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Location: Montana
Joined: 11/29/2005
Posts: 19
Montana Cougar proposed to switch to permit.........

Vic Workman the commisioner for region 1 and 2 in montana has proposed that the two regions be switched from the current quota system to a permit system for just those two regions for mountain lion.

His theory as he explained is that the non-resident outfitted harvest is still in the 60+ percent category and he feels is way to high and resident opportunity is lost.

By putting the lion in a permit this will reduce the non-resident to 10% allowing residents to a higer success of the permits. What he has not though of is that by permitting only two regions this will flood the other regions in the state with all the houndsmen that do not draw in their back yards creating even bigger social issues.

My question is do any of you out there have a better solution for reducing the outfitters harvest and increasing the resident harvest without going to permit? Think

Location: Missouri
Joined: 02/14/2004
Posts: 62
Montana Cougar proposed to switch to permit.........

I have hunted region 1 for the past 4 of 5 years for black bear. I'm a non-resident. I have traveled to Montana to fight fire in the early 90's. That is my back ground. I have met some good folks in Lincoln county and have nothing but good to refer to them as.
I have talked to several folks about lion hunting and hope to do this someday. The weather and travel is my main obsticle. I live in Missouri and drive to NW Montana.
You ask for opinions, here are mine.
I agree that residents should have preference to resident game. It is now regulated where if money is involved, the NR has to go through an outfitter. I don't like this to well but it's you alls playground. I think it monopolizes the sport. I would like to hire local folks to pack game or rent horses. The regulations restricts me to a certain outfitter. This "cheats" local people out of business and revenue. I would like to be able to hire someone like Obrien Farms to rent me a horse for a day or so to use during scouting or game retreival. They hire out for a day ride for around $100. They can not do this for hunting because of outfiter regulations. I do not hire an outfitter to show me how to hunt and shoot. This would make the trip "vacation" costly. There are usually 2 to 3 of us that come. We spend over $1500 each in your economy in the early spring when your tourist season is kinda slow. The lion hunting is a new thing to me and I'm not 100% sure of all it's regulations yet. I will be before I plan a trip. If the harvest rate is 60%+ NR then that is where the outfitters and hunting pressure come into play. My understanding is, this is a season like bear season where there are no limitations on permits sold. Only a quota on how many can be taken? The residents have the same chances as NR's except with the added advantage of living there and knowing and taking advantage of the snowfall and weather conditions. If you limit the number of tags sold then that will in turn affect the economy. I have not hunted in those regions because of the travel and hunting is associated so closely with the weather. If your local lion hunter is so concerned about NR's filling the quota, then do away with your current system and sell the cheap tags. Explain to the local businesses how local hunting is more important than the local economy. That is a decision you folks out there have to make. I kinda agree to a point. I deal with NR hunters in my back yard almost year around. I don't care for it to well. But, I know the local economy would fail if we didn't have canoes rented, hotels rented, food sold, resturants open and sales tax collected. Our timber business is limited just like your area. The few lead mines are in a different county and the state and federal governments own most of our county just like yours.
You all are struggling with a touchy problem. Just as we are. I have not had the chance to take a lion in Lincoln Co. but someday hope to. I will continue to help with the bear population and local economies in the spring as long as you all will allow me. Thanks for the oppurtunity.

Location: Aleknagik Alaska / Ozello Keys Florida
Joined: 07/05/2004
Posts: 186
Montana Cougar proposed to switch to permit.........

Humm.. Just when I think I know everything. The subject really caught me off guard for a few reasons.

First off, MR, Ferguson I wanna get my red marking pen out and give you an A+ on your response here. If others were as
rational, life would sure be easy. You have brought up some great points and observations for only being a visitor to NW Montana.

Now back to me being dumbfounded here.
I gotta couple of questions.
First off I had no idea Vic Workman had traded his realtors chair to become the commissioner of regions 1 and 2.
I keep up with certain issues in the state but no longer living there many slip past me if not brought to my attention by my outfitter and sportsman type friends that are residents.
I just can't recall hearing much about residents complaining regarding this matter.
Is Workman creating this issue just due to how the NR vs. resident kill ratio appears?
Or has it been a long term and building problem?

It would appear that a 60%+ NR kill ratio would represent a strong outfitter built industry.
As much as NW Montana respects the NR hunting dollar I can't imagine why they would even consider cutting off the
NR as well as the outfitters that service them.
I know Workman has family is in the outfitting industry but I don't recall them running cat hunts.
If I still had a voice in the state I would do all I could to keep from souring
how NR's view their treatment like some states have.
I would never want to chase off those NR's that pursue elk and deer and bear in Montana by screwing
them out of a mountain lion tag if that was their desire. It's not a cheap state to hunt in and they do have other states they can head off to.
If this is truly an issue the first option that comes to mind would be to consider controlling the tag sales by making a individuals limit such as they have with moose in the past. Lets say, if NR's were only allowed to tag
a cat every three years, would something in this order help?
This will take some more thought on my part here as well as some boning-up on the subject.

Spanky, do you know what qualifications Workman presented that
made him eligible for such a politically sensitive position?
I know he is respected by many and has a long-term history as an avid outdoorsmen, but how does his lifelong career selling houses make him the man for the job?
I don't mean to be derogative of him, I'm just tying to gain some understanding.


Location: Montana
Joined: 11/29/2005
Posts: 19
Vic still has......

his real estate license. He was appointed to the commision when Charlie Decker retired and we got our new governor.

His qualifications, NONE. He has never even experienced a cougar hunt in his own admission. Our quotas have been this way since 96 when Harvey Nyberg was manager and keeping accurate records. The harvest has been over 60+ percent every year since 96's big winter.

3 years ago they took away the NR hound opportunity by only allowing 10% of the quota to them through drawing, well that slowed down the race but did nothing for the harvest because the outfitters now higher the NR houndsmen to run the roads and sit on tracks for them.

Most resident houndsmen do not look to work for the outfitter because they would like to hold off and what for the larger toms to come off the mountain. Unfortunately the outfitters fill there cabins up the first week of the season and fill the quota with all the resident cougars.

I do not have the solution but 100% permit is going overboard in my opinion especially if it is not gonna be statewide and just in 2 regions. What stops a fella from Butte, Bozeman, Helenea, Great Falls or Dillion from putting in for the tag and then after 1 or 2 weekends of no luck they don't make the drive because they can stay home and run in there own backyard. Houndsmen in region 1 and 2 are stuck driving 200+ miles if we hope to harvest a cougar in there back yard.

I'm still scratching my head on this one and was hoping for some insight from some fellas smarter then me Brick Wall,)

Location: Montana
Joined: 12/13/2005
Posts: 37
Montana Cougar proposed to switch to permit.........

I dont see a big problem,raise the quotas and make a percentage of the total quota open to residents only,as long as the quotas are being filled and the cat numbers are being controlled everything is working,they wont pass this proposal anyway the outfitters have too much pull.