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Location: Paris, Arkansas
Joined: 07/20/2008
Posts: 5
National Forest, non-resident hunting license???

Should non-resident hunters have to pay more to hunt in a National Forest? My buddy said yes, because we can afford it and that keeps the woods from being to crowded. The example is that if not a single person in Montana paid one cent of federal tax and someone from Arkansas who pays a federal tax wants to hunt Montana, he/she would have to play the point system to hunt or hire an outfitter($3500?) and pay up to three times as much just for the permit as a local, even though the local hunter never contributed one cent of revenue to pay for the management in the National Forest and all other 49 states did. We had this talk with other hunters and our outfitter in Montana last November during our Elk/Deer combo hunt. But before someone RIPS me a new one, for my defense I haven't done the homework on where state and federal revenues are broken down and allocated for National Forest. But if it is only federal money and everyone hunting National Forest only had to pay a set price Nation wide I think local economies would boost, permits are limited so the number of hunters wouldn't increase. My bottom line is these hunts wouldn't be for the rich or the guy like me who saved and broke into his little girls piggy bank.

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buffybr's picture
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Location: Montana, USA
Joined: 11/15/2007
Posts: 315
National Forest, non-resident hunting license???

I don't follow the logic in your example. Montana residents pay state and federal income taxes just like residents of most other states. This tax money goes into the State and Federal Treasuries.

The National Forest Service manages the land (or used to before the environmentalists and judges got into the act), and the Forest Service is funded by Congress. The funds come out of the Federal Treasury. Other than occasional special cooperative projects, no state monies are used to fund National Forests.

The State manages the game animals through the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, and is funded primarily through license sales. Montana residents also must buy hunting licenses and tags, although the resident cost is less than the non-resident cost -- just like they are in every other state or Canadian Provence.

Montana is a big state, and unless I shoot an elk in my backyard (which I've done), I will incur the same food, lodging and fuel cost as a non-resident when I hunt in another part of the state. There is no difference there to the local economies.

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Location: Paris, Arkansas
Joined: 07/20/2008
Posts: 5
National Forest, non-resident hunting license???

I know Montana residents pay federal income tax. My example I was trying to make was if Montana didn't pay federal taxes or Colorado or any other state with national forest, the hunting permits for non-resident in those states would still be much higher. If everyone pays federal income tax and hunts on federal land why do prices of hunting permits vary? Should a hunter be able to hunt federal property anywhere for a set price in any state? If the state manages the game animals on federal property using state funds then I can understand the reasoning, but if it was all federaly funded then I should be able to hunt in the Bitter Root, MT and you should be able to hunt in the Dry Creek wilderness, AR area with set prices not non-resident prices. But as you wrote the state does manage with permit sales so the rest is logic. As for the economy non-resident people tend to spend more money at local stores and restourants when there is a little extra money. Last but not least how much would you charge to hunt off your back porch??[

buffybr's picture
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Location: Montana, USA
Joined: 11/15/2007
Posts: 315
National Forest, non-resident hunting license???

ELKNUTZ, I know what you're saying. I've hunted as a nonresident in Wyoming, Alaska, and Canada (NWT). Nonresident license fees have skyrocketed in the last few years, especially for premium animals like sheep. Then you have Wyoming that requires nonresidents to hunt with a guide in Federal Wilderness areas. They say it's for the safety of the hunter, but it's really only to support the guide industry. I've just about been priced out of the nonresident hunting game.

As for the elk off my back porch, the county road in front of my house is a hunting unit boundary, across the road (private land) is cows only, my side is brow tined bulls only. In 30 years, I've only shot two bulls off my porch. Not real good odds, especially for someone from Arkansas.

Bull Buster's picture
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Location: Nebraska
Joined: 10/12/2007
Posts: 167
National Forest, non-resident hunting license???

buffybr, Wyoming requiring a non res to hire a guide makes me laugh. If you wanted to go hiking or fishing in a wilderness area you don't need a guide. I would love to see someone with a little money go in there on their own and see the case go to a federal court. I don't think the law would hold any water.

buffybr's picture
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Location: Montana, USA
Joined: 11/15/2007
Posts: 315
National Forest, non-resident hunting license???

