Sb 245

Eric Albus

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Finally figured out how to start a thread. Took me long enough.

So why all the heartburn w/ 245? In some areas we need to get elk herds back to objective numbers, and this is a vehicle that is tenable.
 

mdunc8

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Doesn't FWP already have the authority to extend the regular season? If so, why not just do that? Can't landowners register for damage hunts? If so, why not just do that? Seems like there's already a couple mechanisms in place if too many elk are a problem.
 

shoots-straight

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Doesn't FWP already have the authority to extend the regular season? If so, why not just do that? Can't landowners register for damage hunts? If so, why not just do that? Seems like there's already a couple mechanisms in place if too many elk are a problem.

That, and the fact that this legislation is trying to take the power away from the commission and manage with statute. It also changes the wording on how we manage from "population estimates" to "sustainable" down farther in the laws it says that how sustainable is achieved should be considered by heavy input from the ag community. There's plenty of places in Montana where the ag for the area is small and should not have heavy influence. Also, there's plenty of ranches in Montana that are mostly off limits to hunting by the general public and those game numbers should be removed from the "population estimates" not the sustainable ones.

It declares a late season without the process in place we have now. So large landowners can sell bull hunts, and know that the population will be taken care of later in season with cow hunts.

Another + for the leasing landowner.

MSA, and Ravalli County Fish & Wildlife Ass will be opposing this bill.
 

BuzzH

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All the sportsmens groups in Montana should be opposing this bill...bad bill with no upside.

If the MTFWP and landowners cant get elk within objective numbers in 11 weeks, then they best learn to live with more elk or raise the objective numbers.
 
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Straight Arrow

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So why all the heartburn w/ 245?
1. It usurps the existing authority of FWP and FWP Commission by legislating wildlife management.
2. It promulgates the notion that social tolerance of wildlife (elk) is the predominant factor in wildlife management.
3. It proposes to revert back to a late season hunt option that was discontinued previously for a number of reasons, but mostly because it was not effective and was landowner driven rather than wildlife management driven.
Generally SB 245 is considered a bad bill by hunters, wildlife advocates, conservation groups, sportsmen groups, and many other interested parties.
 

shoots-straight

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In some areas we need to get elk herds back to objective numbers, and this is a vehicle that is tenable.

We need to re visit those objective levels and in doing so follow the Elk plan. In that plan there's a section, on page 55 that says that if the animals are harbored on lands mostly inaccessible to hunters then those elk numbers should be removed from the count considering if the population is at objective. This way the game is not removed from the public lands , or the accessible public areas in favor of the private inaccessible ones.
 

ingomar

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Eric

Here is the problem I have with SB 245. It ignores the 2004 Montana Elk Management Plan, which is the last time the FWP developed a Elk Plan. Here is the link to the 400 page document: http://fwpiis.mt.gov/content/getItem.aspx?id=31438

On page 55, #5 of that plan it states:
"Elk populations in portions of some EMUs may be almost entirely inaccessible to hunters during the general hunting season or accessible to only a few hunters. To avoid over-harvest of accessible elk on public lands or private lands open to hunting, the inaccessible elk may not be included in objective numbers".

The dept and others have perpetuated the myth that many units are over objective, when in fact, based on the formula above, they are not over objective. We have biologists here in Region 3 that do actually exclude elk that are not accessible when they are establishing the population numbers. In much of the eastern half of Montana and portions of units in the western half of the state, high percentages of elk live on property that is inaccessible to the general public.

Also, starting at the bottom of page 60 and continuing at the top of page 61 it states: "Within the Liberal package, 27 EMUs contain the option for issuing A-9//B-12 licenses (B-tags) and 16 EMUs contain an option for an Anterless only regulation if objectives are not met with all other Liberal options". I have not checked which EMUs qualify for the Anterless only option but why are landowners in those affected areas not asking for an Anterless only season??

The problem is the FWP likes to cherry pick from the elk management plan. When asked about pages 55 & 61, they usually comment that the plan is outdated. Ok, since the plan is outdated but is the latest elk management plan that establishes the objective numbers for every unit, then those objective numbers should not be used because those numbers must also be outdated. Therefore it is impossible to determine whether a unit is over objective or not. Simple logic.

People like to scream that elk numbers are over objective without having read the plan and perimeters established by that plan. Like I said earlier, FWP, certain legislators and individuals continue to perpetuate this myth.

