Yeti

UPOM suing FWP over elk regulations

Eric Albus

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The objective numbers according to the hunting public, need increased.

I’m all for revisiting the objective numbers, if the affected landowners are in favor of increases then I won’t object.

In talking to a couple private landowners in the breaks they’re opposed in increasing objective numbers, last I spoke with them.

In the wilderness/public lands I’m all for increasing numbers to carry capacity.
 

tjones

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We can ignore the elk on inaccessible lands, this sounds like something the current Whitehouse administration would suggest.
Its also what the current elk plan calls for Eric. You might want to read page 55.

It’s funny (but not really) when guys like you want to follow current EMP objectives but then disregard other parts of the EMP. Things like cows only on over objective units and page 55.

Hypocrisy is not a good look on you.
 
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brockel

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The two biggest problems in the breaks in my opinion is an over the counter deer tag that’s good for months and the massively overgrazed blm. It’s pretty easy to see why the elk aren’t on the public even before the season began when the public is grubbed down by the end of august.
 

Eric Albus

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Its also what the current elk plan calls for Eric. You might want to read page 55.

It’s funny (but not really) when guys like you what to follow current EMP objectives but the disregard other parts of the EMP. Things like cows only on over objective units and page 55.

Hypocrisy is not a good look on you.
Cows only…ok. Now let’s think. Cows
Only for 2-3-5 years, numbers are in check and good. Bull tag numbers are up, but so is the price of an elk hunt. Take a 6 yr old 330 bull and give him 3-4 more years he’s a 350-400, worth significantly more$$$$, that what you want?
 

tjones

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Cows only…ok. Now let’s think. Cows
Only for 2-3-5 years, numbers are in check and good. Bull tag numbers are up, but so is the price of an elk hunt. Take a 6 yr old 330 bull and give him 3-4 more years he’s a 350-400, worth significantly more$$$$, that what you want?
Answer this are we following the EMP or are we following self serving parts of the plan?

Have you read the EMP?
 

Gerald Martin

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The owner of the horse ranch in 417 is an out of state landowner. You could kill every accessible elk in that unit and it would still be considered over objective because of the elk that reside on that ranch. They have even had to resort to late season damage hunts for bulls in that district because the majority of the bulls in the unit are drawn to the thousands of cows on the Horse Ranch during the hunting season. FWP has tried increasing bull permits because of complaints from neighboring landowners. Accessible land in the unit gets piss pounded even more every time they increase tags. Hunter success has actually decreased with the increase in permits and hunter crowding in the unit is at an all time high. Now we're giving the owner a bull permit in exchange for giving access to TWO cow hunters. I would bet money that the bull hunter chosen by the ranch is the same local guy that gets to hunt on the ranch every year anyways. What kind of incentive does the landowner have to allow meaningful public access now?

This "access" you speak of is meaningless in my opinion, and it does more harm than good.


I would be completely happy to see 300,000 elk in MT. I don’t have any heartburn whatsoever when a unit goes over objective.

If landowners in over objective units want to have some relief from too many elk let them sit down with their neighbors and figure out a way to reduce elk numbers by working together. They have way more skin in the game and better community ties than FWP or hunters do.
 

Eric Albus

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Answer this are we following the EMP or are we following self serving parts of the plan?

Have you read the EMP?
I have read it but it’s been a while. I refreshed myself, and on pg 54 it says elk may be counted on inaccessible area's.

I never stated “elk have to be counted”. I just maintain it is remiss to not count those elk.
 

Eric Albus

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The two biggest problems in the breaks in my opinion is an over the counter deer tag that’s good for months and the massively overgrazed blm. It’s pretty easy to see why the elk aren’t on the public even before the season began when the public is grubbed down by the end of august.
The elk leave the public land a few days ahead of season opening. I just read Utahs study of watching elk there do the same thing. I’ve seen whitetail “migrate” a few days ahead of general season opening.

In 622 the elk would prefer to be on BLM, but pressure forces them to the private. Easy answer to the conundrum is limit hunter numbers on accessible and increase hunters/pressure on private.
 

tjones

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I have read it but it’s been a while. I refreshed myself, and on pg 54 it says elk may be counted on inaccessible area's.

I never stated “elk have to be counted”. I just maintain it is remiss to not count those elk.
Nope not what it says.

So you want to follow the EMP for objectives but dismiss everything else?

BTW is page 55
 

Gerald Martin

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The elk leave the public land a few days ahead of season opening. I just read Utahs study of watching elk there do the same thing. I’ve seen whitetail “migrate” a few days ahead of general season opening.

