ATH, what areas are you applying for? Three years and no elk, you should have better luck than that! Hopefully MT will not turn into a rich only hunting state, this bill was to fight that though on the face of it, it may not appear that way. The majority of outfitter licenses in my area are held or under control of uber rich owners that are changing it into exactly what it is back east.
I really agree with RockyMtnMt !!! I did not vote on this to get rid of outfitters, quite the contrary I have friends and family that are involved in outfitting. There is a small group of us that are fairly hard core hunters and try to stay involved with FWP and game management in our area and at first we were all against this because we thought it would hurt the good outfitters that we know but after talking to them on their take we got behind it. The outfitters that do a good job in our area very clearly explained this bill will not hurt them but in contrast the crook, hack jobs were fighting this tooth and nail in my area, these guys are so bad they have been run of the NF or BLM by average Joe and FWP, they can only operate via private property to cover there actions. Made the vote perty easy contrasting these two type of outfitter, though this is based only on what I see in my area.
In no way did anyone I know make this a vote against NR hunters or good outfitters, I've ran into quite a few great guys from out of state and we will usually try to help you guys out since we can get an elk anytime but for the NR you have a week or so usually, best day is if everyone gets into elk!
Hunting has changed in the last decade and locals are trying to fight it, not all ways in the best ways but in politics things rarely turn out how you wanted it to.
Blockland is absolutely critical in my area, it is about the only way to get across the narrows of private land that until recently has been access to NF or BLM. We have had millions of acres of great elk hunting locked down by uber rich owners that understand that they can land lock the NF and BLM and have private access to it for themselves then they buy an outfitter and charge big dollars or gift MT wildlife to the elect. You end up with the same kind of hunting as what has happened back east, you have to have the money and be in with the guy who can get you access to the land locked public ground. No problem what a guy does on his land but when using it to control public ground it changes. Hard issues in MT!!!
In my area the FWP has little love for outfitters, there are a couple good ones but the majority operate very shady camps but the FWP can't do anything about them since they are outfitters and on private ground. FWP is (should be) non political, they take what their given and work with it.
Non residents wanting to hunt in MT have bigger things to worry about like the wolves, at the rate this is going there won't be any non resident tags some time in the future!!
Sorry got a little long winded