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

OntarioHunter

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I see that the college walk-around is not for residents studying in other states (which would make sense) but rather for nonresident college students in Montana. Is there even a cap on these? If a student lives in Montana for six months isn't he considered a resident just like the rich retired transplant? Speaking as a former professional university student, I think if a college student can afford the $550 for this package (I never could!), his rich daddy could undoubtedly afford to put him in the regular NR draw. I fail to see the logic in this walk-around. Zero.
 

HeartbeatofAmerica Freak

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I see that the college walk-around is not for residents studying in other states (which would make sense) but rather for nonresident college students in Montana. Is there even a cap on these? If a student lives in Montana for six months isn't he considered a resident just like the rich retired transplant? Speaking as a former professional university student, I think if a college student can afford the $550 for this package (I never could!), his rich daddy could undoubtedly afford to put him in the regular NR draw. I fail to see the logic in this walk-around. Zero.
A college student going to an out of state school is still a resident of MT unless they choose to establish residency somewhere else.

Simply going to school there for six months does not cut the mustard. There are other things they would need to do.

To my knowledge, there is no cap on the out of state student tags. They simply have to show proof of current enrollment.
 
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ccc23454

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@Big Fin I still believe the only true way to fix this is unfortunately is political. Politicans listen to two things lawsuits and votes ($ & job security) might be time to establish a hunters vote. Some great ideas but in the end people who are part of problem have to be willing to be part of solution and i dont see that happening. I would argue align with next governer or best candidate and back them with hunters votes! Get a FWP director and commissioners who are willing to do the work to fix this mess. For 10+ years i have heard same whine in these threads but nothing has EVER gotten better, might be time to try from a different angle. Keep up the fight!
 
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OntarioHunter

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So you drive in Montana for one month out of the year and you hit at least one deer with your vehicle in that month every year? I’ve drove in Montana and basically drive for a living for the last 17 years and I’ve hit 3 in that 17 years. I’d hate to pay your insurance.
I don't waste money putting collision coverage on a 1999 Jimmy. Not sure if anyone would give me a policy for it anyway. Liability is all I need.

I guess you don't spend much time driving the Hi Line east of Havre. 20211122_075408.jpg
That's the third hood, second grille, and second set of headlights (each replaced once due to deer). Still looking for a bumper shroud.
 

sacountry

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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.
I guess if that analogy were to be furthered, the only way that 45 year old home gets fixed is if it's value goes to $0 and someone buys it for the land value alone, leveling the home to build new. So the question is has the home gone to $0? I'm with you and many others thinking that it has.

There's so much I don't mind changing, choose your weapon, shortened season, hard stop at 17000/4500, etc. I am however struggling with choose your district/region. In the event of a bad fire season and my chosen district is ablaze to the point that hiking anywhere in the area causes inhalation concerns, what happens? How do states like Idaho handle that? While it would be counter productive to the goal, it might be nice if resident hunters could roam freely or maybe enter a supertag-like lottery with several thousand free roam permits distributed for elk or for deer.
 

Cornell2012

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How about some restrictions on the landowner tags?

Spitballing options:
  • Landowner tags are conditional on allowing x amount of public access for free. After they have accumulated enough public hunter access days for a year, then FWP can issue some tags for landowners to give sell to their buddies.
  • LO tags can only be used for antlerless animals
  • LO-sponsored hunters cannot have access to any portions of the land that the general public is not also allowed to hunt.
These tags are supposedly issued due to property damage, right? I'm pretty sure a landowner and their 10 buddies don't do as much to drive elk off the property as opening it up to a few hundred locals with empty freezers.
 

Hammsolo

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I won’t comment on all of these variables. Just a few I’m experienced with. Search for simplicity and data driven decisions. Eliminate the advantages that are built in for the wealthy.

1. Ditch the extra-programs. 2 pools. All residents in one pool and all non-residents in the their own pool. No exceptions. You should not be able to buy your way to tags, even by buying land. Complexity opens the door to chaos and game playing.