FWP already has the ability to extend seasons, create management seasons and authorize game damage hunts. Right now there are several game damage hunts going on in Region 3 on private property where reasonable public hunting was allowed during the general season. The tools already exist to handle the issue! SB 245 only complicates the issue, while ignoring the 2004 Plan.

I agree the Plan is outdated, but have not heard that FWP is working on a new plan and until that new Plan is done and gone thru the public process, we are stuck with the 2004 Plan.

Vito
 

katqanna

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They refuse to update the plan because that requires the EIS process and the science required in the EIS process will not validate the special interest landowner politics, especially where brucellosis is involved.

This bill is just another way to bypass what is already on the books, like Game Damage requiring public hunter access, and obfuscate the privatizing of our wildlife.
 

Eric Albus

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Vito, the legislature is to manage wildlife, according the Public Trust Doctrine.

Most of the folks I talk w/ seem to think access to cow elk is better than no access at all. Perhaps a better way of conducting the hunt would be during the 5 week season, make it "antlerless only" for the last 2 weeks of season in areas over objective??
 

Straight Arrow

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...the legislature is to manage wildlife, according the Public Trust Doctrine.
No, the state via a state agency with wildlife management authority vested by the the legislature on behalf of the citizens of the state.

Good idea, but FWP can already do that without a new law being passed.
 

BuzzH

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Vito, the legislature is to manage wildlife, according the Public Trust Doctrine.

Most of the folks I talk w/ seem to think access to cow elk is better than no access at all. Perhaps a better way of conducting the hunt would be during the 5 week season, make it "antlerless only" for the last 2 weeks of season in areas over objective??


All BS...if what you say is true there wouldn't be a need for FWP Commission, the legislature is not there to manage wildlife. Rather, they are there to give the Commission the tools, via statute, that they need to manage the States Wildlife Resources, based on science. This latest bill has nothing to do with science based management and everything to do with managing wildlife via social values and political hackery. Further, as many have pointed out, its a reinvention of the wheel that's not needed.

Using the Legislature to end run the Commission and the public process/Regulation is all you've come to know...doesn't surprise me one bit, its what MOGA has been doing for a long time.
 

Straight Arrow

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Perhaps a better way of conducting the hunt would be during the 5 week season, make it "antlerless only" for the last 2 weeks of season in areas over objective??

FWP already thinks that's a viable plan and now has authority to do just that. Case in point, look at 2014 Montana regulations for HD 393, where from Nov 24 to Nov 30 it's antlerless elk only. They could have made it two weeks if they deemed it more effective.
 

Greenhorn

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Still interested in hearing about getting the elk herds back to "objective" and where specifically.

Who on earth that enjoyed elk hunting, would rather convert the MT general season to antlerless only for part of it - so they could get access to some 2nd rate private land?

Good portions of MT have general season either sex elk hunting allowed during portions of the season, and some areas allow general license antlerless-only allowed on private land only.
 

katqanna

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Its like Murphys Law with the Legislative audio/video feed. Had to sit though 221, which was almost concluded, then their feed cuts out. Now they are on SB 245, which I wanted to listen to and no feed. Closing out and reinitializing does not help, no matter how many times I do it. Just called IT, they were not aware that the external had not resumed. They had it internally. Oy.
 

shoots-straight

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Who on earth that enjoyed elk hunting, would rather convert the MT general season to antlerless only for part of it - so they could get access to some 2nd rate private land?

People who put a dollar value on bulls, that's who. They don't want the Peasants to share in bull elk deaths. Cows don't pay too good so we toss a bone out there to see who bites.
 

Trigger50

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Oppose anything that takes authority away from the Commission !!!! MN has this problem. Anything that the DNR wants to do has to have legislative approval. It is the worst system.
 

LopeHunter

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Elected officials taking over decision-making from scientists is very, very risky. Elected officials have less backbone when the general populace embrace "feel good" and demand change. At that point, science has no chance to be heard since most of the general populace is ignorant. Example, look at all the people that could not understand the vaccination studies so embraced an actress known for her body rather than body of work who sounded off about a now-disgraced study by someone who lost his medical license by cooking the data in the study. Peer review is a powerful tool in science but if most people do not understand the concept then any study is as valid as any other study.

Hounds chasing cougars or bears or predator control using traps are not issues you want an elected official to vote on. Leave it up to the biologists and scientists who make mistakes and are hampered by budget shortfalls and court injunctions but at least they are not drinking their morning coffee while reading the results of yesterday's political poll.
 
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