Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Time to Bend Over

If you are a not resident of Montana and have wanted to hunt elk/deer with an outfitter here, but haven't, you've missed "Your Last Best Chance."

During the last election there was an initiative (Initiative 161) that stopped the sale of outfitter-sponsored big game licenses.  The initiative passed.  Under the old system any nonresident that booked with an outfitter was guaranteed a license.  The basis of Initiative 161 was that private land owners where leasing their land to outfitters, which kept residents from hunting elk on that land.  Personally, I don't believe the initiative will have the desired effect--opening land for resident hunters.

So, now, every nonresident who wished to hunt elk/deer in Montana must go through an open process--no guaranteed license.

Oh, I forgot to add, that the Initiative also raised the nonresident big game combination license fee from $628 to $897 and the nonresident deer combination license fee from $328 to $527.  I'm not sure what the point of that is, except that some residents want nonresidents to foot the bill to manage "their game."  I hate to say this, but potential nonresident hunters have two choices: Go to Alaska, the Northwest Territory, or British Columbia for a caribou/moose/bear hunt, or come to Montana, bend over and pay around $4000 for a wilderness elk hunt running, a plane flight from $400 on up, a couple of nights in a hotel, plus a $900 elk tag.

I know what I would do.