while demand increases at a pace that tag allocation won't keep up with. In 1905, a resident Montana License cost $1 and entitled the hunter to 3 deer, 1 elk, 1 mountain sheep, and 1 mountain goat. Moose, Bison, Antelope, and Caribou were protected. One hell of a deal, seeing as that's about equivalent to $33.67 in today's value, but also clearly not sustainable.
I'm not advocating for pricing anyone out- far from it, but the price has to increase with the market, especially for the "once in a lifetime"/limited permit hunts. In 2016, a Non-Resident Alaska sheep permit cost $450. Today it is $850. I'd be shocked if demand decreased or even plateaued in that time.
 

MTGomer

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In 1905, a resident Montana License cost $1 and entitled the hunter to 3 deer, 1 elk, 1 mountain sheep, and 1 mountain goat.


“Take the whole fam out and bring back a wagon full of mountain sheeps, but don’t get any funny ideas about them antelopes you’ll see along the way. They’re protected”.
 

Lov2hunt

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Montana hasn't increased their prices since 2015-2016 to my knowledge.
The fact that if you draw/buy a sheep tag in Montana for $125/1250, while Wyoming charges $152/2330, Idaho charges $166.75/2626, Arizona $313/1815 etc. would suggest that a slight increase for both residents and non-residents would still be fair. We can't expect tag prices to be frozen in perpetuity, especially while demand increases at a pace that tag allocation won't keep up with. In 1905, a resident Montana License cost $1 and entitled the hunter to 3 deer, 1 elk, 1 mountain sheep, and 1 mountain goat. Moose, Bison, Antelope, and Caribou were protected. One hell of a deal, seeing as that's about equivalent to $33.67 in today's value, but also clearly not sustainable.
I'm not advocating for pricing anyone out- far from it, but the price has to increase with the market, especially for the "once in a lifetime"/limited permit hunts. In 2016, a Non-Resident Alaska sheep permit cost $450. Today it is $850. I'd be shocked if demand decreased or even plateaued in that time.
Well, why follow the guy in front of you that just fell off a cliff? If the ponit is to keep non-residents out then that's the way to do it. The ones that are affluent wouldn't care. In fact, they'll go to outfitters, drop 10-30k and walk out. My point is about the average Joe that can't pay and keeps getting pushed out by these prices. I'm not trying to sound like a bleeding heart and drum for the less affluent. And you're right thst demand hasn't decreased because of the price hikes. But it takes out a lot of people that could no longer pay these crazy rates and leaves it for the nite affluent. I get the point that states rationalize that if a hunter has money to travel and hunt in their state they should have money to pay.
Anyway that's my personal opinion and I respect yours
 

Lov2hunt

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Well, why follow the guy in front of you that just fell off a cliff? If the ponit is to keep non-residents out then that's the way to do it. The ones that are affluent wouldn't care. In fact, they'll go to outfitters, drop 10-30k and walk out. My point is about the average Joe that can't pay and keeps getting pushed out by these prices. I'm not trying to sound like a bleeding heart and drum for the less affluent. And you're right thst demand hasn't decreased because of the price hikes. But it takes out a lot of people that could no longer pay these crazy rates and leaves it for the nite affluent. I get the point that states rationalize that if a hunter has money to travel and hunt in their state they should have money to pay.
Anyway that's my personal opinion and I respect yours
While we're at it, love MT. Let me know if you want a hunting partner. We can talk about it over a camp 🔥.
 

Cav1

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Central Montana
You used to have to pay the full price of the special tags all up front to go in the drawing and got refunded if you didn't draw. That did a lot to restrict it to the hunters who were really passionate and serious about hunting the big four, and made for better odds. (Not that I personally was any more successful back then either.) I still miss that old system even if you did have to loan a few hundred bucks to the state for awhile.

Now, with just a $5 drawing fee, it kind of seems like everybody and his dog put in for special tags on a "What the hell; it's only five bucks" basis. An in-law of one of the guys my wife used to work with drew a moose tag for our area. The extent of their preparation and scouting consisted of phoning us the night before season opener wanting to know where they could just walk out and tip over a moose the next morning. Eventually, they whacked the first moose they came across, a small immature bull with ping pong paddles for a rack.

But if the state gets more $$$ this way, I don't see them ever returning to the old system.
 

Lov2hunt

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You used to have to pay the full price of the special tags all up front to go in the drawing and got refunded if you didn't draw. That did a lot to restrict it to the hunters who were really passionate and serious about hunting the big four, and made for better odds. (Not that I personally was any more successful back then either.) I still miss that old system even if you did have to loan a few hundred bucks to the state for awhile.

Now, with just a $5 drawing fee, it kind of seems like everybody and his dog put in for special tags on a "What the hell; it's only five bucks" basis. An in-law of one of the guys my wife used to work with drew a moose tag for our area. The extent of their preparation and scouting consisted of phoning us the night before season opener wanting to know where they could just walk out and tip over a moose the next morning. Eventually, they whacked the first moose they came across, a small immature bull with ping pong paddles for a rack.

But if the state gets more $$$ this way, I don't see them ever returning to the old system.
And they won't go back. That's kinda my point. While the $5 thing is a joke the $$$ takes out your average hunter. It's just 2 extremes with no middle ground
 

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