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Joined: 01/27/2002
Posts: 7914
Hunting's Dilemma: Balancing Cost... (Featured Article)

December 2005 Feature Article:

Hunting's Dilemma: Balancing Cost, Access and Opportunity

Please use this area to post comments or questions about this feature article.

Location: Summit County, Colorado
Joined: 03/17/2005
Posts: 18
It shouldn't be about trophies

Good article. I have two comments. First, designation of national forest or other public land as "wilderness" does not take hunting land away from anyone. Some people do not have the physical ability to hunt in congressionally designated wilderness areas, but then there have always been blank spots on the map. I know that expectations have changed in our "fast food" society, and a lot of hunters will no longer stray very far from their four-wheelers. However, some of us still place a high value on trips into remote country. Wilderness provides the physically fit hunter an excellent opportunity to find solitude and a good selection of animals.

Second, a large portion of the access issue is directly related to the quality of trophies. A lot of guys will always be focused on trophy animals, but I don't believe finding a huge royal bull elk is part of our hunting heritage. I suppose some folks can afford to drive around on ATVs until they find a trophy-class animal, but I am grateful to find meat. I believe the challenge of the hunt and finding meat is our hunting heritage. I am even more grateful if I can find meat in a remote backcountry area, where I do not have to put up with a lot of "tourist" hunters.

Now, some of the gents on this site would undoubtedly call me a green or newbie hunter, and in fact I am. However, I spent a few years in the military, serving in airborne units of the U.S. Army. I understand the value of hard work. Think about the ex-paratroopers or ex-marines you might know personally, and ask yourself why they are proud of their military service. They are proud because it was hard. Likewise with any Ph.D. candidates or business owners you may know. People assess more value to that which took great effort to earn.

Each time this greenhorn hunter grills a few cow elk steaks for his family, he is as proud as any so-called trophy hunter, because he carried the quarters on his own back. Working hard for your meat is the ultimate in trophy hunting. Period. And that's what I teach my 7 year old son. That's why I spend time schooling my son in backbacking and navigation techniques.

Hope I haven't offended any of you personally. We each have our own motivations for hunting. Mine is to get out into the backcountry, participate in nature and honor my heritage. We're not going to change the fact that this is America and a lot of people will restrict access to private land where "trophies" might roam. But then I don't feel the need for a 6x6 hanging on the wall. However, we can get in shape and get out beyond the masses. And we'll earn more respect as a community for our greater efforts.

WesternHunter's picture
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2374
Hunting's Dilemma: Balancing Cost... (Featured Article)

I agree with you Summit Hunter. I think we in todays era have made hunting more expensive than it really used to be or should ever be. Too many hunters place too much importance on the so-called Trophy.

Location: Michigan
Joined: 11/22/2006
Posts: 12
Hunting's Dilemma: Balancing Cost... (Featured Article)

Antler lust drives a lot of this. I never could understand that. I think many hunters feel they can't brag about their hunt unless they have huge antlers to show for it.

Me, I'am happy with a an antlerless "trophy". It has more to do with the experience. I just can't get myself to pay a guy to lead me around the woods or mtns.

Location: north idaho
Joined: 06/11/2004
Posts: 610
Hunting's Dilemma: Balancing Cost... (Featured Article)

I do agree that we need to keep the wilderness we have.
But we don't need anymore designated wilderness. There is already alot of that land out here in the west. and alot of that land doesn't get much use. Especially in the winter.


Location: San Jose Ca
Joined: 06/21/2009
Posts: 14
I want to start a movement

I am just plain new to this forum as of this minuet. I viewed the topics and decided this is as good as any place to start.
I want the federal goverment to adminastrate all hunting and fishing permits and fees. for all national forest. Here is why.

Out of State Hunting Fee’s

Today I received my application for out of state hunting. I was dismayed to see they had raised the fees again. One might say “this is the last straw” or “ I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore” or “ this is a clear case of discrimination”. All would be true and I feel it is time to do some thing about it!

It might best be explained why I feel this way if I explain who I am and what I do.
Native born in Caldwell, Idaho, I grew up in Kuna, Idaho and hunted and fished with my Uncles and My grandfather. This is my passion and my heritage. After serving in Military service in the Korean War I came home to my home state and the first thing I did was go deer hunting. I don’t recall what the license and tag cost were maybe $5.00 total?
It soon became apparent that there were not any jobs to be had in Idaho and I was forced to move out of state and seek employment elsewhere. Over the years (30 about) I continued to go back to Idaho for hunting. My son and family continue that passion.

The point is, in 30 years of hunting it has always been in the same place and on Federal land (Boise National Forest). It is my understanding that the U.S. Forest Service administrates federal land in the “Timber management and harvest” “Mining and “ Grazing rites”. I THINK IT IS TIME THEY TOOK OVER THE HUNTING AND FISHING TOO. The license fees for my son and I will exceed $1,400. The total trip will cost us over $3,000.

