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Centennial's picture
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Location: Front Range, CO
Joined: 10/12/2006
Posts: 55
Colorado fee increases and Preference point system

I would like to hear your thoughts on Colorados new fee increases for 2006; Habitat Stamp, Education Surcharge, and especially the change to the Preference point system. Having reflected on the changes for the last 6 months, I thought I ought to see what the world thinks.

Centennial

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Location: Palisade, Colorado
Joined: 10/10/2005
Posts: 134
Colorado fee increases and Preference point system

Centennial,
I think the resident license increase was long overdue. The cost of doing business keeps going up, and since license fees are the main income for the DOW, prices were in need of adjustment. I can't think of any other form of entertainment that costs me less than $50. I personally think licenses are still a great deal.
As far as the preference point change, I think you are talking about the point banking program. I am astounded that people are burning preference points on a unit that is less desirable to them. To me that just means the tag that I have been holding out for is just that much farther away. It will be interesting to hear what others are thinking and how people are feeling about using the point banking system after the seasons have come and gone.
The only other PP change I can think of is the charging of $25 for a preference point for applicants who are not hunting and just building points. IMO that fee is way too small. The people that are building points and not hunting are not doing anything to fund management of the herds.

Centennial's picture
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Location: Front Range, CO
Joined: 10/12/2006
Posts: 55
Colorado fee increases and Preference point system

Peanut, thanks for the perspective. I agree that dollar for dollar, the cost of a license is still a great deal. Although it’s getting very expensive for a guy with a family to apply for deer, elk, antelope, sheep and occasionally something else. I am disappointed about the “habitat tax”. It seems like a devious way to get a little additional income out of the hunter although small compared to the overall cost of a family hunting trip.

As for the PPs, I have a different view. I thought the PP plan was working as designed. This allows people to plan in some cases years in advance to hunt. I’m in the military. I know that my next opportunity to hunt in my home of record, Colorado, may not be for a couple of years. Now I have to spend the extra money just to ensure that I get a license when my narrow window of opportunity presents itself.

If the DOW thinks there is a PP banking problem, they could easily give applicants the option to burn a specified number of their points for a license; similar to what they did this year. If a guy has 8 PPs but just wants to hunt a cow one year, he is not going to blow all 8 on a cow license but may be willing to use 1 or 2 and save the others for a rainy day. Over time this will allow the bank accounts will dwindle to a reasonable level.

Ironically, all I have to do to continue to “bank” an elk PP is to apply for a unit that requires many more PPs to draw than I already have, like unit 2, as a first choice. I will get the PP and avoid the “fee”. The number of PPs it will take to get a license in unit 2 will truly go to unbelievable levels once people figure this out. Maybe in the cases where the number of PPs to get a license is greater than 5 or 6 they ought to do the same thing they do with sheep. X amount to get in then luck of the weighted draw after that. It’s hard to plan that way though.

Given the glaring loophole, this rule was not thought through at all. This is truly horrible staff work. It’s difficult not to cynically believe the real mission was to generate additional income. They did this by blaming a fictional or at best minor problem allowing them to build a solution which generates, according to their estimates, almost 4 million in additional revenue.

The bigger problem is the demand (hunters) is greater than the supply (licenses). Adjusting the PP system doesn’t address this; especially considering the work around is so simple. In fact, the new rules will exasperate the problem many fold in the choice units. What to do!

Centennial

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 10/19/2006
Posts: 1
Colorado fee increases and Preference point system

Centennial,

I am not 100% sure on this but I don't think you can avoid a fee just by applying in a Unit where you stand no chance of drawing a tag. The only way you get your point for free is to buy some sort of annual license (small game, fishing, etc.) the previous year or have purchased an elk tag the previous year. And just because 1000 hunters who have a couple points apply for Unit 2, it will not make it any more difficult for the hunters with 13 points to get the tag. The drawing starts at the highest point total and works it's way down so the sheer number of applicants with very few points has nothing to do with it. And banking is allowed for the first time in 2006 on a trial basis. I think banking is a good idea.

The money on the habitat stamp doesn't bother me but the mechanics and logistics do. If you are an out-of-stater or someone out for a day trip and you drive by an SWA, you can't use it unless you drive to town and get a stamp or already have the stamp. At least at a State Park you can buy a day pass on the spot.

And the demand is obviously greater than the supply in the primo units but not State-wide...many tags go unpurchased. Remember, the DOW's first concern is the preservation of their jobs. That is only natural and most people can understand that since all of our paychecks are pretty important. So the SALE and the quantity of the licenses is priority. The DOW doesn't really care if you harvest an animal or whether you hunt at all as long as you bought a license. Their income is PRIMARILY from the sale of licenses.

