SITKA Gear

Take Back Your Elk

2rocky

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 23, 2010
Messages
4,157
I think it’s a poor excuse to say nothing will probably change so why try? There’s a cost to silence and a cost to using your voice. Each one of us gets up every morning and decides which bill we’re going to pay.
An elk tag might be cheaper (for the state) than paying crop damage to land owners for the herd of elk that summers in their alfalfa fields. If you take that tag away you are going to have to offer something else in its place.

If an outfitter is buying tags from a landowner and offering private land hunts that is reducing public land crowding. I think every state offers some sort of landowner Habitat incentive for tags. And that tag market is simply economics. How much does someone want to pay ?
 

npaden

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Messages
4,213
Location
Lubbock, Texas
But that money pails in comparison I’d bet in comparison to what the landowner is making off the tag
Yes, but those 11,000+ landowner and outfitter tags going to nonresidents generate $650ish probably on average for the department of game and fish. The same tags going to residents would generate $90. Well over $5,000,000 more for the game and fish selling them to nonresidents.

The report doesn't even look at deer and pronghorn. The way it is right now the landowners can give out unlimited tags for those in most units. I can guarantee that mostly nonresidents are buying those as well.
 

wllm

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2015
Messages
15,893
Location
Boston
An elk tag might be cheaper (for the state) than paying crop damage to land owners for the herd of elk that summers in their alfalfa fields. If you take that tag away you are going to have to offer something else in its place.

Either your suggesting that shooting 1 bull fixes a crop damage process which is ridiculous, or your suggesting that if you throw landowners a bone they won't file damage claims...

Anyway.

I think every state offers some sort of landowner Habitat incentive for tags. And that tag market is simply economics. How much does someone want to pay ?
Some states make them non-transferable beyond family ;)

CO has landowner tags, I've gotten 3 muley tags from my FIL. Would be totally fine if they went away completely, and definitely think you shouldn't be allowed to sell them.

There is nothing to stop a landowner from leasing his land to an outfitter or a private party for hunting, not sure why they need to get tags. All this program does is make sure the same rich folks are able to hunt the same properties year after year.
 
Last edited:

2rocky

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 23, 2010
Messages
4,157
If you are interested in what it takes to be a landowner that gets elk tags in the Priimary zone check out the application...

The EPLUS rule requires properties in the Primary Management Zone to have regular elk use and provide meaningful benefits to elk as determined by appropriate department staff and in accordance with commission approved guidelines in order to be considered for participation. The complete guidelines and scoring criteria are available on the Department website. Complete the form below providing a description of your property in each category. It is very important that you submit a couple of photographs (no video) of each habitat feature and water source/system along with your application to ensure it is evaluated correctly. Do not send pictures of elk, elk tracks or elk droppings. This form must be completed and submitted along with the Initial Application Agreement. Applications that do not include a completed copy of this form will be rejected. Elk Use: Your property must have regular elk use. Regular elk use should be consistent and predictable, and associated with seasonal use of your property. Rare, sporadic, unpredictable or transitory elk use that does not endure over time, does not fulfill the intent of the rule that elk use is regular.


 
Last edited:

NMGuy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 12, 2017
Messages
200
Location
Roswell, NM
Yes, but those 11,000+ landowner and outfitter tags going to nonresidents generate $650ish probably on average for the department of game and fish. The same tags going to residents would generate $90. Well over $5,000,000 more for the game and fish selling them to nonresidents.

The report doesn't even look at deer and pronghorn. The way it is right now the landowners can give out unlimited tags for those in most units. I can guarantee that mostly nonresidents are buying those as well.
But deer and pronghorn are private land only, right? Unless they have a ranch wide agreement for pronghorn, in which case I'm not sure how many tags they get but I don't think it is unlimited. I think private-only elk tags would be more accepted by the masses than the unit wide tags.
 

MTGomer

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Messages
4,947
Location
MT —> AZ
An elk tag might be cheaper (for the state) than paying crop damage to land owners for the herd of elk that summers in their alfalfa fields. If you take that tag away you are going to have to offer something else in its place.

If an outfitter is buying tags from a landowner and offering private land hunts that is reducing public land crowding. I think every state offers some sort of landowner Habitat incentive for tags. And that tag market is simply economics. How much does someone want to pay ?
Landowners should always be able to sell access. That’s a right that comes with owning property. They shouldn’t be able to sell elk. Wildlife is not a property right and is supposed to be a public resource.

