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Montana General Season Structure Proposal

I agree with you about not increasing tags
and they already issue over 2600 tags and I bet half of those elk do not live on FS for any significant portion of the year. It's such a vast area and after a good amount of hunting pressure they head to private. It's not a tag issue but an access issue. And a majority of hunters will never have an opportunity to hunt the island areas of elk outside of the core populations. I've hunted and worked in some of these areas since 2015 (very recent I know) and I haven't seen much game being harvested because it's not what people think a limited district should be. I wonder about the same thing for 411, 412. 447, 417, etc. I just don't see many landowners allowing access for cow elk in Oct, but hopefully I'm wrong.
The real answer to that is break up those regions more (seriously, R7 elk is managed as 2 units functionally....WTF). That way you can actually target those populations on private with licenses only valid on private and manage the public elk also. Everyone wins in that scenario
 
The real answer to that is break up those regions more (seriously, R7 elk is managed as 2 units functionally....WTF). That way you can actually target those populations on private with licenses only valid on private and manage the public elk also. Everyone wins in that scenario
That makes sense, and they are issuing way too many tags
 
That makes sense, and they are issuing way too many tags
A guy I know that is very familiar with 799 told me once that the area actually has 3 “herds” of elk if you will and fwp should break that unit up and manage accordingly
 
One benefit to making the antlerless season private land only is political in nature. It could allow FWP to fulfill the legal mandate to manage for objective and potentially help eliminate the late shoulder season.
 
One benefit to making the antlerless season private land only is political in nature. It could allow FWP to fulfill the legal mandate to manage for objective and potentially help eliminate the late shoulder season.
An issue I see with the two week cow only private land hunt will be access to those private lands, especially in region 7. Somehow there has to be some incentive for land owners to allow access or simply having a hunt and issuing tags will have no impact.
 
An issue I see with the two week cow only private land hunt will be access to those private lands, especially in region 7. Somehow there has to be some incentive for land owners to allow access or simply having a hunt and issuing tags will have no impact.
I agree with you 100%. This part of the plan will not have the intended effect.
 
Could there be anything in the BMA program which could increase the payment for landowners that allowed cow elk hunting? Seems like payment rates need to increase to make it worth the hassle of enrollment.
 
Could there be anything in the BMA program which could increase the payment for landowners that allowed cow elk hunting? Seems like payment rates need to increase to make it worth the hassle of enrollment.
I think something along the lines of payment would be necessary, although a lot of the private land that is not in Block Management is outfitted. I think striking an agreement to let hunters come in for two weeks in October on outfitted land to chase elk around would be rather difficult if not impossible.
 
I would bet that just about every ranch that has cows will have someone shooting cows, Does that mean that access is going to be open to just about everyone, not even close. The days of wide open access are gone and they are not coming back. It is not hard to find someone that wants to shoot a cow, the list of friends that want to shoot one is longer than the supply is likely to last. Will I put out a big banner saying "cow hunters welcome" if there is an Oct cow hunt, not a chance, will people be shooting cows, 100%.
 
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I would bet that just about every ranch that has cows will have someone shooting cows, Does that mean that mean that access is going to be open to just about everyone, not even close. The days of wide open access are gone and they are not coming back. It is not hard to find someone that wants to shoot a cow, the list of friends that want to shoot one is longer than the supply is likely to last. Will I put out a big banner saying "cow hunters welcome if there is an Oct cow hunt, not a chance, will people be shooting cows, 100%.
I’d bet more cows will get killed in your area than people think. But in some areas that are having issues they will continue to have them till the ranchers let people hunt
 
The days of wide open access are gone and they are not coming back.
A former hunt buddy and I had a great relationship with a gent who owned a hay/cattle operation in the general P-burg area. We'd go down there and help with operations (hard work though always a great time) - in turn, he let us hunt his land. He passed. His sons came in, whom we worked with, and advised us they were making $$$ leasing land to outfitters who have exclusive rights to hunting on the land aside from direct family and close friends and apparently the frieinds was a lease "negotiated" quantity.

This has become a norm that's sweeping BMA's as well. Why fark with unknowns who leave garbage, gates open, steal duck blinds and decoys, etc... vs make $ via outfitter leased contracts where they [outfitters] mind their clients and ensure their rapport with the landowner stays in good hands...

I'm all supportive for BMA's, btw.
 
