MT Licensing System - Burn it down? How to Improve it?

brockel

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May 13, 2016
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3,429
Location
Baker,MT
Seems like mandatory reporting would be easier than trying to call people in the age of spam phone calls. I used look forward to the calls, but honestly I don’t answer if I don’t know the caller.

In just about every business, whether private, public, or govt…..data is king. Why Would we not want the data, for science and social reasons

I’ve missed the call I believe 4 times this year.
 

JLS

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Mar 26, 2012
Messages
15,468
Location
Almost Arkansas…..
I think the overarching problem, and maybe why “burn it down” is the best strategy is that MT seems rifle with work arounds. Nothing ever seems to be “fixed” they just make the system a bit more complicated to please whatever interest group was complaining.
Spot on.

About 20+ years ago, I was part of a group tasked with simplifying the fishing regulations. It was hilarious.

We found waters that, were once subject to general regs. Then, an exception was made to satisfy someone. Then, another exception was requested, and another. Sometimes the exceptions would eventually pretty much mirror the general regs but be a hell of a lot more confusing.

Get out the red pen and wage war on the stupidity.
 

runningmt

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Apr 25, 2018
Messages
610
Montana FWP needs to get some type of state allocated annual funding. The sell of hunting and fishing licenses is just not consistent enough, nor is it enough to fund everything that it should.
Hunters are a minority, even in MT

As soon as the state starts funding through tax revenues, the majority rightfully has control.

This could open up situations where birth control is used for population adjustments rather than hunting, outright bans on predator control, and knee-jerk emotional rejection of hunting as a form of conservation Is king.

We need to continue hunting as conservation. Our success has been our own
 

Werty

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Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
674
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Bzn, mt
I agree we need change, but isn't it more advantageous for us to create our own system. Instead of just copy and paste from another state.
If you use the same system, all the seasons would align and your hunting opportunities would actually decrease across the west, if you followed verbatim.
I personally like the fact that that all the western states are just a little different, it allows for variety.
 

Sytes

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Sep 25, 2009
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10,294
Location
Montana
Remove the deer / elk combo. If they want both - buy both.

I like the qty of regions matching those on the commission however, believe they should be voted by those in that region - remove Governor appointments.

Mandatory reporting whether via FWP APP (snap pic via FWP APP) once in cell area, it immediately uploads.

District / Region selection as General (drawings for Public and *Private as necessary) followed by weapon choice (Traditional Archery,<split rut> Archery, Traditional muzzy, Rifle - in that order). This is for NR, and R. *Additional Private, see below.
Over objective herds that require additional hunt pressure is awarded to those who didn't draw their 1st from above however listed as 2nd / 3rd choice.
Additional over objective are presented as drawing for those who didn't draw tags. Any remaining open for 2nd tag option - this is for Landowner (BMA) as well.

*Landowner (Private) allotted per "X" acres: 0/"X" tag(s) under objective, "X" tag(s) @ objective, and "+X" tags over objective. These may be used for themselves, sold / donated / transferred to outfitters, R, or NR hunters on the private land granted the tags - ALL tags require same FWP purchase whether landowner is R or NR.
*If Landowner enrolled in BMA, Landowner is granted free all tags noted above, and permitted to be entered into the Public BMA drawing pool. Included as part of BMA: +"X" tag(s) per "X" acres enters drawing noted above for any R or NR who draws the tag(s), permitted to hunt w/ or w/o Landowner's leased outfitter. All drawing Private land tags are at FWP charged R/NR value. BMA stamp funds added and defined tag for specific BMA drawn.
*Any Landowner "Damage" hunt are available via specific public drawing.

This is very broad though shares my general idea and adjustments are clearly part of the thread intent.
 

bigsky2

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Joined
Feb 17, 2016
Messages
671
Location
MONTANA
I agree we need change, but isn't it more advantageous for us to create our own system. Instead of just copy and paste from another state.
If you use the same system, all the seasons would align and your hunting opportunities would actually decrease across the west, if you followed verbatim.
I personally like the fact that that all the western states are just a little different, it allows for variety.
I think most people are saying copy their draw system, not necessarily match their season dates exactly.
 

Gerald Martin

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Joined
Jul 3, 2009
Messages
7,012
I am totally on board with no general areas and all tags allocated by drawing for a specific unit. For this to work, there needs to be a legal requirement that ties the number of tags issued to the number of elk or deer in an area and in harmony with the management goals of the area.

Not every unit needs to be a trophy unit. However, if tags were tied to game numbers it would force a reckoning with the reality of the disparity between hunters and available game in much of the state.
 

sacountry

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Joined
Dec 29, 2011
Messages
614
Location
NW Montana
@Big Fin based on the blended feedback here it feels like overhauling the draw system would have to be done in concert with overhauling the regs, example choose district vs shorten season. I don't want to pee on the cornflakes, I'm just thinking that redoing the draw system is fully within FWP's scope but changing the regs opens the process up to the legislature. Am I wrong? And if I'm not, then how realistic is an overhaul given what happens when Helena gets their grubby little fingers all over things?
 