2. Eliminate all group applications. It is a game. I know multiple people buying tags for others each year to increase their draw odds, in some cases entire families. Many in the group don’t even hunt. I was just talking to a guy that is always on the hunt for someone with points.

3. Require hunter reporting. Educate hunters that it will be used for game management. Have hunters share success, but also sightings. Use this data as part of a greater system to make decisions. Reward those that do with a small discount and punish those that don’t with a fine. WA requires reporting, but could improve it.

4. Require hunters to select all units as many stated. This should be used as data to track hunting pressure also.

5. We shouldn’t be so reactionary. We need to build a system that is actively monitoring the game animals and hunting pressure.
 
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Hammsolo

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I don't waste money putting collision coverage on a 1999 Jimmy. Not sure if anyone would give me a policy for it anyway. Liability is all I need.

I guess you don't spend much time driving the Hi Line east of Havre. View attachment 219504
That's the third hood, second grille, and second set of headlights (each replaced once due to deer). Still looking for a bumper shroud.
You need some of those fancy deer whistles.
 

sacountry

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You need some of those fancy deer whistles.
True story. I just hit a deer two weeks ago. I'm at the body shop dropping off my truck and there's another guy there who also hit a deer. We're about to get a shuttle to the rental car company when he asks the receptionist for some scissors so he can cut his deer whistles off his car (he had them cable tied to his rear view mirrors). The receptionist peering out at his car questions "do those things really work". "Oh yes they do" he said. "Then how come you're here" she asked. "Oh this deer jumped right out in front of me, he was too close and probably couldn't hear them over the sound of the engine".
 
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Bambistew

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You guys are worried about a few extra NR, yet have management for less than 10 bucks/bulls per 100 females, but it's them NR. :D Residents can't seem to kill off all the does/cows so let the NR. MT game management needs a reset, it's not just the licensing system.

It's the same old story. Who gets to kill what and who is most "deserving." It's always about some sort of class being better than the rest. Be it "natives" who are "5the generation" or someone who has lived there for 10+ years, or some landowner. Nothing is going to change in MT. It's only getting worse, and the reset button is well past ever being viable they're in way too deep.

Getting rid of a few thousand NR isn't going to fix anything, especially when your elk are over objective. 😉
 
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rmyoung1

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True story. I just hit a deer two weeks ago. I'm at the body shop dropping off my truck and there's another guy there who also hit a deer. We're about to get a shuttle to the rental car company when he asks the receptionist for some scissors so he cut his deer whistles off his car (he had them cable tied to his rear view mirror. The receptionist peering out at his car questions "do those things really work". "Oh yes they do" he said. "Then how come you're here" she asked. "Oh this deer jumped right out in front of me, he was too close and probably couldn't hear them over the sound of the engine".
My dad has a friend who received the same question. “Do those deer whistles really work?”
My dad’s buddy’s response: “You bet. I’ve never hit one right on the whistle.”
 

Hammsolo

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True story. I just hit a deer two weeks ago. I'm at the body shop dropping off my truck and there's another guy there who also hit a deer. We're about to get a shuttle to the rental car company when he asks the receptionist for some scissors so he cut his deer whistles off his car (he had them cable tied to his rear view mirror. The receptionist peering out at his car questions "do those things really work". "Oh yes they do" he said. "Then how come you're here" she asked. "Oh this deer jumped right out in front of me, he was too close and probably couldn't hear them over the sound of the engine".
Breathing heavily out of his mouth fogged up his glasses, and he couldn’t see the deer… Good Lord!
 

OntarioHunter

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True story. I just hit a deer two weeks ago. I'm at the body shop dropping off my truck and there's another guy there who also hit a deer. We're about to get a shuttle to the rental car company when he asks the receptionist for some scissors so he cut his deer whistles off his car (he had them cable tied to his rear view mirrors. The receptionist peering out at his car questions "do those things really work". "Oh yes they do" he said. "Then how come you're here" she asked. "Oh this deer jumped right out in front of me, he was too close and probably couldn't hear them over the sound of the engine".
They don't work. Either they're plugged full of bugs or snow.
 

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