Wyo Wildlife Task Force and the new outfitter/landowner draw proposal

WIbiggame

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I don’t mind the raising of prices to a point, but we collectively as hunters and conservationists are going to have to figure out a sustainable long term solution to the cost/opportunity equation or we will continue to barrel down a path I think leads to fewer and fewer people being able to afford to be involved in hunting and therefore having any reason to care about conservation.

I understand where you are coming from here and agree with it that we need to all work together and find that happy place.

But, do you really think hunters are getting priced out of hunting as a whole? Maybe, moving towards more getting priced out of some western hunting I can see, but plenty of other opportunities.

As an example anyone can decide to come to WI as a NR on a whim and buy deer tags OTC for $160 gets you a buck tag and depending on area up to 2 doe tags. Doe tags (dependent on area) can be bought unlimited for $20 a tag.

I know western hunting is the dream of everyone on this forum myself included, however I would venture a guess that the majority on here from the east spend most of their time chasing deer. So if western hunting prices out some people they won't be leaving the sport all together imo. They might not just be chasing game out west but can find plenty of affortable hunting elsewhere.

Again not disagreeing at all but I think saying a state raising its tag prices will be the end of hunting is a bit of stretch.

I have my personal price point in my head and when it hits that it will be a sad day hanging up my western dreams. Until that day comes though I will be saving the $5.48 a day it takes for a WY special draw application if they raise them to $2000.
 

WIbiggame

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It’s the big picture trend. The frog is in the pot.

I agree with everything you said very slippery slope we might already have a foot sliding down.

Another question that I have been trying to wrap my head around. Will states increasing prices hurt western hunting numbers more or less than the day CO does away with OTC?
 

Shangobango

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I understand where you are coming from here and agree with it that we need to all work together and find that happy place.

But, do you really think hunters are getting priced out of hunting as a whole? Maybe, moving towards more getting priced out of some western hunting I can see, but plenty of other opportunities.

As an example anyone can decide to come to WI as a NR on a whim and buy deer tags OTC for $160 gets you a buck tag and depending on area up to 2 doe tags. Doe tags (dependent on area) can be bought unlimited for $20 a tag.

I know western hunting is the dream of everyone on this forum myself included, however I would venture a guess that the majority on here from the east spend most of their time chasing deer. So if western hunting prices out some people they won't be leaving the sport all together imo. They might not just be chasing game out west but can find plenty of affortable hunting elsewhere.

Again not disagreeing at all but I think saying a state raising its tag prices will be the end of hunting is a bit of stretch.

I have my personal price point in my head and when it hits that it will be a sad day hanging up my western dreams. Until that day comes though I will be saving the $5.48 a day it takes for a WY special draw application if they raise them to $2000.

I am not saying Wyoming raising it’s prices is going to be the end of anything. I think a lot of the prices States are charging are probably much lower than they could be or even should be. But there comes a point where tag and license prices become cost prohibitive for some. The higher the price, the more people that get priced out.

I am not talking non-resident vs. resident here either. Eventually resident prices will go up too. There will be whining and there will be people that throw in the towel. I saw it this year in Louisiana where we raised our resident prices by a small amount and a large segment of the hunting population here lost their shit and decried big government and screamed about how they shouldn’t have to pay anything to hunt their wildlife on their public land. It all belongs to them you know and upkeep, enforcement, and maintenance, well that is just free…I digress.

What I am talking about is a much bigger picture and overall trend toward less quality opportunity at a higher cost.

I’ll use my home state as an example again here. As the demand and therefore price to lease land has risen over the last 20 years more and more people become priced out. A certain number of those people just get out because they don’t want to hunt public land. Many others move to public land which then becomes overcrowded. The quality of the experience suffers. More people get out. If the managing agency recognizes this they should probably cut opportunity on the overcrowded public land in order to manage the resource. People get out. (LDWF has not and won’t do this until it gets so bad that the “I shouldn’t have to pay to hunt public land” crowd actually stops paying.)

What is happening with license sales in a lot of the east will eventually make it to the west. This isn’t all due to access and opportunity but a certain percentage is.

I am not an expert on the NAM but I know enough to realize that once a certain point is reached and enough stakeholders become disenfranchised for whatever reason, the whole system breaks down. I don’t think we are there yet and maybe aren’t even close, but I think we are heading down the path.
 

SAJ-99

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I am not an expert on the NAM but I know enough to realize that once a certain point is reached and enough stakeholders become disenfranchised for whatever reason, the whole system breaks down.
I’m no expert on the NAM either, but it seems odd people keep bringing it up. The NAM was created at a time game was disappearing and it looked like there would be nothing left. I’m not sure the NAM was designed around making sure any person could hunt at a reasonable price. The problem we are talking about here is unrelated to a lack of game. It is about cost and “dividing the pie” because the population has growth to such a point the demand for permits is greater than the supply. Different solutions will be required for that than what were required for the era of the NAM.
 

Shangobango

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I’m no expert on the NAM either, but it seems odd people keep bringing it up. The NAM was created at a time game was disappearing and it looked like there would be nothing left. I’m not sure the NAM was designed around making sure any person could hunt at a reasonable price. The problem we are talking about here is unrelated to a lack of game. It is about cost and “dividing the pie” because the population has growth to such a point the demand for permits is greater than the supply. Different solutions will be required for that than what were required for the era of the NAM.

I don’t agree with the premise that the problem we are talking about is unrelated to the lack of game. If there was plenty of game to go around this whole conversation would not be taking place.

If the supply exceeded the demand we wouldn’t be talking about allocations and pyramid schemes, err point systems.

If there was plenty of access to habitat that holds the game we are after we wouldn’t be talking about public land access and habitat conservation.