It is impossible for us to have any input in the decision making process. In that the commission meetings are impossible to attend. Further, we would have a minority disadvantage and be overruled.

A lot of hunters cannot afford the lopsided, discriminating fees to go hunting out of state and I feel this hurts the overall economy I general.

The defenders of this country have a right to demand fair treatment in their pursuit of the very principles they defended. They are entitled to equal rights to all Federal land in all of THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

I ask all Hunters and fisherman to come together and support equal access to federal land.
You may contact me in the sites provide I need your support as we go forward.

I give my permission to include this paper with any hunting application

Del Crawford

President, C&O Engineering
San Jose, CA

Location: Florida,USA
Joined: 08/21/2003
Posts: 1585
Hunting's Dilemma: Balancing Cost... (Featured Article)

dellori3, welcome to BGH.
Thank you for your service to this country.
Happy Fathers Day !!!

Well stated viewpoint in your post.
I don't have a clue as to what the answer would be. I don't know that the Federal Government would do anything to help with cost. I do believe that active duty and retired Servicemen and women should have FREE access to any Federal land for any reason and in any State.

JSmitty's picture
Location: Eunice, NM
Joined: 09/23/2008
Posts: 313
Hunting's Dilemma: Balancing Cost... (Featured Article)

Well I am not good at putting my words in wrighting but here it is the way I feel.

In New Mexico out of staters pay a little more than we do but the state has got to giving out more tags to them because of the all mighty $. My thought is they should pay 10X what in state pays whatever that is and tags should be limited to not more than a specificed amount to out of staters.

Now with that I also belive that a service man off any state should have a free pass to hunt in any state with federal land.

As for the protected lands I love it because I have had hunts spoiled by the 4X4's driving by on what may or may not be a 2 track rode. I get out on foot or with my horses and enjoy being able to get away from people and not have a moterized vehicledrive by.

As for the money I cant aford to hunt any more than the next guy, I have not been able to go out of state yet but when I can I will savor every second aff the hunt. I am a DIY hunter so that puts a limit on some places where I can hunt but that is my choice.

thanks for the oppertunity just my thoughts
James southeastern NM

CVC's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Kansas
Joined: 03/04/2006
Posts: 3579
Re: It shouldn't be about trophies

I disagree with a couple points you made. Now I don't know the rules for all states, but in WY you cannot hunt an area designated as wilderness without a guide. The wilderness designation does indeed limit one's ability to hunt that land. You can hike on it, camp on it and fish on it without a guide, but you can't hunt on it so the designation does take hunting land away from people.

The other point I disagree with is more of an attitude than a specific comment. You seem to suggest that it is not really hunting if you are seeking a trophy animal. Your tone is one of exclusion whereas I believe that hunting is an individual calling and how we hunt and choose our quarry as long as it is legal is up to the individual. To demean someone because they seek a trophy quality elk bull instead of a cow elk is harmful to hunting.

You state you hope you didn't offend anyone but in truth you know your comments are poking at some hunters and very well could be viewed as offensive. Imagine someone writing that meat hunters are lazy because they will take the first animal they see without putting in the miles and imposing limitations on themselves that make the hunt more difficult? Would it help if they wrote that but then said they hope not to offend anyone? No, of course not.

My advice is to hunt the way you want and respect other hunters who hunt the way they want. Let the antihunters attack us and let us join together to defend our right to hunt.

Critter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4413
Re: Hunting's Dilemma: Balancing Cost... (Featured Article)

CVC, I believe what they did in Wyoming is had a law passed by the state to where you need a guide to hunt in the wilderness area witch may of been pushed by the outfitters. I do know that here in Colorado it isn't the case and that if you want to be on your own in the wilderness then you can. My biggest concern here in Colorado is that a land owner can lock up a whole mountain by just owning a strip of land in the bottom where the road go through it. As far as calling hunting for a trophy animal not hunting. Well, then I would suggest to anyone that hasn't hunted for a trophy animal to try it. In my case I do not need the meat and on some hunts I have not shot or even put the cross hairs of my scope on an animal just because he was sub par for what I was looking for. Usually on these hunts I am out a couple of hours before sunlight and don't get back to camp until after dark along with hunting the whole season just to find that one animal and have gone home empty handed more times that not. Now I try and hunt 5 or so states a year for at least 2 animals in each state. Usually one of the hunts in each state is what I consider a trophy hunt and the other will be for meat, witch I will usually donate to a shelter, non hunting friends, or family depending on where I am. My biggest gripe about some hunters are the ones that claim that there are no big animals any more while they are packing a small immature animal on their 4 wheeler. For some reason they just don't understand where the large bucks come from.

Well, so much for my soap box speach. I now need to get back to packing for my hunts in Arizona for quail, deer, and a javilina after the first of the year.

So much hunting to do and so little time.

CVC's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Kansas
Joined: 03/04/2006
Posts: 3579
Re: Hunting's Dilemma: Balancing Cost... (Featured Article)

I think you're right about Wy. It does create a demand for guides.