This in my opinion is right on. If this is wrong, I need someone that can tell my why. I am willing to have my mind changed, but as of yet have not had someone that can give me a good reason.
On another note. Why is there a limit on the number of outfitters? It does not seem right to me for the government to control how many people are allowed to this work. Can you imagine wanting to be a gun smith and being told that we already have enough, you'll have to wait for one to retire or die before you can be one. Or find something else. This would apply to any career. Sounds like Government intrusion to me. Let the free market work.
$812 for an elk tag seems high to me. Granted for another $100 you get a deer license but I hunted MT for a few weeks last year and probably saw 3 or 4 deer total on public land. Their deer season in the SW portion of the state isn't worth $100 license fees.
I reside in mid-America, and my states tag for a non-residentdeer lic. is $ xx, but a neighboring state charges me $ xxx to deer hunt over there. So, with new law changes, my state NOW charges that states residents the same to hunt here, as we have to pay for a tag over there. Who woulda thought ???????????
My state of Missouri is in the process of restocking elk in the Ozarks. Virginia is right in line behind them. Maybe as more eastern states become home to elk herds there will be a lot more hunting opportunities in the midwest and eastern states.
Except maybe for Kentucky, most midwest/eastern states seem to want to keep their elk herds under 1,000. Agricultural interests are partly to blame for this; and they have legitimate concerns. As a hunter, my feeling is more is better.
Check out Kentucky. I think they issue about 1,000 tags annually, with many going to non-residents. Don't recall price off the top of my head. I think 3/4 of the tags issued are cow tags. Costs $10 to get in the lottery whether you're drawn or not.
I'm glad our license fees are now consistent with neighboring states. And as far as outfitters, they shot themselves in the foot with their rampant commodification of animals. The outfitter sponsored tags were being abused by wealthy absentee landowners who wanted to bypass the drawing and get a tag every year. It was an incentive to buy up MT, contribute nothing, and shoot our animals on their property.
The drawing is fair, outfitters who are good at what they do will have no problem filling their calendar. It's comical, the outfitters who are raising the biggest stink are the ones who have nothing to offer- except the outfitter sponsored tag! If that is your only selling point for your entire business, you probably deserve to go under.
I'm glad the outfitter tags are gone, and I hear you on the landowner issues, but once I am in a vehicle just about every elk-harboring state is the same distance and I can get both a bull and cow tag in Colorado, over-the-counter, for what Montana wants now. I absolutely love the state and the people I have gotten to know there but this may be the straw that pushes me to switching it up more.
WI started elk introduction about the same time as the wolf recovery plan.
Complete waste of money. Wolf kills is the largest elk mortality factor in the state.
What was projected to be 1000 animals by now is less than 200. Original plans projected a 2006 elk hunt, not going to happen in the next 10 years.
Wildlife managment?? After 50+ years it still seems to be a lofty goal for the educated city kids running the DNR. Common sence isn't common.
The Canadian wolves have been hard on the elk here and the whitetail up north are gone from what I've been told, I personally know of two Bighorn sheep herds that are gone as a direct result of one pack of 7 wolves. We find elk killed and not even touched except for maybe being ripped open, very few wolf kill get used unlike a lion or bear kill.
On another note, I had one friend hunt Wyoming this last season on a bull hunt by the park that he was able to buy since they had tags left over and he shot a 156 bull that you can't get one hand around at any point on his main beam, heaviest elk I've ever seen. Another friend just got back from Colorado from an elk damage hunt, I think he said it cost just over 200 dollars per tag and the land owner hooked them up and even took them out on snow machines, he has lots of time to hunt but not tons of $$ so he's trying to find the best hunting for the least dollars. He said he can hit Africa and shoot a pile of plains game while being put up in kind of a drop camp situation all for less than a guided elk hunt in the States.
High Fence, Low Fence, Stuck in the Fence, if I can Tag it and Eat it, it's Hunting!