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Montana FWP makes seismic shift in elk permits

sacountry

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True. But…waiting for MOGA to do the right thing to address public land issues and resident hunter concerns is going to be an exercise in disappointment.

When has MOGA ever reached out to resident hunters to ask them to support policy that has the best interests of the resource in mind? MOGA by nature and intent is organized to promote the business interests of outfitters, not advocate for conservation.

Honestly, it’s probably not fair to expect MOGA as an organization to do that.

MOGA could be an ally in crafting legislation and regulation that protects our natural resources if they can be convinced that short term sacrifice is worth the long term gains.

Hunter/Conservationists have been at the forefront of restoring and protecting wildlife. Our primary view of the value of natural resources and wildlife is founded on the intrinsic value of wildlife as wildlife, not as a commodity.

Outfitters, ranchers, landowners might assign an intrinsic value as well but they also have to look at wildlife as a commodity to ensure their business model succeeds. That’s not necessarily wrong, but it makes it very easy to be short sighted in management strategy when they feel like they are fighting for financial
survival.

MOGA, as an organization might not be a reliable partner. Individual outfitters can and have been allies for responsible wildlife management.

I think the need is apparent and the time is right for hunter/conservationists to step up and try to forge strong relationships with the interests of wildlife in mind.
Agree on all points. I think the point of your original post is that BHA, MWF, and other conservation groups could do a better job of extending an olive branch. From this vested person's perspective, I have yet to see any group make such a move. Understanding the needs of the opposition (which you explained really well regarding intrinsic values) in any negotiation is critical. I've been pretty vocal here about trying to meet @antlerradar's needs relative to protecting his income from elk and his property from disrespecting hunters. MOGA could easily come to the table with ideas to improve the health of MT's elk herd which would ensure their organization's viability for years to come. The new EMP will give a chance for all groups to show that their #1 motive is the wellbeing of Montana's wildlife. Imagine if MOGA came to the table with solutions to manage trophy elk that increased access for the DIYer in the name of getting bull/cow ratios inline with bio recommended targets. UPOM same thing. For BHA and MWF, it might be offering better solutions that reduce crop damage.

You know what would be a super interesting exercise for the new EMP. Have each group bring one problem that they face to the table. Then let the opposition craft a solution for it.

This, of course, could just be all unicorns and fairy farts.
 
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SAJ-99

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Agreed but it seems far fetched to believe the general hunting public in MT will get on board with reducing their own opportunity in the next couple years.
Maybe. But that argument basically says it has to get worse before anyone acknowledges the problem exists. I hope that point has been reached already. I'm an optimist.
 

sacountry

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My paranormal skills predict the following on the permitted areas: From the same clowns leading and being led by our friend Hank...

1) More bull permits next season. The already inflated permits just aren't enough..
2) A skewed representation and no transparency in building an updated EMP that is charged with only one goal, but polluted with unrelated garbage. Goal is obviously more bull permits for non-residents..

There's literally a snowballs chance in hell that Hank/MOGA/UPOM will ever say, hey we've got too much pressure here let's cut back on bull permits.
To which I would say....hey look there's a lot of demand for these NR bull permits. The laws of supply and demand say that we better increase the NR bull permit price tag by 5x.....or at least I wish I could have the chance to say that. Use that extra cash to help fund the Block Management program.
 

lastlight

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What did I miss as far as the LO tag proposals for bulls?? I thought that was the most important topic of the meeting last week but haven’t heard. Sorry if I’m way off!
 

PablitoPescador

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Montana residents (and I am one) have been so spoiled with opportunity they are afraid to give any up to the detriment of wildlife and any quality of hunt.
I wish there was a way to legitimately measure the public’s preference of opportunity vs quality management. Everyone I talk to seems willing to give up some opportunity for improved quality. It seems like the perception that Montanans prefer the “brown it’s down”approach to wildlife management is more of an FWP generated narrative than an actual reality, but how can we know for sure?
 

Ben Lamb

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Agree on all points. I think the point of your original post is that BHA, MWF, and other conservation groups could do a better job of extending an olive branch. From this vested person's perspective, I have yet to see any group make such a move. Understanding the needs of the opposition (which you explained really well regarding intrinsic values) in any negotiation is critical. I've been pretty vocal here about trying to meet @antlerradar's needs relative to protecting his income from elk and his property from disrespecting hunters.

This, of course, could just be all unicorns and fairy farts.

This is why the Elk Coalition was formed, to have those conversations. Meetings are being scheduled right now with various ag groups and outfitters who will sit down and have those discussions. Early interest between ag & sportsmen is pretty high right now, less so with outfitters.

The groups in the coalition are working on policy papers & legislation now, and will be vetting them throughout the year as they move towards the session. There's no set legislation yet, but some of the items of interest are reforming the 454 program to make it equitable for the public again, working on an approach to block management that's about herd management rather than hunter days, habitat improvement utilizing existing revenue streams, etc. A lot of this legislation is going to have to be influenced by the needs of producers to be effective, IMO.