OntarioHunter

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Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
3,721
Seems like mandatory reporting would be easier than trying to call people in the age of spam phone calls. I used look forward to the calls, but honestly I don’t answer if I don’t know the caller.

In just about every business, whether private, public, or govt…..data is king. Why Would we not want the data, for science and social reasons
I agree. With cell phones it would be simple to self report immediately after the kill. The old argument against mandatory reporting was expense and logistical complications with manning a bunch of reporting stations. Not really necessary in most cases nowadays. Get to cell coverage asap and log in. Yeah, there will always be the conspiracy nuts who don't want to cooperate (I know a guy in Havre who will go to any length to avoid a check station) but they can just not play if they don't like rules that improve the game.
 

JLS

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Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
15,468
Location
Almost Arkansas…..
I'm just thinking that redoing the draw system is fully within FWP's scope but changing the regs opens the process up to the legislature.
The NR cap and point system farce is determined by the legislature.

Tag classification and price is determined by the legislature. What hunters can harvest on said tags, and where is determined by the commission.

Landowner sponsored, CHTH, college student, etc are all legislative.

The commission could decide to make all districts draw only. They could decide to make them choose your weapon.

In order to really overhaul this, there I are a lot of circles to square, and would take a concerted effort by both the commission and the legislature.
 

Big Fin

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Dec 27, 2000
Messages
15,581
Location
Bozeman, MT
@Big Fin based on the blended feedback here it feels like overhauling the draw system would have to be done in concert with overhauling the regs, example choose district vs shorten season. I don't want to pee on the cornflakes, I'm just thinking that redoing the draw system is fully within FWP's scope but changing the regs opens the process up to the legislature. Am I wrong? And if I'm not, then how realistic is an overhaul given what happens when Helena gets their grubby little fingers all over things?
Good questions.

The reason for me posting here is that I've already started pressing for some of these changes. Anything related to licenses, license types, points, etc. likely needs legislative action, which is a year from now. Some can be done by FWP.

Serious risk in asking the legislature to do anything. But, we know the legislature is coming with their own ideas from some PO'd constituent down at the coffee shop, so the goal would be to try influence what gets proposed and start the process of improvement.

Reality is, there won't be a "burn it down" approach due to the "Institutional Inertia" of government and the leverage tools available to those who benefit from the status quo. Feedback here on this topic is helpful to identify many different perspectives and some complications, get a feel for what change is the most tolerable, and start the process of change rather than adding on to what is a terrible licensing foundation for the current demands and complexities of our time.

When I travel and speak to groups, people are amazed at the complexity, seemingly unnecessary complexity, that comes with applying in Montana. I tell people that the Montana licensing system is kind of like this:

We all have that old house we've been driving past for 40 years; it started on a small slab foundation and they got it framed up and sealed in, but no siding or garage. It got the owner through the first winter. Six years later they decided to add a backroom on pillars rather than pour a slab extension. They finally got around to siding it four years after that. Then, someone thought an upstairs would be neat, so they added a second floor over the living room, but never got shingles over the tar paper. Finally, they got the shingles on and decided to go all in by siding the second story, only to find out the siding color of the past was discontinued, so they thought green looked pretty cool with the original blue siding. Then someone got the idea that they should build a big front porch, which they got mostly done, but the old insulate siding is no longer available, so they got some brown vinyl siding to fill between the gaps where screen windows will some day be placed. And now the house is too big to heat with a small wood stove, so they got a wood pellet boiler on a concrete slab and they pipe heat into the first floor and let convection warm the second floor. Now, a garage with a bonus room seems like a good idea, so they pour some pit run, lay down some 6" footers and start on that project. It takes a few years, but finally they get the garage finished and the windows in the bonus room. The garage doors and windows come a few years later, with the doors primed for paint and agreeing "It looks OK" against the white DuPont-logo'd Tyvek that weather seals the garage. Finally, uncle P.R. sends them some money and the family gets the garage sided with the yellow siding that is on sale. They get the upstairs bonus room sheetrocked, only to realize that the original foundation of the house has sunk in the NE corner and the entire gig is out of plumb. They get Cousin Eddy LeRoy to jack it up and put some timbers underneath it and find out the septic was never put in right and is leaking over towards the well. Now they find out the well was put in too shallow and is going dry so they opt for a cistern as the temporary solution that stays in place until today.

Finally, the kids ask Mom and Dad how they ended up with a house like this after 45 years. Mom and Dad look at each other, confused and now aware of the mess, showing a slight bit of embarrassment. They scratch their heads and mumble. They tell the story of each addition and why it seemed like a good idea at the time. But, until the kids pointed out that this house is unsaleable, unsalvageable, and needs a fire, it never dawned on them what a mess they've ended up with.

To me, that analogy is the same as trying to add something useful to the 1974 system Montana currently has as its 2022 licensing system. Nobody really wanted to get to this point, but nobody agrees that we ended up with a good system. It needs a fire, but like Mom and Dad, some have grown attached to this mess and will fight tooth and nail to keep it as is.
 
Yeti

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