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COMeatHunter's picture
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Wyoming does a great job

Wyoming does a great job providing public access to private lands through several programs.  To an out-of-state hunter these programs are of huge benefit and truly make a big positive difference in the overall hunting experience.  I support fee increases needed to continue to make Wyoming a great hunting destination.  But fee increases of ~50% for non-resident deer and antelope seem a bit steep.

I haven't been too engaged in Wyoming's discussion (and it may be too late to engage now) but certainly other options are available to help increase revenues without putting so much emphasis on the non-residents.

In all fairness to Wyoming's Fish and Game department, I would support a fee increase to continue the current level of hunting and access.  BUT, please find creative ways to increase revenues without sticking it to the non-residents.

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lic fee increase

this proposal keeps base fees the same and is an optional increase for res and non res applicants. read it again

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OK, I re-read your proposal

OK, I re-read your proposal above.  My mistake, my previous comment was mostly directed toward the published tentative fee increases on the Wyoming Fish & Game website, not the proposal above.

After re-reading your proposal I think it will fail in 2 significant areas.  The first and most significant is the assumption that most current applicants would be willing to pay an additional fee for 2nd, 3rd and 4th choices.  Why would I pay an additional fee, essentially making my 4th choice hunt the most expensive tag in my application?  As an out-of-state hunter, I would simply eliminate additional choices beyond my 1st choice and "wait my turn".  If other applicants share my opinion, then your finanacial projections are pretty much garbage.  Of course, some hunters will make additional choices, but assuming everyone who made additional choices in 2012 would do so again and pay significantly higher fees to do so is probably not valid.

The second area I think this proposal falls short is in obtaining preference points for future years.  From what I can decipher from the above proposal, if you submit additional choices you lose your preference point "gained" in the draw.  Again, why would I pay more to submit additional choices and then lose my ability to get a preference point if I didn't draw my first choice?  It's kind of like using my preference point for a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th choice hunt rather than wait in line for next year.  That's a disincentive to submit additional choices if you ask me.

Not that I like the significant increases in fees that are published on the Fish & Game website for non-residents, but I would prefer those straight-forward increases rather than changing the draw and how preference points are earned and used for future draws.

In terms of creative ways to increase revenues, I was thinking along the lines of fees for applying and drawing HMA access or pay a fee for utilizing the walk-in access areas.  Maybe provide an incentive for non-resident hunters to purchase more tags for additional species--something that gives additional preference in the limited draws to hunters applying for more tags.  What about requiring a conservation license for fishing licenses too?  Just throwing out ideas...

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Fee Increase

I think that states like MT and possibly WY are increasing fee's is due to all the midwest and eastern states re-introducing elk back into their lands. KY already has a elk herd of about 10k, MO, VA, NC, TN have all started the re-introduction process and modeled it after KY. MN, WI, MI, AR, PA have started their re-introduction a while ago. When you start to look 5-10-15 years down the road the opprotunites to hunt elk will be much greater and cheaper for a midwestern/eastern hunter. So the western states are needing to get what ever income they can as fast as they can because of this. A NR can already hunt in KY granted it's still not very good odds, but elk in these midwest/eastern states don't have any natural predators like wolves, grizzlies, mountain lions like out west so the population increases pretty quickly for what they start out with. When you figure these western states only have about 10 seasons left before they start to see a big decline in their NR hunters they need to do what they can asap to get funds. Now that doesn't mean they wont still have a decent population of NR hunters but they will definitley take a noticable hit. 

Also if WY is going to increase NR fees then they need to open up wilderness areas to NR w/o guides or a WY resident. That is one of the biggest bs laws I've seen that a NR can't hunt big game in wilderness areas even though they are federal public lands, but yet a NR can go hiking, fishing, or small game hunting on them. It's all about the $$$ for the outfiters I guess. 

 

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If that were the case, then

If that were the case, then they should lower rates, to try and attract more people out there, and keep their business.  Now, people will say "Why pay so much to travel there, when I can just stay around here and hunt".

