Quotas are one thing, and revenue $ is another. I am very distressed at the various Game Departments that are fleecing hunters, to the point where they finance the entire program on the shoulder of the non resident hunter.
It wasn't very long ago that I could buy a general nonres Arizona license, good for the entire year for about $40. I recently paid $53.50 for a three day, the annual is now $113.50. Then there was the $186 lion tag.
And, Arizona is far from the worst offender. Don't ask me for specifics because I have dropped out of a few State programs, on principle.
I understand the local issues, looking to protect a resource, keep out the outsider, etc. but I don't think it's right to screw non residents just because they can, without justification. These guys contribute ENORMOUSLY to the state's economy, in many ways besides license and tag fees.
And, I do not believe that the locals are losing opportunities, in spite of worry. Everything favors them.
One year they charge X amount. Then budget problems happen and where do they turn? A group that cannot object. So, the next year there is a significant price jump, and a resultant decrease in out of state applications. The following year they double the fee to make up for the shortfall; and on and on. It's shameful.
That's what these suits are about....abuse. It needs some sort of equitable solution.
You'll get no indignant comments from me because most of what you said is true. The only place I think you're wrong is in thinking that it's the State Game & Fish people who are behind the inequities. Each State is different but I live in Arizona and know that it's the politicians who are making these funding decisions, many times over the protests of Game & Fish personnel and the sportsmen themselves. The easiest way out for any politician is to dump on those people who can't vote for or against them, the out-of-staters. This is true of not only hunting and fishing fees but of just about every revenue source that these guys have access to. For example, a few months ago my wife and I went to Reno to shoot the 1000 yard nationals. Our hotel bill was high enough as it was but the added hotel taxes just about equaled the hotel's charges. These charges are only paid by out-of-staters, like me, and who can I complain to? No one, of course, which is the beauty of it as far as politicians are concerned. I shoot 3 or 4 times year in California and know that I'm paying for a lot of things that I shouldn't have to but I try not to even think about it cause it's not worth ruining my shooting pleasure. One of my best shooting buddies always calms me down by saying "they're going to screw you one way or the other so you might as well lay back and enjoy it". I just wish they'd buy me dinner first.
There are always going to be conflicts between the "hunter" States and the "huntee" states. Unfortunately it's the sportsmen who pay the price and it's even more unfortunate when it causes us to fight among ourselves.
I understand the complaints about the prices of out of state tags - Idaho is really high in that respect - so high that the non resident quota of tags doesn't always sell out.
The complaint is that the non resident tag quota is a form of discrimination, and in violation of the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution. It is argued that the State is stopping interstate commerce by limiting the number of non resident hunters. In the Wyoming lawsuit, one of the arguments was that the hunter claimed he planned to sell the inedible portions of his big game across state lines and internationally, thus limiting interstate commerce (nevermind that the hunter must actually harvest an animal for all of this to happen [img]images/icons/rolleyes.gif[/img] ).(http://espn.go.com/outdoors/conserva...7/1577581.html)
Pricing issues aside, if a judge actually bought this argument, then the way all of us hunt in our home state will drastically change - and not for the better.
Here is an article about the appeal to the 9th circuit court. Nevada is really screwed since all of the big game tags have a quota, not just to out of state hunters.
I keep nature balanced - I hunt everything!
I've been reading about some of the recent lawsuits that are being used to strike down several western state's non-resident tag quota systems. This bothers me that the court can decide how a state can manage wildlife popoulations and hunting opportunities for the good of the residents in that state.
If this continues, who will end up managing wildlife populations within a state's boundaries? The courts? The Federal government? The outfitters? In Idaho, residents only get 1 tag per species unless they buy a left over non-resident tag (if any are available), or if they draw one of the few "Super Tags".
I forsee a couple of scenarios happening if these lawsuits continue:
1) There will be a quota placed on all big game tags issued and a lottery will be held to determine who gets to hunt.
2) Since non-resident tags are priced higher than resident tags, I could see the price of tags rising exponentially and only the rich will be able to hunt big game, regardless of if you are a resident or not.
Have any of you read anything else about this issue, especially in the western US where the lawsuits seem to be targeting? Also, what are everyone's thoughts about this - pro or con?
I keep nature balanced - I hunt everything!
I agree with you guys for the most part. I don't know 1 western state that doesn't screw the out of state hunters, some more so than others. How many skiers would travel to Co to ski if the lift tickets were 100 times the resident price? I guess hunters are so passionate about it they grumble and pay the fees, to some extent. Its not just hunting thats unfair to non locals because in many places hotels, fast food restaurants, any tourist type of service/ activity also tack on additional fees. Colleges and universities also kill the out of stater. I don't want to see the resident and non resident tag quotas the same however. I should be able to hunt in my backyard without having to lottery for it. I pay taxes here, I live here, I work here, I support the economy 365 days a year, I should be able to hunt here. I can't afford the time or money to go out of state and if I have to compete against an out of stater just to get a tag I may not be able to hunt at all. I think the courts and politicians should stay out of it and let the state F&G decide whats best with input from the hunting public both res and nonres. unfortunately this will not happen because of the revenue involved. This may all be mute anyway cause the gen public hunting lands are contiually shrinking and it doesn't matter if your a res or not if there is no place to hunt. I know my kids will be able to hunt but I'm not sure about grandkids.
If you're gonna be dumb you better be tough.