BullBuster wrote:

Quote:
Wyoming requiring a non res to hire a guide makes me laugh. If you wanted to go hiking or fishing in a wilderness area you don't need a guide.

My point exactly! They are the only state in the nation with this stupid law, and it's only benefit is to the outfitting business.

Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/09/2006
Posts: 260
National Forest, non-resident hunting license???

The law is stupid and does directly Benesfit Outfitters but since a few people have sued and lost it will be a tough law to over turn.

You can hike fish and hunt small game in a wilderness area but you can not hunt big game without a resident guide or outfitter or licensed guide.

From the Wyoming Game and Fish Web site.

Wyoming statute says nonresidents must have a licensed guide or resident companion to hunt big or trophy game in national forest wilderness areas. The resident companion will need to get a free non-commercial guide license from a Game and Fish office. The law does not prohibit nonresidents from hiking, fishing or hunting game birds or coyotes in wilderness areas. Only nonresident big and trophy game hunters must have a licensed guide or resident companion

http://legisweb.state.wy.us/statutes/titles/Title23/T23CH2AR4.htm

ARTICLE 4 - GUIDES AND OUTFITTERS

23-2-401.?Guides required; exceptions; issuance of resident guide license.

(a)? No nonresident shall hunt big or trophy game animals on any designated wilderness area, as defined by federal or state law, in this state unless accompanied by a licensed professional guide or a resident guide. There shall be at least one (1) licensed professional guide or resident guide accompanying each two (2) nonresident hunters. The commission may also specify other areas of the state, or specific big or trophy game species, for which a licensed professional or resident guide is required for nonresidents, for purposes of proper game management, protection of hunter welfare and safety, or better enforcement of game and fish laws. The commission may allow licensed guides to accompany more than two (2) hunters but no more than six (6) hunters in specific areas.

Any person violating this section is guilty of a misdemeanor as prescribed under W.S. 23-2-417(a).

The Minium Fine is $110 and a misdemeanor charge for a first offense for a Non Resident caught hunting a wilderness area for Big game with out a Reisdent guide, Licensed Outfitter or a Licensed Guide.

Here are some quotes by people from another hunting site where we were discussing the same issue.

Quote by Huck58 on a another hunting site

You are not forced to hire a guide, you can go with a resident, he can simply get a guide license for friends or family and go along. I think they are even free.

Your constitutional rights have nothing to do with hiring guides or even hunting, hunting is a privelege granted by each state. The 10th amendement guarentees, states rights, and the state has the right to dictate hunting or fishing with in its boundaries.

Quote by BuzzH:form another hunting site we were discussing this same topic

1. Wyoming has the right to manage its big-game as they see fit. Wyoming could decide to not even allow NR hunting at all and be within its states rights.

2. The arguement that you are being "excluded" from using federal lands (wilderness) is also wrong. Nobody is keeping you out of any wilderness. Its about controlling where you can legally hunt the STATES big-game. You have full access to the land...just not the wildlife.

For the record the Reid bill covers that in detail:

Senate BILL S. 2978 Non-Resident Hunters Take Note

(Don Causey Note: The following bill has been introduced by Senator Henry Reid of Nevada. It would allow Western States to issue permits to whomever they wish, even eliminating non-residents permits altogether.)

108th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 2978 Relating to State regulation of access to hunting and fishing.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

October 11, 2004

Mr. REID (for himself, Mr. NELSON of Nebraska, Mr. BAUCUS, Mr. BURNS, Mr. STEVENS and Mr. ENSIGN) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A BILL

Relating to State regulation of access to hunting and fishing.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. STATE REGULATION OF ACCESS TO HUNTING AND FISHING.

(a) DECLARATION OF POLICY- Congress hereby declares that--

(1) the continued regulation of access to hunting and fishing by the several States is in the public interest; and

(2) silence on the part of Congress shall not be construed to impose any commerce clause barrier to the regulation of such activities by the several States.

(b) STATE REGULATION OF ACCESS TO HUNTING AND FISHING- The licensing of hunting and fishing, or of other access thereto, and every person engaged in hunting or fishing, shall be subject to the laws of the several States which relate to the regulation of such activities.

(c) CONSTRUCTION- No Act of Congress shall be construed to invalidate, impair, or supersede any law enacted by any State for the purpose of regulating the access to hunting and fishing unless such Act specifically so states

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