Maintaing and adaption of the NAM is the point of the whole conversation.
 

bullbugle307

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Are people really going to stop caring about conservation even if they actually do get priced out of hunting antlered big game out of state? If that's the case, I guess wild sheep are already screwed.

I understand fully that hunting provides a personal incentive and can definitely increase a person's desire to conserve a species, or a landscape. But man, it's kinda depressing to hear hunters say they won't care anymore if they can't hunt something with antlers out of state.

Another point I keep hearing in this thread is that more money to the agencies isn't going to benefit the resource. Are these the same agencies that we claim are better suited to manage grizzly bears and wolves than the feds? At some point it seems like hunters are crafting arguments just to support getting what they want, rather than crafting arguments based on sincerely held beliefs.
 
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SAJ-99

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I don’t agree with the premise that the problem we are talking about is unrelated to the lack of game. If there was plenty of game to go around this whole conversation would not be taking place.
We will have to disagree. You may not like where the game is located, but there are certainly more big game animals today than when NAM was created.
 

Shangobango

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We will have to disagree. You may not like where the game is located, but there are certainly more big game animals today than when NAM was created.

Yup, we will have to disagree.

Mule deer declining across most of their range- check

Pronghorn declining across a good portion of their range- check

Widespread habitat declines across most of Notth America - check

Sage Grouse in trouble- check

Widespread wild turkey declines in the east and midwest- check

Etc., Etc., Etc. I could go on for pages.

The fact that there are more big game animals now compared to tbe lowest point in human history seems irrelevant.
 

SO7mm

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Are people really going to stop caring about conservation even if they actually do get priced out of hunting antlered big game out of state? If that's the case, I guess wild sheep are already screwed.

I understand fully that hunting provides a personal incentive and can definitely increase a person's desire to conserve a species, or a landscape. But man, it's kinda depressing to hear hunters say they won't care anymore if they can't hunt something with antlers out of state.

Another point I keep hearing in this thread is that more money to the agencies isn't going to benefit the resource. Are these the same agencies that we claim are better suited to manage grizzly bears and wolves than the feds? At some point it seems like hunters are crafting arguments just to support getting what they want, rather than crafting arguments based on sincerely held beliefs.
I don't think people who care about conservation are going to stop caring but don't we all have limitations on our time and finances? If I do more duck hunting and trout fishing this year because I didn't draw an elk or mule deer tag it seems like it will be easier for TROUT, DU or California Waterfowl to get my money than it will be for RMEF or MDF. I could be wrong but part of why I get so much mail from all of the above organizations (with the exception of MDF) is because they are competing against each other for my attention and dollars.
 

Shangobango

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And just to be real here, if I was coming at this from a perspective of self interest I would be advocating for raising license prices by 500%. Hell, make it 1000%, better for me.

When it reaches that point though there will be a very small subset of the population that will be able to participate and an even smaller subset that gives a hang about conservation.

Pretending the average American is going to advocate for and work to conserve things they have no access to is some pie in the sky thinking IMO.
It is not about hunters just magically not caring anymore, it is about people having no reason to care in the first place.

Anyway, I won’t derail this discussion any further. I am just glad that the dang outfitter set asides got killed. That is a win. I am already prepping for two weeks in Wyoming this fall chasing mule deer in new country DIY style. I am appreciative as hell to the residents of Wyoming for allowing me the opportunity.
 

ShootsManyBullets

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If we give crackheads money will they stop buying crack?

Are we certain that giving more money to the wildlife agencies will actually do any good? Or are we just buying new trucks, nicer offices, paying higher wages and trying to catch up with under funded pension plans?

I see tag fees going up but the hunting isn't getting better. Montana being case in point. Has Wyoming's hunting gotten better since the last price increase?

I guess I missed the day when everything turned into a money conversation with wildlife and who we can get more money from. As of now NR subsidize hunting for R hunters in Wyoming and that's ok, but if this is so important R's should probably put in some more funding to improve their resource too. If it's really about the resource and all.
 

bullbugle307

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I certainly said nothing of the sort.
Wasn't directed at you. A couple other people have said something to that sort.

Below is also not directed at you, but the group who think license increases are a waste.

Has Wyoming hunting got better since the last increase. No. I'll give you that. Is that a good metric to judge it on. Absolutely not. That's a stupid metric to judge things on frankly.

How about this, would the decline have been worse, better, or the same with no funding increase vs a funding increase. And again, are these the same supposedly good for nothing agencies we claim would be better suited to manage grizzly bears?
 
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SAJ-99

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Yup, we will have to disagree.

Mule deer declining across most of their range- check

Pronghorn declining across a good portion of their range- check

Widespread habitat declines across most of Notth America - check

Sage Grouse in trouble- check

Widespread wild turkey declines in the east and midwest- check

Etc., Etc., Etc. I could go on for pages.

The fact that there are more big game animals now compared to tbe lowest point in human history seems irrelevant.
I’m not debating the recent trend in mule deer or pronghorn populations. The core of this thread is arguing R/NR splits and the cost to each, and the invocation of the NAM as some justification for or against the proposals.
 

SAJ-99

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That doesn’t mean the concept of public trust is no longer germane.
Agree, but public trust has never meant free, or cheap, or anything related to cost. The first reference I can find for WY tags is in the hunter Ed site. The hunting license in 1907 was $2 for a resident and $50 for a NR. That seems pretty expensive for the time.
 

TOGIE

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I don’t think anyone was arguing more money to the resource via game agencies is bad….

Raising prices with the hope, intent, the wish, to price people out is bad.

That’s probably something Sy would like to see.

I don’t know why but me saying such a thing will really work people up and put very odd ideas and interpretations about what I’m saying in their head. The darndest thing…
 

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