I do not always agree with the DOW but I will admit they they have a tough job and will NEVER make everyone happy. They know this and that's why they do what they want, regardless of public input. The only way I can deal with it personally is to learn as much as I can about the system and try to stay ahead of most of the hunters who don't or won't make the effort. Brick Wall,)

Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/09/2006
Posts: 260
Colorado fee increases and Preference point system

Peanut64 I have to agree with you i hate to saw it but Hunting is going ot bea rich mans sport but the money it takes to run the Game in fish has to come from somewhere

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Location: Pennsylvania
Joined: 10/28/2003
Posts: 1647
Colorado fee increases and Preference point system

Can't you just apply for a preferance point? I'm in a lottery to draw a very dificult tag and I need at least 4 more points before I get it. I havent even started to plan the hunt because I know it's too far in the future but when I have enough points to draw the tag I can then apply for a "kill tag" instead of another point and if I can't make it that season I can just apply for another point and wait till next season.

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Location: Southern NH
Joined: 09/13/2006
Posts: 380
Habitat stamp

I'm not a CO resident but it looks like the Habitat stamp is just another way to generate income. I agree that the money has to come from somewhere. It looks like the non-hunters will also have to pony up some cash to help defray the costs. I guess I'm for that in selfish way. The resident costs for licenses does not appear to be too far out of line considering the species you can hunt for. I know I spend a little less than $100 a year for all of my tags in NH. That's small game, (1) deer, (1) bear, (2) turkeys, no pheasants (that's another $16), no moose (that's $100 additional if you're successful in the draw with odds of about 25:1).

As far as the preference point system changes, I think they may benefit me a little. I have been gathering preference points since my last blackpowder hunt. I think I have 5 or 6, not sure. I am hoping to save my points for a quality hunt when my boys get older. Due to "point creep" I'm not sure that will happen for a looong, loooong time. Allowing hunters to use some of their points w/o losing all of them may keep "point creep" to a more resonable level or make it worse. Time will tell. I'd like to do another blackpowder hunt, but don't want to use up all of my points for it. I think it will take a couple of years to see what it will really do.

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Location: Pennsylvania
Joined: 10/28/2003
Posts: 1647
Colorado fee increases and Preference point system

I don't think there should be any question that the general public need to "pony up" for wildlife. For as long as there was a fish and (game) department in NJ (They changed game to wildlife a few years ago to be more politicaly correct!) the hunters and fishermen paid for, through license sales, all wildlife. Even the endangered species and for protection of non game animals. That includes enforcement of the laws to protect them and to fight off law suits from the anti hunters. With the onslaught of law suits in the past 10-15 years the fish and game depts financial resources have been depleated (when I took the hunter education course in 1985, the division of fish and game was very proud of the fact that it was the only state run organization that was self funded and didn't need any help from the general fund. It was completely funded through sales of hunting and fishing licenses) now they need to get money from the general fund to help pay for all the wildlife related issues and to constantly fight the anti's at every turn. Not only do the anti's not realize how much they hurt the resource by trying to manage it emotionaly and not scientificly. They are wasting EVERYONE'S tax dollars to boot!

Centennial's picture
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Location: Front Range, CO
Joined: 10/12/2006
Posts: 55
Colorado fee increases and Preference point system

Toughshed, I re read the regulations and I think you are right. Hunter777, basically any PP will cost you $25 unless you have a small game, fishing, combination, or a license from last year for the same species you are applying for this year. So basically, the DOW has guaranteed themselves the $25 from people who didn’t “pay to play” last year. I still cant view this as anything other than a self imposed pay increase, congress style. I also agree that the DOWs primary concern is self; a departure form the division in the 70s and 80s and I suppose an indicator of our times. If the residents don’t like the way the DOW operates, we always have a voice via our elected officials. Anyway, if banking were the true problem, there are many solutions other than the fee; such as whet they did this year.

I agree that the DOW is certainly in a tough position long term revenue wise since they don’t take any money form the general fund. The only options are to charge more for their services (bite the hand that feeds them) or cut back staff. I guess we now know their long term strategy for survival. Hunter777, in a way the general public contributes to the DOW when they purchase items covered under the Pittman-Robertson act. At least it’s something.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts, I enjoyed reading them while I’m stuck at home today. I enjoy a good discussion

Centennial

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Location: Pennsylvania
Joined: 10/28/2003
Posts: 1647
Colorado fee increases and Preference point system

$25 per point!.....too rich for my blood. sad

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