In 622 the elk would prefer to be on BLM, but pressure forces them to the private. Easy answer to the conundrum is limit hunter numbers on accessible and increase hunters/pressure on private.

I agree. Cut the number of cow tags available on public property and reduce pressure.

If landowners want elk reduced they can open access. If they don’t want to allow access that’s fine with me. Let elk numbers increase to whatever numbers they can. As long as they aren’t causing damage to the habitat and in excess of carrying capacity the more elk the better.

“Objective” is a completely arbitrary number arrived at in response to social tolerance. If landowners demonstrate a social tolerance that is higher than “objective” by the amount of access they allow then the number of elk that herd grows to should be considered “within objective.”
 

Sioux33

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Its also what the current elk plan calls for Eric. You might want to read page 55.

It’s funny (but not really) when guys like you want to follow current EMP objectives but then disregard other parts of the EMP. Things like cows only on over objective units and page 55.

Hypocrisy is not a good look on you.
This couldn't be any more spot on.

Can you imagine if there was a section in the EMP that gave landowners extra tags in over objective units? It'd the law of the land for the rest of time and we'd be told life just ain't fair.

But since page 55 doesn't line their wallets or please the billionaires pulling the strings, we're told this part of the EMP doesn't count. Hypocrisy indeed.
 

DougStickney

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We can focus on elk that are accessible in this state. My number one option then is go LE permit statewide.

Those unwilling to be “part of the solution”? Who will be designated king and define what the solution is?

We can ignore the elk on inaccessible lands, this sounds like something the current Whitehouse administration would suggest.
The solutions to the problem are not going to be easy or popular. I’ve never been very popular anyway, I just want to see a solution to the grossly over objective elk numbers. These elk are harming traditional ranch families, and I do not want to see populations wiped out with pestilence and disease. Let’s come up with a solution to get access and have hunters harvest elk, in number.
The tools are in place for landowners to manage elk. Have been for a long time. They choose not to. I grew up on a ranch it is not hard for me to see. You are out to lunch.
 

rogerthat

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People are good at coming up with solutions. The landowners that are truly getting eaten out of house and home usually figure out a solution(there are exceptions obviously). It doesn’t take that much hunting pressure with high powered rifles to move elk. The ones crying for bull tags are the ones not able to come up with a solution…think about that a little bit
 

Eric Albus

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Nope not what it says.

So you want to follow the EMP for objectives but dismiss everything else?

BTW is page 55
No, again you chose to put words where they are not. I said the EMP needs revisited.
I also have said that landowner tolerance need be considered, those who feed and house “our elk” have a little more skin in the game.
 

Eric Albus

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I agree. Cut the number of cow tags available on public property and reduce pressure.

If landowners want elk reduced they can open access. If they don’t want to allow access that’s fine with me. Let elk numbers increase to whatever numbers they can. As long as they aren’t causing damage to the habitat and in excess of carrying capacity the more elk the better.

“Objective” is a completely arbitrary number arrived at in response to social tolerance. If landowners demonstrate a social tolerance that is higher than “objective” by the amount of access they allow then the number of elk that herd grows to should be considered “within objective.”
Gerald, no argument here. The problem is keeping elk on accessible lands. In order to do that pressure must be reduced. Personally I’d rather hunt an elk or deer every 3-4 years, having a chance at a mature animal than “hope” for an elk or deer annually.
 

Ben Lamb

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The elk leave the public land a few days ahead of season opening. I just read Utahs study of watching elk there do the same thing. I’ve seen whitetail “migrate” a few days ahead of general season opening.

In 622 the elk would prefer to be on BLM, but pressure forces them to the private. Easy answer to the conundrum is limit hunter numbers on accessible and increase hunters/pressure on private.

That's not necessarily what that study found: https://news.byu.edu/intellect/stat...-for-their-own-good-and-the-good-of-the-state

It says that by mid-season 30% of the elk are on unavailable lands. This goes back to hunting pressure, not wealthy non-resident landowners who disallow hunting.
Change the pressure and you change the dislocation pattern. The refuges created by those who don't care what happens to their neighbors are a part of the problem, but the root cause is hunting pressure. Especially when we start on August 15th. Elk ain't dumb, unlike humans.

The study out of the west side of the Park through SW MT in the early 2000's showed this as well:

There's no shortage of anecdotes from the hunting community to support this, and just as I've learned in 20 years to believe what landowners are seeing, it's important to realize that hunters aren't just complaining because they see a bull on a pivot, they're complaining because they spent all season looking at elk that are safe, rather than ones they can kill. Landowners & hunters are literally complaining about the same thing, but we'd rather pick at each other over percieved slights than solve problems.
 

