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Rich Hunters

There are some implied assumptions in this thread I would like to challenge.

-If you are a guide you are not necessarily wealthy or looking to monopolize the market. Expatriate, your example of Ted Turner locking up land and locking out regular hunters is a good one. However Ted cannot by most any measure be considered a typical guide.

-Guides prices are not necessarily outlandish. Many guide's prices are sub $3k, which is roughly the cost of a top-of-the-line computer these days. If you want to do a drop-camp (they just dump you some place), the cost is even less.

-If you use a guide you are not necessarily lazy or unskilled. For instance, if you draw an out of state dall sheep tag in Alaska, you are required by state law to use a guide. Furthermore, guides offer an entry path to hunting to those that did not grow up with a hunting heritage. Any process that creates new hunters has value to all hunters.

-Most guides are ranching/farming converts, looking to use their land to earn money. This is particularly true in Texas where the ratio of private to public land holdings is much higher than other states. Arguably, this is a bad thing for regular hunters, since they must pay to gain access. However, taken from the other angle, is it wrong for someone who homestead land to want to make a buck off of it? Delicate issue, I admit.

Personally, I think the existence of guides has nothing to do with the cost of hunting. Except in two cases:

-Regions like AK, where you may be required to use a guide if you are coming from out-of-state.

-Regions where private to public land holding ratios are high.

expatriate's picture
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Rich Hunters

I guess I should've been clearer on the Ted Turner issue. I had elaborated more on my previous post. I know Ted isn't a guide. My statement about him monopolizing the sport was based on the empire he's building in Montana and flat-out refusal to allow anyone to hunt on his land. I realize that's his right, but the issue of offering to trade 12k acres of his land to the state in return for 6k acres of excellent public-access fishing waters has me concerned.

It bothers me that he's sewing up large tracts of Montana land for himself, but I get really concerned when he tries to make deals to take prime sportsman property away from the public for his personal use.

That's my issue -- not whether Ted's a guide, but that he moved into Montana and is trying to make it his personal fiefdom. That kind of mentality doesn't sit well with Montanans, who believe that newcomers to the state should adapt to the state's culture, not expect the entire state to adapt to theirs. Peter Fonda, Dennis Quaid, and the Bridges Brothers are pretty good examples of this; they've been in Montana for years and have integrated well with society. However, there are others like Ted and Jane (well, just Ted now) that move up there and decide that all the natives have to conform to their view of the world.

So I don't have anything at all against wealth. The issue is people who use their wealth to shut out everyone else.

[ This Message was edited by: expatriate on 2002-11-06 16:34 ]

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Rich Hunters

I agree with you Expatriate. Whether it is Ted Turner today or the oil and railroad barons of yesteryear, the issue of those with copious amounts of wealth locking out those without sufficent funds is a real one. It is exactly the issue that spawned the national park system.

Americans tend (not all, but most) to hold that the land is something of the people, and anytime public land is threatened, hackles go up.

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Rich Hunters

So here's a topic, moderator:

Are modern environmentalists acting like the old oil and railroad barons, locking up the land for themselves?

I'm thinking specifically of all of the forest service roads that have been closed or obliterated, off-road ATV prohibitions, etc.

It seems the objective of the environmentalists is to cut off access to everyone but young, physically fit backpackers who can afford the equipment. The policies they're pursuing are effectively eliminating access for senior citizens, the handicapped, and the poor.

Given yesterday's election, it seems like now's the time to lobby the Department of Agriculture to reverse some of those Clinton-era restrictions on National Forest access.

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Rich Hunters

That is an interesting topic Expatriate, one that certainly has merit. I would like to read people's opinions on this one.

Please start a new thread for this topic (it may get lost being in the "Rich Hunter" thread). Please elborate on the access restrictions for everybodies sake (including mine) if you have some info readily available (links).

[ This Message was edited by: moderator on 2002-11-06 17:04 ]

cob
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Rich Hunters

I'm all for people making a buck. I don't think anybody was saying anything bad about guides. On that subject I just don't think it would be as fun or rewarding to take a guided hunt. I also don't think anybody has anything against people that dish out the money to go on the hunts. I'm with expatriate in that I think prices are higher because there are weathly people that are paying them and I don't like seeing the ted turners that are basically monopolizing hunting and helping turn it into a rich man's sport. Like I said i'm all for making a buck but he doesn't need all that land. I didn't know he owned that much of montana. I guess i only hear about what's happening a little closer to home, New Mexico. I don't remember the numbers but the percentage of NM that he owns is shocking/disgusting. He could do something more useful with his money.
moderator, 3k IS a lot to pay for a guided hunt. i realize that usually includes meals and a place to stay and when its all said and done, if you were going to stay in the same accomodations it's probably not that much more. It doesn't stop with that 3k though, you still have to buy a tag and pay for transportation. I know i'm probably stingier than average but I when i travel i bring my own bologna and sleep in a tent or my pickup.

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Rich Hunters

Here's the scoop on Ted.

Ted Turner owns 14 ranches, two of them in Argentina. All told, they add up to 1.8 million acres. He owns over 1,700 square miles of New Mexico -- 1.5 percent of the state.

He owns more land than any other private citizen in the US.

Oh, and I was wrong. Apparently he is willing to allow occasional hunts for those of the aristocracy willing to pay the price.

Good reading here:
http://www.americanprowler.com/article.asp?art_id=2002_4_9_23_17_4

[ This Message was edited by: expatriate on 2002-11-06 21:53 ]

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Rich Hunters

One of the interesting things about the concept of public land and public game is that it is pretty much communist. If game management was capitalist, hunting would always go to the highest offer.

Now before anyone jumps on me for sparking a red scare, please consider the U.S. loves private management on nearly everything, even when it stands a good chance of turning out sour (telcom deregulation, power deregulation in CA (Enron)). However lots of people agree that the land is the people's and is best managed by the government, this is in essence "community" management, not capitalism.

I agree that $3k is high to go hunting. But it is probably not unreasonable if you are asking somebody to feed you, drive you around, get your tags, find game, pack your game, butcher your game, and perhaps even process your game.

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Rich Hunters

Holy Smokes! :eek:

1.5% of NM! I had no idea, you weren't kidding Cob.

[ This Message was edited by: bitmasher on 2002-11-06 22:01 ]

expatriate's picture
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Rich Hunters

Yep, in increasing parts of the country it isn't the people's land -- it's Ted's land.

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