A former hunt buddy and I had a great relationship with a gent who owned a hay/cattle operation in the general P-burg area. We'd go down there and help with operations (hard work though always a great time) - in turn, he let us hunt his land. He passed. His sons came in, whom we worked with, and advised us they were making $$$ leasing land to outfitters who have exclusive rights to hunting on the land aside from direct family and close friends and apparently the frieinds was a lease "negotiated" quantity.

This has become a norm that's sweeping BMA's as well. Why fark with unknowns who leave garbage, gates open, steal duck blinds and decoys, etc... vs make $ via outfitter leased contracts where they [outfitters] mind their clients and ensure their rapport with the landowner stays in good hands...

I'm all supportive for BMA's, btw.
If you ever go to a block management appreciation dinner you are going to be scared to death. I did when I was part of the region 7 CAC . I am pushing 60 now and I would have been one of the youngest people in the room. Going to be a lot of turnover in the next ten to twenty years.
 
I would bet that just about every ranch that has cows will have someone shooting cows, Does that mean that mean that access is going to be open to just about everyone, not even close. The days of wide open access are gone and they are not coming back. It is not hard to find someone that wants to shoot a cow, the list of friends that want to shoot one is longer than the supply is likely to last. Will I put out a big banner saying "cow hunters welcome" if there is an Oct cow hunt, not a chance, will people be shooting cows, 100%.

What Art is saying is something that needs to be understood. The value of the early season private land cow hunt is not so much that every hunter is going to have access to the cows on private. It is a tool that allows FWP to address the legal mandate for keeping elk @objective without making all of the pressure take place on publicly accessible land.
 
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The plan is great. Convincing new or inexperienced hunters is going to be a hurdle that seems or maybe is insurmountable. Not to mention FWP.

The problem is technology and a rifle during the rut issue for mule deer. Until people see that our mule deer herd is going to get creamed. Mainly bucks now at least.
 
The plan is great. Convincing new or inexperienced hunters is going to be a hurdle that seems or maybe is insurmountable. Not to mention FWP.

The problem is technology and a rifle during the rut issue for mule deer. Until people see that our mule deer herd is going to get creamed. Mainly bucks now at least.
I think the technology thing gets thrown under the rug. Growing up (I'm not even old) 300+ yard shots were very rare because there was no rangefinders. When UT came out with their "open sight only rifles" proposal (it got shot down) I thought it was an awesome idea. We are going to have to start policing tech if we want to maintain some level of opportunity in the future.
 
When UT came out with their "open sight only rifles" proposal...
Mentioned this during the public comment phase.
Suggested technology has extended to 90+ yard archery to long range tech. For the purpose of removing an additional season of pressure after rifle and to maintain a form of heritage for "Traditional" hunting;
Replace the last week of archery with long/recurve bow and the first week of general rifle with traditional muzzleloader. This widens the transition from archery to rifle.

Agree/disagree - raise hackles of typical compound bow extremists... General rifle first week road ungulate exterminators.

Meh, each person can look into the stash of hunting equipment and joy over the CDS Leupold scopes, etc...

We need to retain the heritage aspect of fair chase in Montana. Leupold and others will undoubtedly continue to simplify the reach out and touch brown reduced skill set necessary. It makes $. That's their purpose...
 
Mentioned this during the public comment phase.
Suggested technology has extended to 90+ yard archery to long range tech. For the purpose of removing an additional season of pressure after rifle and to maintain a form of heritage for "Traditional" hunting;
Replace the last week of archery with long/recurve bow and the first week of general rifle with traditional muzzleloader. This widens the transition from archery to rifle.

Agree/disagree - raise hackles of typical compound bow extremists... General rifle first week road ungulate exterminators.

Meh, each person can look into the stash of hunting equipment and joy over the CDS Leupold scopes, etc...

We need to retain the heritage aspect of fair chase in Montana. Leupold and others will undoubtedly continue to simplify the reach out and touch brown reduced skill set necessary. It makes $. That's their purpose...
I would rather not complicate it and would be perfectly fine going back to traditional only (recurves/longbows no sights) in archery season and open sites only in rifle season. This coming from a guy who can shoot a compound bow and rifle a long ways. At some point we have to consider what is fair chase and also maintains opportunity for the future. I see opportunity as a tag, not in the method of which you can fill it.
 
I see opportunity as a tag, not in the method of which you can fill it.
Montanans feel entitled to "opportunity" as having a pocket full of tags, multiple species and sex, and months of open season that are often valid for all of them for more than half the state. We've opportunitied ourselves out of fair to middlin hunting of any sort. Until people are willing to give something substantial up, there will be no trending in the other direction.
 

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