Gerald Martin

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Gerald, no argument here. The problem is keeping elk on accessible lands. In order to do that pressure must be reduced. Personally I’d rather hunt an elk or deer every 3-4 years, having a chance at a mature animal than “hope” for an elk or deer annually.

Me too. The point I have been trying to make all along is that in response to landowner complaints about elk, FWP has liberalized cow harvest on general tags, issued hundreds more cow licenses per unit, and lengthened seasons on both end with shoulder seasons.

That has led to over harvest of “good” elk on public land and accessible private land and driven survivors to adapt their behavior to staying primarily on sanctuary properties instead of being distributed across suitable habitat. Elk in sanctuary areas are increasing, elk on accessible areas are in drastic decline even while hunting pressure stays constant or is increasing.

Certain landowners within “over objective” units are exacerbating the problems with some allowing too much access and others not allowing any.

Landowner/outfitters attempting to leverage this situation into unlimited or increased bull tags are part of the problem, not part of the solution. Those properties that want to capitalize on selling bull hunts during regular seasons and then have herd numbers reduced on other properties in the area or on their properties in late seasons are not operating in good faith with what they claim their objectives are.


My solution is for FWP to manage elk with at least as much consideration for their customers ( license buyers) as they have for landowners. Many over objective units have such ridiculously low objectives that they are impossible to ever meet if even one large landowner denies access.

The objective number for ALL of REGION 7 is 700-800 elk!!!!!!! There are more elk than that on many individual properties in individual units across a significant portion of the state.

The problem is not elk. The problem is that elk management has become so politicized that managers are not allowed to make decisions based on what is best for the health of the resource and in the interests of the majority of shareholders.

We can find a way to forge more durable solutions between shareholders if the UPOM/MOGA segment of public trust shareholders are willing to actually help fix problems rather than leverage them for self interested gain.

Any anger and frustration that working landowners have about elk needs to be directed towards their neighbors and the access policies they have that determine how many elk are in a unit, not towards FWP and hunters.

No doubt hunter behavior and respect for landowners’ property needs to improve. I understand completely if a landowner would rather deal with elk than hunters and wants to deny access. But the logic trade off of that decision is more elk in an area.
 
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brocksw

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@Eric Albus , serious question for you.
You (and others) have talked about the fact that private land owners are "feeding" and "housing" the elk and they are bearing the brunt of the "cost" for wildlife. I don't necessarily dispute that, but it's completely circumstantial. Some landowners (including yourself) have effectively translated that into, "there would be no elk if it wasn't for us" and then used that to try and gain more powerful seats at the decision making table. Obviously, I'm paraphrasing there with that short statement, but I'm very curious as to how that point of view evolved. The truth is there were 30+ million bison roaming the great plains before the "cowboy" showed up. Huge, native herds of sheep, elk, pronghorn, etc stretching from the Mississippi to the Mountain west.

Why do some ranchers have this inflated sense of importance when it comes to these discussions and their role with wildlife? Because, as I see it, the wildlife were here first. The introduction of humans (at least on a large scale) has had an overall net negative impact on their populations and habitat as a whole. We're not just talking cities, but ranching and ag operations too. I'd argue mono crop ag has destroyed more wildlife habitat than any single sector of industry on earth, some of those acres are directly tied to ranching operations. Just because a guy on a wagon showed up 150 years ago and decided he was going to ranch/farm right in the middle of their habitat, doesn't automatically make him essential to wildlife.

But that's the message some of these landowners try to push, yourself included. Is that a message or talking point MOGA, UPOM, or the grazing associations have pushed onto ranchers? Was this an indoctrination of sorts, within the ranching community, say from your dad/grandpa?

I bring this up because to me this is where the conversation starts to go sideways. A fundamental difference in perspective around the core dynamics of the human wildlife relationship. An amnesia when it comes to a ranchers relationship with wildlife. Wildlife doesn't rely on private landowners as much as private landowners rely on the landscape that the wildlife have been on forever. It's no coincidence that the best ranges for moo cows was feeding elk and deer for centuries before the cowboys put on a cowboy hat.

The conflicts come when a rancher decides that the native critters are hurting his bottom line. That's where the rancher is trying to exert control over the wildlife (public resource) and monetize it or destroy it to increase his profits. I'm not begrudging landowners as a whole demographic, but don't you think this leveraging of influence based on "I'm essential to wildlife because I control land they live on" is little bit disingenuous and lacking perspective? Especially when, in many cases, the only reason you "control" it, is because your great great grandpa settled there or bought it (no thanks to you) however many decades or centuries ago?
 
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