Resident Hunters Should Have Significant Priority For Hunting Tag Allocation
By Mountain Pursuit
Mountain Pursuit is a western states hunting advocacy group and strongly believes big game license allocation should be significantly prioritized for the residents of Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.
The growth in backcountry hunting in recent years, driven by ...
Hunting and clothing and gear manufacturers and sophisticated marketing campaigns
Hunting Films and Film Festivals
Sponsored hunters and social media
Television hunting series and streaming hunting shows
Online hunting tag application services and resources such as gohunt.com
.... has significantly increased non-resident tag applications in western states, and increased pressure on state management agencies to increase non-resident tag allocation.
This has resulted in proposed decreased hunting tag allocation and diminished hunting quality and experience for western state residents hunters.
Mountain Pursuit is troubled by these trends, and believes resident hunters should have significant priority for hunting tag allocation.
Here are our specific positions:
- Maximum nonresident allocation of 10% of available controlled unit hunts for all species including elk, mule deer, whitetail deer, antelope, bighorn sheep, moose, mountain goat, bison and grizzly bear.
- No nonresident tags offered for controlled unit hunts with 10 or fewer available tags, regardless of species.
- Maximum non-resident allocation of 10% of available or forecast "general season" licenses for elk, whitetail deer, mule deer and antelope for general season hunt units. Allowances can be made above this 10% level for leftover doe/fawn, cow/calf limited draw tags, and as needed for excess herd management where resident hunters can't cull the number of animals required.
- No over-the-counter (OTC) for non-resident hunters, regardless of species, unless for leftover tags.
- Resident preference for all leftover tags. We especially favor New Mexico's system, where leftover tags are offered over the counter to residents only for 24 hours, then the tags are openned up for purchase by nonresidents.
Mountain Pursuit understands this position is more restrictive than current state regulations in the above western states. We also understand that most state management agencies generate the bulk of their funding from tag sales, especially non-resident tag sales.
Ungulate herds in several states have declined significantly over the past 30 years, meaning less resident hunter opportunity especially for once-in-a lifetime hunts such as bighorn sheep, mountain goat, moose and bison. For example, the number of tags offered in Wyoming decline 76% between 1998 and 2018 due to population declines.
The current regulations for most states is too permissive in tag allocation for non-residents, at the expense of hunting opportunities, quality and experience, for residents hunters.