There's a lot of blame shifting going on right now regarding the commission meeting and the outcomes. Sportsmen & women showed up in response to a negative plan, yet again. To a certain extent, that's bait for the anti-public trust crowd, so they can continue to tell people "sportsmen don't bring solutions." One prominent think tank out of Bozeman right now is calling sportsmen "greedy" because they won't simply lie down and roll over.

As we've pointed out 20 pages previously, sportsmen have presented solutions, only to be told no by both the department and the legislature. That's been occurring for the last 20 years, while the legislature continues to "flood the zone with shit."

75 bills last session on wildlife. A handful of those were decent, well thought out bills that improve wildlife management for all. The majority were special interests carving out their piece of the pie with no concept of the outcomes other than "we want this"

The muzzleloader season is a good example: Weapons manufacturers were actively involved in setting seasons in statute because they want to sell more smoke-poles. NSSF spent a lot of time and money convincing the legislature what a good idea it was to do this, despite what their actual customers thought.

So, yes - sporting conservation interests need to do better in terms of outreach. People got complacent during the last 16 years when there was a back stop to some of the bullchit. The same BS that's being brought forward now, while the proponents are gaslighting the people who are defending the public trust resource.
 

Gerald Martin

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I am not greedy. I just think it’s my constitutional right to take my three elk tags into a unit like 426 that is 500% over objective and has a bull to cow ratio of 120/100 and help those poor ranchers that are getting eaten out of house and home.

If it weren’t for that librul wolf luvin’ BHA and MWF groups opposing me in Helena, me and 120,000 other hunters should be able to get those 376 elk down to the manageable number of 75 to conform with the objective.🙄

#Needmoretags
 

Gerald Martin

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Also, if hunters would do their part to kill off 50,000 more elk to get numbers to the acceptable target of 90,000 elk across the state instead of the current 140,000 elk we now have, we could then turn our attention to managing wolf numbers.

Wolves are really the reason our elk herds have plummeted from the 170,000 elk we had just a short decade ago.

Non- native Canadian wolves don’t belong here. Especially, since they have stopped being polite and have dropped saying “eh” after every sentence.

It’s time for bold new science based actions to change the definition of insanity.
 
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sacountry

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Also, if hunters would do their part to kill off 50,000 more elk to get numbers within the acceptable target of 90,000 elk across the state instead of the current 140,000 elk we now have, we could then turn our attention to managing wolf numbers.

Wolves are really the reason our elk herds have plummeted from the 170,000 elk we had just a short decade ago.

Non- native Canadian wolves don’t belong here. Especially, since they have stopped being polite and have dropped saying “eh” after every sentence.

It’s time for bold new science based actions to change the definition of insanity.
Somebody woke up on the snarky side of the bed this morning
 

Gerald Martin

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Now that he's a Gallatin County Hipster Doofus, he's probably wearing skinny jeans and suspenders too.
😳 Bitterness over not being able to design cutting edge management strategies is no cause for insulting my wardrobe, sir. Be better.

Go walk your dog and think about how your insensitivity could be hurtful if it were directed towards individuals who didn’t have a stiff upper lip and a hickory backed spine.
 

Ben Lamb

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😳 Bitterness over not being able to design cutting edge management strategies is no cause for insulting my wardrobe, sir. Be better.

Go walk your dog and think about how your insensitivity could be hurtful if it were directed towards individuals who didn’t have a stiff upper lip and a hickory backed spine.

 

Wind Gypsy

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Maybe. But that argument basically says it has to get worse before anyone acknowledges the problem exists. I hope that point has been reached already. I'm an optimist.

It's been getting worse and people are still blind to it, I'm just curious what is going to make that change? The prevalence of the following 3 items are why I have a real hard time seeing people accepting that their own opportunity is part of the problem.

1. Shoulder seasons on public land, new muzzle loader season - You've got prominent MT hunting media personalities pimping these opportunities seemingly oblivious to impact. Meateater and SG folks on the gram slayin shoulder season cows on public. Cody Rich (the rich outdoors) talking about the exciting new late season muzzle loader opportunities. They are just hunting "over objective elk", being noble hunters, managing the population.

2. "Wolves and griz are eatin all the elk"

3. "Rich NR and outfitters don't let people hunt on private land so the opportunity should come from them, not the noble public land hunters."
 
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lastlight

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I wish there was a way to legitimately measure the public’s preference of opportunity vs quality management. Everyone I talk to seems willing to give up some opportunity for improved quality. It seems like the perception that Montanans prefer the “brown it’s down”approach to wildlife management is more of an FWP generated narrative than an actual reality, but how can we know for sure?

Pretty sure there have been MT resident surveys and the results were overwhelmingly in favor of the current season structure for mule deer.
 
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