I think most people are okay with a landowner, especially one that is a good steward of wildlife habitat, getting a tag or two for the family to use. It’s the wholesale privatization and creation of an industry around selling elk tags that people dislike, especially when those tags are valid for off of the landowner’s land.
 

hank4elk

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 8, 2015
Messages
6,972
Location
SW NM
@hank4elk , care to comment?
Not really, but I will.
I am just a guy who found 140 fenced acres with excellent water and never thought I would have 40 ac. Hunted the public lands and wilderness areas all my life,an HTer. Public land hunter with a few ranches I have been lucky to have access to.
That was 9/9/09 and NMG&F contacted me about joining the program. They knew of my water. By the time I came back from my NR draw hunt in the Pecos I had 6 authorizations in the mail.
My unit was off the radar and not considered good...LOL. I could not give a tag away that or the next year. And there is no way to raise cattle on 140 here usually, so I would rent for a month when there was feed. Cattle are a pain...
At one time I put together 12 ranches into a co-op to get more land & $ for us small guys. I got screwed by the outfitters. Rarely got paid and never in full.
I went solo again.

There are ten times the elk here as in 09 now, at least. And after the redistribution and vetting of some units by G&F 4 years ago a bunch of the little places or places with few or no elk benefit are out. LO tags were cut in half and the draw numbers doubled or tripled now.
I signed on to the elk enhancement program after getting a high rating for my water and fence improvements and taking my land out of the AG tax exemption program. My taxes are now 10 times the Ag deal but still nothing. So I ate that. My place is for wildlife now. I have always been in the Ranch Only tags deal. Now no one wants to pay for 140 again.
But I get tags and more than I would before for the Small Contributing Ranch & RO deal, basic.
I give my authorizations away now and most go to locals I know. Or I use one if I do not draw.

My unit is again out of the Greater Gila Herd and is its own entity again. Due to the work with ranchers and the program it is off the radar sort of but one of the best in the state now.

Most of these ranchers will be pissed if the lose some recovery from elk damage. They are cattle ranchers for the most part and live here.
Some are just wealthy out of staters and the whole deal is a tax write off.
The locals, and I will most likely not open our places to the public. Most will lease to some rich guy instead and you'll have a shitshow like the other states. And lose access to many for the average guy.




Outfitters buy most of the tags right from the landowners and or are the ranch contact. Most ranchers here do not get the $ that is quoted in those prices I have heard about. Some do. Some work the system and drive a new truck every year from the LO tags or the tax write off for cattle ranching...LOL
I know of no rancher who sits on the authorizations nor any outfitter who does not sell every tag they buy.
The cost of them? I do not know and everything is expensive these days and drawing a tag is not a slam dunk anymore anywhere.

NMWF has become notorious for biased data or new math,IMHO. I am no longer a member of it or NMBHA.

I do not support the Outfitter welfare deal.
I wish it was just 90/10 split.
I support the E-plus RO program. UW if they open the ranch as it should be.
I help other hunters. Public draw hunters too. Resident or Not.
I have a local gal going for her 1st bull come Sat.
I drew my unit for a late cow hunt, again and will just hunt here, again.3rd year in a row. I have not hunted for elk off my place in 6 years. I have only not hunted one of those years.
I have to apply and qualify each year now. I do not know about other units anymore. No way 20 ac would qualify really now unless it was in a mountain setting with a stream and meadows. Elk habitat.

60 % of NM is private ranches. Gotta work with folks. Both ways.
I have no answers myself. I just hope to continue to draw tags in NM and or use one of the LO, if I get them. NM has been very good to me in the draws over the last 30 +years or so. 13 now as a resident.

I do know most folks on HT are against LO tags.
Hank4elk
 

Bambistew

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2002
Messages
7,030
Location
Chugiak, AK
What does the landscape look like if the tags are removed from NR hands? Genuinely curious how this changes the outcome/hunting for resident hunters.

Will reduce the number of EPLUS, or just limit who can by them, in turn devaluing them? I would think they'd have to devalue them substantially to make them attractive to Residents.
 

hank4elk

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 8, 2015
Messages
6,972
Location
SW NM
This is all from NMWF and THEIR perspective. The land of entitlement. Residents want all the tags from what I hear. OK.
NMG&F does not support it nor does the Gov. or the commission from what I have seen. NM Beef is against it I bet and that's a big lobby. Way bigger than the outfitter pool $ that for sure against it.
The numbers they post do not show the $ lost for NMG&F either. Most states make a ton on NR, NM makes nada on residents.
I'd be happy if the residents tags $ went up to meet reality too.
I'm a resident and could still apply. I have one other family member who hunts so if it becomes nontransferable I can deal with it. If I get none I can deal with it.
If it goes all LO tags go to residents fine by me. Keep the outfitters out of it then.

