Recent comments

Online hunter education course now accepted in Nevada for those over 11 years old - posted 1 month ago

They are already almost guaranteed a deer tag. It is possible for adults to draw a deer tag every year if they want to. Archery 17 is an example. Every year they have tags available in the second draw. The only reason a junior wont draw is if they only apply for hard to get tags. An example of where that would hurt all hunters is down in in southern nevada. 2/3rds of the states populations lives here. We have awesome trophy mule deer hunting around us but those numbers are low. If you had every junior hunter from Vegas hunting these units, those deer numbers will be even lower, which would end adult hunters. Deer tags are easy to get here, just most people don't want to hunt those units or don't know about them (which is why goHUNT is so awesome), but like you said that is a different conversation. On the topic of hunter safety, some states already don't require it. Arizona doesn't require hunter safety for anyone over the age of 14. South Dakota only requires it for hunters 16 and under. Once you purchase a license in one of these states, you can now hunt in some states that normally require hunter safety like California, Maine, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Virginia. These states only require evidence that you have had a license in another state. Even more states don't require hunter safety for 1 day and 7 day hunting licenses. And even with the day time class, it doesn't prepare you at all for real hunting. If someone doesn't have the common sense to identify what they are shooting at before they shoot, then a training class isn't going to help them. The only thing I could see someone learning in a class is the laws and regulations. I think that is where most states are failing, but like the guaranteed junior tag conversation, that doesn't apply to this topic.

Online hunter education course now accepted in Nevada for those over 11 years old - posted 1 month ago

I don't agree with you on this one Rich. What I see is the field class keeps a lot of people from taking hunter safety which reduces interest in the sport. Someone doesn't go from never shooting a gun, to hunting. People get interested in shooting guns (which has zero training requirements), then they start hunting. The fact that Nevada still requires an online course is more than some states require for people over the age of 21. Now when it comes to junior hunters, they have even less reasons to need hunter safety because they have to hunt with a licensed adult anyways. I learned more about hunter safety from my dad and uncles than I ever would in any class. I think its a step in the right direction for Nevadans. I have a coworker who wants to get into hunting and was really dreading sitting in a class on a Saturday.

Idaho considers big changes to nonresident hunting - posted 8 months ago

@charlesS. I’ve heard multiple people say the same thing, but wildlife management has nothing to do with the land. Doesn’t matter if it’s state, Blm, or private. Wildlife management is done by the state. So the state can decide how they want to manage wildlife which includes how they allocate tags. It’s something that has already been taken to the Supreme Court and decided. And their new tag prices won’t price out nonresidents. I bet they will sell just as many tags as they did before. In fact if you read the gohunt article on out of state hunting, their new prices will put them not to much over average. The same thing happened in Montana and in Wyoming. Supply and demand. If they do prove to high and lose revenue then they will be forced to lower the price.

Idaho considers big changes to nonresident hunting - posted 8 months ago

I'm not an Idaho Resident so of course I like the lower tag prices, but I could agree with this depending on the motive. If they are trying to reduce harvest and are restricting quotas then yes, residence deserve the top priority. If the cost of managing wildlife increases, then I believe the nonresidents should pay the bill if the demand for the tags are their. I agree with that whole hearted, but that doesn't seem to be the case. It doesn't seem to be a harvest or increased cost issue, it seems to be an over crowded issue. Why don't they just change their overall nonresident state quota, to unit by unit quota. You already have to designate your unit in Idaho for, So do the same for deer, bears, and turkeys, and just put a cap on each unit for nonresidents. Even if they let the resident general tag regulations stay the same and only make the nonresidents do it. They will still get the same amount of nonresident hunters, but it will spread it out. I think they are just trying to make more money like Montana and Wyoming did. If that's the case, just say it. Don't beat around the bush and try to justify it.

California becomes first state to ban commercial fur trapping - posted 8 months ago

I've been dealing with a lot of this political stuff here in Nevada, helping the Nevada Trappers Association and was in charge of getting the info out on Instagram about the Nevada bills for the coyote calling contest and trapping restrictions. In doing so, I was able to learn a lot about how politics work. Its all been very similar to the California stuff and is the perfect example for the rest of the states. Here's some info on how the politics work on these issues for anyone who is interested.

It is very difficult for the opposition to ban trapping. And by opposition, I'm not talking about political party because here in Nevada we had a lot of help from both sides. By opposition, I'm talking about antis. The reason it is difficult to just come out and ban trapping is because not many people are against trapping. In most polls, people could care less about it and is why trapping as a whole isn't voted on by the people. Also, the facts prove that trapping is effective and the most humane way to balance the predator ecosystem for good. Its why all federal agencies use it. The antis know this so they use emotion, which will over come the facts for a lot of people, to try to limit recreational trapper participation. First they go after the "cruel" leghold traps. It's very easy to pull emotional strings by staging trapped pictures (an example is a puppy dead in a trap that is to big for the puppy to even set off clearly showing that the picture was staged and was used to tray to ban leghold traps in Nevada). This emotional string will get people to agree that cage traps are better. This greatly reduces trapping numbers because of how ineffective and expensive it is to use. Luckily a few die trappers were able to come up with cage designs and methods to make this work especially for high dollar bobcats. So to counter this, they pull the emotional card again by banning bobcat trapping. They are "cute" so they can get people to agree with it. Also they are very elusive so they can make people think they are rare which obviously isn't the case. Now that you can't trap bobcats and have to use cages, trapping anything else just isn't worth it. Now trapping numbers are low. One thing most people don't know is all hunting/fishing/trapping license sales are good revenue for state wildlife agency budget. So to ban trapping is a revenue loss which no State wants to take on. The way trapping is in most states, most States can't afford to ban it. So if you believe in the scientific facts about trapping or not, you can't afford the financial loss. This potential financial loss is the last saving grace. Well when you have less then 80 trapping license sold in a season, there isn't much financial loss if you ban trapping. If they would have had even 100 more licenses sold each season for the last couple seasons, the bill wouldn't have made it through the budget committee and trapping would still be allowed in California.

So what can we take for this? Support all hunting/trapping/fishing activities. Oppose all bills that will restrict any of these activities even if the bill seems to make sense and is something you think you can live with. Purchase licenses like trapping licenses (which is required in some states to sell fur regardless of harvest method), hunting license, fishing license, stamps, and depredation tags like Mt. Lion tags even if you don't think you will use it that season. Also participate anyway possible to help fight bills even if its just sending one email to one committee member when a restrictive bill is proposed. In Nevada we hammered the 2 bills that were proposed. One for coyote contest, and one for trapping. The trapping bill took more work, but we wouldn't settle on anything because we understand that losing even one trapper could be the difference in having trapping or having trapping taken away. Because of all the respectful comments, emails, and phone calls from the hunting/fishing/trapping community, we were able to stop the bills before they could be voted on. It has seemed like we were slowly losing the battle across the country the last last 10-15 years, but this year I feel like we turned the tables in almost every state. Even though California lost trapping, I think it will help the rest of us even more.

Remember this isn't just a trapping issue. We are just the smallest group so we are the biggest target for now. We can obviously see the antis doing the same thing with houndsman, and now coyote hunters. But its not just those groups, they are doing the same thing to a smaller scale with all hunting. If we stop them at the smaller groups, they wont have a chance to go for the bigger groups.