Quick side note, the PA elk herd has been around more than "awhile".  This year will mark the 100th anniversary of the reintrocution.  Wink

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WY fee increase

Ca_Vermonster wrote:

If that were the case, then they should lower rates, to try and attract more people out there, and keep their business.  Now, people will say "Why pay so much to travel there, when I can just stay around here and hunt".

Quick side note, the PA elk herd has been around more than "awhile".  This year will mark the 100th anniversary of the reintrocution.  Wink

Not necessarily because as stated these states just started to reintroduce elk, except for PA I guess. KY started in '99 I believe and are up to 10k in population, and most of the others I mentioned just started in the last couple years so it's going to take a while for it all to develop, reason I stated 5-10-15 years. Sure they may need to raise fees to help raise funds, but it'd be crazy to think that the midwest/eastern states that are actively reintroducing elk are going to effect their bottom line. Most wont have to worry about hiring a guide, etc when they can stay home and hunt, again this wont be common for a while but you can bet it's making people take notice now. As far as the wilderness areas in WY it has nothing to do w/the vastness of it, it's all about money. If it wasn't then they'd prevent you from hiking, fishing, hunting small game in those areas too w/o a guide. Is WY wilderness anymore vast than some of the other western states like MT or ID? I'd say not, and you don't need a guide to hunt big game there. That law is all about money regardless of you anyone wants to spin it.

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I gotta agree with

I gotta agree with CA_Vermonster on this one too.  Western states might have the best opportunities for elk and antelope hunting, but your logic doesn't make sense unless Wyoming was the only state (a monopoly of sorts) to offer out-of-state elk hunting to Easterners.  And, by the time someone from the east coast spends all that money to travel, stay, eat, etc. (or pay a guide) the few hundred dollars in increased license fees isn't nearly as significant when the whole hunting trip budget is considered.

License and fees increases are a result of tighter state budgets, not so much greedy Game & Fish departments.

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In todays world of states

In todays world of states budget cuts across the board the states game and fish agencies need to find a way to increase their revenue, and one way is to increase tag fees. Most of them do it across the board, increasing resident and non resident tag fees together. But some do it separately. This year it is the non resident and in a couple of years it will be the residents turn.

As for hunting elk back east, I wouldn't hold my breath if you are a resident of one of the states that has elk. Most of the tags are let out on a very limited draw. So you have a choice, either wait years to draw a tag in your home state if you live in one that has a draw or drive out west and buy a over the counter tag, it is up to the hunter.

Now trying to get Wyoming to open up the wilderness hunts to non residents with out a guide, good luck with that one. One of the reasons that they do it that way is safety. If you have never been into one of these types of wilderness areas you have no idea of the vastness of it. Some of these wilderness areas are larger than a couple of our states that are back east. I know that isn't saying much to us that live out west but to some easterner it is. That along with the outfitters that operate in these areas and their lobbying efforts it won't happen.

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Wilderness BS

Critter wrote:
In todays world of states budget cuts across the board the states game and fish agencies need to find a way to increase their revenue, and one way is to increase tag fees. Most of them do it across the board, increasing resident and non resident tag fees together. But some do it separately. This year it is the non resident and in a couple of years it will be the residents turn. As for hunting elk back east, I wouldn't hold my breath if you are a resident of one of the states that has elk. Most of the tags are let out on a very limited draw. So you have a choice, either wait years to draw a tag in your home state if you live in one that has a draw or drive out west and buy a over the counter tag, it is up to the hunter. Now trying to get Wyoming to open up the wilderness hunts to non residents with out a guide, good luck with that one. One of the reasons that they do it that way is safety. If you have never been into one of these types of wilderness areas you have no idea of the vastness of it. Some of these wilderness areas are larger than a couple of our states that are back east. I know that isn't saying much to us that live out west but to some easterner it is. That along with the outfitters that operate in these areas and their lobbying efforts it won't happen.