See how many places get shut down if it does happen.

Who leases a ranch when you don't know if you drew a tag? All action post draw? Bet most residents will decline to even pay a trespass/hunt fee.

Either way the critters seem to love my place, the water and the restored range feed.
 

elkduds

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2016
Messages
3,461
Location
CO Springs.
This is all from NMWF and THEIR perspective. The land of entitlement. Residents want all the tags from what I hear. OK.
NMG&F does not support it nor does the Gov. or the commission from what I have seen. NM Beef is against it I bet and that's a big lobby. Way bigger than the outfitter pool $ that for sure against it.
The numbers they post do not show the $ lost for NMG&F either. Most states make a ton on NR, NM makes nada on residents.
I'd be happy if the residents tags $ went up to meet reality too.
I'm a resident and could still apply. I have one other family member who hunts so if it becomes nontransferable I can deal with it. If I get none I can deal with it.
If it goes all LO tags go to residents fine by me. Keep the outfitters out of it then.

See how many places get shut down if it does happen.

Who leases a ranch when you don't know if you drew a tag? All action post draw? Bet most residents will decline to even pay a trespass/hunt fee.

Either way the critters seem to love my place, the water and the restored range feed.
Thanks for posting your informed and detailed perspective. And kudos to the moon for enhancing elk habitat on your property.
 

npaden

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Messages
4,213
Location
Lubbock, Texas
But deer and pronghorn are private land only, right? Unless they have a ranch wide agreement for pronghorn, in which case I'm not sure how many tags they get but I don't think it is unlimited. I think private-only elk tags would be more accepted by the masses than the unit wide tags.
The vast majority of the private elk tags are not unit wide. I think it is around 20% that are unit wide.

Eliminating unit wide landowner tags might be a good start that could get some traction.
 

seeth07

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
2,357
Location
Markesan, WI
2,638 of the 15,356 EPlus authorizations are for unit wide tags. 17.1%.

So 82.9% of them are ranch only.
Of those 82 percent that are ranch only, let's say they all went away. Would that actually lead to more resident tags off those ranches? After 1 year, probably none right? After 5 years maybe surrounding area has more elk and they issue more tags? Idk, interesting seeing rhat breakdown
 

seeth07

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
2,357
Location
Markesan, WI
Why don't states follow what KY does. Best landowner elk program ever. I was so impressed about it when I found out about it during the process of the elk tag I received
 

hank4elk

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 8, 2015
Messages
6,972
Location
SW NM
Also the newer rules make it E-plus , UW & RO as deeded lands ONLY are huntable with the tags. So all the leased public lands that are accessable are huntable by the public. That alone opens thousands of acres of land.
A bunch of places went UW in 12 to get more $ for their tags at 1st. That made them even more useful to most folks. Then the open it up to the public was enforced with maps and now they have gone back to RO.

I don't get calling it privatazation of herds.
But it is how NM has decided to pay for restitution of elk damage/eating of feed back to landowners. No way NMG&F would have the $ to pay that.
And elk do eat and drink a third of what a beef cow does.
My place will be bare in the bottom and around the tanks by spring.

They could go full old west and end the program and just let the residents kill all the elk in NM,again.

NM now has one of the healthiest and continually growing population of game animals, elk. More elk here than anyone wants to admit. More than 100,000 I would guess ,when 86,000 is the number G&F gives.

It took one year of plane counts for G&F to change the bull/cow'calf ratios in my unit...75/100/80 from 30/100/60. They had no idea of how many bulls were here.
And the draw tags tripled.

And I will see more elk and antelope on my place getting away from the crowds on the surrounding public.
 

Pucky Freak

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 4, 2019
Messages
4,132
Location
Iowa
Wildlife privatization is a rapidly expanding trend in North America. Moneyed interests see how efficiently TX, NM, CO, UT and MT convert their wildlife into economic gain in their states and want the same in other places.

Somewhere like IA where a NR auction tag for WT sells for 25k the state “wastes” the potential $$$ to landowners, outfitters, investors, and others by allowing its residents to enjoy hunting at low cost. Calls to change that system grow louder every year from politicians influenced by wealthy out-of-state donors.

Big game in NM has become so “sold out”, I would not be surprised to see a NM citizen’s ballot initiative some day:

“Whereas wildlife in NM belong to the citizens of NM, they are to be held in a public trust for the benefit of the citizens of NM. Any and all permits, tags, and/or license to kill a big game animal in NM shall be made available to any resident of NM through a lottery.”

If LO’s and outfitters get free tags to sell or do whatever they please with, why should the same privilege not be extended to every NM citizen?

#sharethewealth
 
Top