Population Growth and Hunting in Rocky Mountain States

Rancho Loco

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Bozeman, MT
“Throughout its history, the conservation movement had been little more than a minor nuisance to the water-development interests in the American West. They had, after all, twice managed to invade National Parks with dams; they had decimated the greatest salmon fishery in the world, in the Columbia River; they had taken the Serengeti of North America—the virgin Central Valley of California, with its thousands of grizzly bears and immense clouds of migratory waterfowl and its million and a half antelope and tule elk—and transformed it into a banal palatinate of industrial agriculture.”
― Marc Reisner, Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water
Great book!
 

MTGomer

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Sep 25, 2015
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MT —> AZ
Where I live they may start cutting water to some farmers next year, but that may not be necessary thanks to the wet winter.
Supposedly water use efficiency is incredible.
The Phoenix population has increased 7x since 1950, while water use has fallen.
That seems nearly impossible to believe.

 

Northwoods Labs

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Aug 28, 2015
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Danbury, Wisconsin
Obviously no easy options. You can limit success rates by making it more difficult (weapons restrictions, closing motorized trails/roads, etc.) or cut numbers of tags. Neither option will be popular, as it seems the everyday hunter wants more opportunity and more guaranteed success. Organizations need to be aggressive in buying land as RMEF and the American Prairie Reserve do. This means hunters are going to step up financially yet again.

I won't be contributing to your problem as I am pretty happy in the northwoods. My county has trended downward in terms of population, but I still feel your pain in my area in the summertime. "Cottages" (practical mansions actually) are being built on top of one another. Our lakes that once had wild shorelines now have practical communities built around them. One area legislature, who decided not to run again, stated his time was a success in terms of natural resources because he made it easier to develop on lakeshores, which was a pretty revealing comment. We are doing a pretty good job right now of loving certain places in our country to death.

Hate to add this after Randy's reminder to stay on track, but overall human population is really the root cause of this issue
 

neffa3

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Apr 17, 2015
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Wenatchee
Back in the ditch again.

Another reminder, the topic is - Population Growth and Hunting in Rocky Mountain States
That dead horse is dead.
We will have more people. People will become for affluent. With increased economic freedom people will choose lifestyle over a couple extra $$. Will continue to flock to the west.
More people = Poorer/worser/badder hunting/odds.

Shall we beat that dead horse some more or can we allow the conversation to flow onto other also worthwhile and tangential topics?
 

HighWildFree

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Aug 18, 2013
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Missoula, MT
I was in camping in Canada last year for Canada Day. I was listening to a CBC broadcast about a book called "Maximum Canada". It was a round table discussion by some folks discussing the book. The long short of it was that the author was arguing that Canada should embrace 100 million residents by 2100 (Canada has like 30 million now). What really caught my attention was that he argued that Canada was never meant to be an industrious country. The British wanted loggers, trappers, and farmers to feed natural resources back to England. Because of that, Canada never really did any planning and so these urban centers like Calgary grew overnight with out any though to the future or responsible land use.

I think we face a similar issue in the Mountain West. Were watching these towns and cities boom almost overnight and nobody is planning for the next 25,000 or 250,000 residents. Fish and game agencies certainly aren't. I think that if we do nothing then yes we will lose out on opportunity, but it's very difficult to get someone to agree to give up some opportunity now, for opportunity in 25 years.
 

shoots-straight

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Bitterroot Valley
Here's a thought.

Maybe we could embrace urban Elk and deer hunting, buy purchasing easements similar to those the are purchased to keep locals farmers on the lands, but with the caveat that hunting be allowed. Maybe go all archery only and then keep the hunters closer to home.

Less carbon footprint, more economical, more days afield. etc.
 

wllm1313

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Dec 9, 2015
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Aurora, CO
Here's a thought.

Maybe we could embrace urban Elk and deer hunting, buy purchasing easements similar to those the are purchased to keep locals farmers on the lands, but with the caveat that hunting be allowed. Maybe go all archery only and then keep the hunters closer to home.

Less carbon footprint, more economical, more days afield. etc.
I like that idea, I know there are conservation easements. It would be interesting to see if you could create language to provide for a conservation/hunting easement.

Also I think @HighWildFree hit the nail on the head "it's very difficult to get someone to agree to give up some opportunity now, for opportunity in 25 years".

This is especially true now as a huge portion of the current hunters are baby boomers. Here in CO we are talking about are season structure and one of the bigger sticking points in full limited archery versus OTC, I find that the divide tends to be on generational lines, boomers want opportunity now and millennial's want to figure out to keep as much opportunity as possible 25 years down the road.
 

jake23

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Oct 30, 2018
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Location
Arroyo Grande, CA
Yeah all those undocumented citizens parking at my favorite muley trailheads are hard on the resource. :rolleyes:

They drive people like me out of California to Montana and Wyoming every year! So yeah, those illegals to impact your trailheads. And speaking of hard on your resources, some time you should go down to the southern border and look at how the wildlife and the resources are impacted by illegals. You wouldn’t be rollin your eyes. Just my opinion though.
 

Old man bob

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May 13, 2019
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Arizona
I wish everyone would quit coming to Arizona Please. That includes all the famous People to show off their monsters..........BOB!
 

3855WIN

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Jul 17, 2014
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Mississippi
With the discussion parameters being that Rocky Mountain states population growth is inevitable, I think the answer is more gated roads during hunting seasons.
It’s a bit of a slippery slope, but in some of our Mississippi WMAs, you are allowed to operate an ATV for game retrieval only. That rule makes the woods quiet for morning hunts.
Urban and suburban hunting has it’s place. I do some archery hunting on a suburban 25 acre tract. Let’s just say that it can be hard to always convince an arrow shot deer to fall within 25 acres. When I hear a car horn honk, I assume it’s at a deer and get my bow ready.
Another suggestion is to tax ATVs and UTVs like they’re cigarettes. I have two of them and they have there place, but they can really mess up some hunting.
 

MTGomer

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Sep 25, 2015
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MT —> AZ
I wish everyone would quit coming to Arizona Please. That includes all the famous People to show off their monsters..........BOB!

Im more concerned about the 100,000 Californians moving here annually than Randy Newberg coming to hunt for a day.
I just came so I offset 1 Californian. 99,999 more to go.
 

Old man bob

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Arizona
Randy is allway welcome here. Way to many Californians tho ,anthe previous post about the NorhtEast is so True.That place is Decaying..................BOB!
 

Mountain Man

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Jul 13, 2016
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I will be one of those moving there in 2024.
I’m set to retire that year as well. I’m planning on an effective date of 1 October so I can still be on Active Duty while on terminal leave and moose hunting in Alaska. I am likely to move back to Colorado where I was born and raised.
 

Scott85

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Nov 22, 2018
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I’m set to retire that year as well. I’m planning on an effective date of 1 October so I can still be on Active Duty while on terminal leave and moose hunting in Alaska. I am likely to move back to Colorado where I was born and raised.
What branch are you in again?
 
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