 

Critter,

I believe you're way off in your opinion and arguement. Many people who hunt also backpack and fish in "wilderness" areas. I have done so in many states over several decades. While I agree they can be vast and dangerous, if one is not prepared etc... that is no reason for the requirement of a resident or licensed hunting guide / outfitter in Wyoming. One needn't have a resident or guide, to backpack, fish or hike in those very same areas, so why the requirement in Wyoming only for hunting? My educated guess is pressure from the guides and outfitters and is simply another way to get money from nonresident hunters. while providing "guaranteed" utilization of guides and outfitters, who must pay the state for licensing, permits etc...

If safety were the reason, why are there no such requirements for the aforementioned activities?

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Wilderness

roostersgt wrote:

Critter wrote:
In todays world of states budget cuts across the board the states game and fish agencies need to find a way to increase their revenue, and one way is to increase tag fees. Most of them do it across the board, increasing resident and non resident tag fees together. But some do it separately. This year it is the non resident and in a couple of years it will be the residents turn. As for hunting elk back east, I wouldn't hold my breath if you are a resident of one of the states that has elk. Most of the tags are let out on a very limited draw. So you have a choice, either wait years to draw a tag in your home state if you live in one that has a draw or drive out west and buy a over the counter tag, it is up to the hunter. Now trying to get Wyoming to open up the wilderness hunts to non residents with out a guide, good luck with that one. One of the reasons that they do it that way is safety. If you have never been into one of these types of wilderness areas you have no idea of the vastness of it. Some of these wilderness areas are larger than a couple of our states that are back east. I know that isn't saying much to us that live out west but to some easterner it is. That along with the outfitters that operate in these areas and their lobbying efforts it won't happen.

 

Critter,

I believe you're way off in your opinion and arguement. Many people who hunt also backpack and fish in "wilderness" areas. I have done so in many states over several decades. While I agree they can be vast and dangerous, if one is not prepared etc... that is no reason for the requirement of a resident or licensed hunting guide / outfitter in Wyoming. One needn't have a resident or guide, to backpack, fish or hike in those very same areas, so why the requirement in Wyoming only for hunting? My educated guess is pressure from the guides and outfitters and is simply another way to get money from nonresident hunters. while providing "guaranteed" utilization of guides and outfitters, who must pay the state for licensing, permits etc...

If safety were the reason, why are there no such requirements for the aforementioned activities?


You can't put a hiker/weekend backpacker or a fisherman into the same category as a hunter in my opinion. The hiker/backpacker will normally follow set trails and is very unlikely to get lost unless he goes off of these trails and he doesn't need to worry about packing out 500 pounds of meat when he decides to leave. The fisherman is just about the same as the hiker/backpacker. He follows the water and in 98% of the western states if you get lost all you need to do is follow the water out to civilization, and when he does decide to pack out at the most he'll only have a couple more pounds on his back than he did on his way in.

Now take the hunter. He packs in with the intent to harvest one or two animals. He usually follows a set trail into the wilderness but after that he usually ridge hops around until he finds his quary weather it is a elk, deer, or what ever. Then once he gets his elk down and bones out the meat he is looking at 300+ pounds to get off of the mountain. Now if he also manages to get a larger deer he is looking at another 150+ pounds to get off the mountain along with his gear.

I have come to these conclusions after being on search and rescue squads in two different states and being sent in to find a person that has lost his way. I do have to admit that most of the people that we have been sent in after have been the backpacker/hiker that lost the trail and had no idea of where he was at or took a wrong turn or trail. And this happens weather they have a map or not. Forget about GPS's in some of these mountains just for the fact that you will need to hike to the top of a ridge line to get them to lock onto the satelights to get a position. I will have to admit that hunters are usually more prepared than the backpacker but not always.

It has also been my belief that anyone that goes into a wilderness needs to check in with the agency that has control over the area with where they are going and when they plan on coming out. Not to mention a requirement that they have equipment that will aide them if they do get lost or need to spend a few more nights in the area.

I have seen too many instances where the rescuers have come close to risking their lives just because of a persons belief that they knew what they were doing when they headed into the wilderness.

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