Recent comments

Steven B.

Idaho considers big changes to nonresident hunting - posted 1 week ago

I've seen both. As an NR deer hunter I was in 47 during archery season. Circus, but all Idaho folks. Later, helping my Idaho-resident daughter hunt elk in the Frank Church, was about 75% out of state plates on vehicles. That said, I never saw one other human being afield, except one from a distance. Just trucks in camps or on roads. Way fewer hunters than I see most places. Also...a lot less elk (zero).

There aren't any easy answers, Idaho. You guys just need to do what you think is right for your herd and your hunt and we NRs will have to accept it. That's what happens in every state. I love to see NR hunters in NV because I know they are paying for my hunting. I also know that only 10% of tags go to NR here, so it simply isn't an issue for me. Idaho, if you use a system like ours where NRs have to pay $150 just to get a license, and can't return it if they want to retain draw bonus points, you will get to keep the money without really seeing many NRs. Bonus points can be a moneymaker for you and allow you to control numbers better. Best of luck with this!

Steven B.

Idaho considers big changes to nonresident hunting - posted 3 weeks ago

Perhaps the concern lies more around elk tags. In 2018 total OTC tags issued was 81,100. In 2019, the NR allotment was 12,800, which represents about 16% of the total tags (2018 to 2019 isn't perfect, but close enough and all I could find). Many of those remaining NR tags get sold to residents on September 1 as extra or second tags. I can see knocking the cap back on NR tags to make things closer to the 10%, but again, this won't move the needle much AT ALL...will change only 4 to 5% of hunters in field after considering the resident buying of NR tags. It will eliminate a lot of revenue and will eliminate the chance for residents to buy up those second tags. Again, us NRs shouldn't really care about all of this. It really isn't much of an impact to us at all.

Steven B.

Idaho considers big changes to nonresident hunting - posted 3 weeks ago

Marcus, that is an interesting take. I bought an OTC deer tag last year and never got around to hunting it. In fact, instead of hunting my own tag, I took two residents out hunting and helped one guy kill his first Idaho deer rather than punch my own tag. I plan to hunt my OTC tag this year, if my wife gets her NV cow in time, and in between helping my brother and Dad with their NV deer and my daughter with her resident ID elk. Maybe one weekend for me plus possibility of late archery. My own opinion is that you are right. The NR tags are already limited to about 10% for deer in the OTC, and those don't all get sold to NRs. The controlled hunts are officially limited to about 10% on first draw. If Idaho residents are seeing a crowding problem, it simply isn't due to NRs...they have met the enemy and they is they...Idaho is among the most beautiful states and I love it for its mountains, rivers, and deserts. I backpack there. I fish there. I boat there. I tour there. And I hunt there occasionally, but mostly to help out ID residents. With something around 150,000 OTC deer tags and a statewide OTC success rate of 28%, it is simply up to ID hunters and voters to decide whether that system suits them the best or not. It is a generous hunting opportunity, but deer have so many natural predators and higher mortality than elk in general. If I lived in Idaho, I would vote to cap all OTC tags or to move all of the rifle tags into a draw system to better allow the IDFG to manage the hunt units. Raising resident tag prices to $40 or $50 also would provide the IDFG with a better base of resources with which to manage the herd. What Idaho is proposing, however, doesn't really move the needle for us NRs that much, so it seems like much ado about nothing...this article certainly produced some opinions and thoughts, which is so awesome. I'm really glad to get to read about how people think about this subject!!

Steven B.

Idaho considers big changes to nonresident hunting - posted 4 weeks ago

Mark H. you make a good point. I'm lucky enough to be an archer who lives in a great western state. If we as hunters truly want to leave a legacy of hunting behind, we must embrace those from elsewhere who want to hunt out west. This is true all across the U.S., not just in the west. As a whole, we are a dying breed. There is a lot of pressure on the West, and sometimes we can't see the forest for the trees. I completely embrace NR hunters in my state and hope others decide the same way, for their own future. NRs pay 5x to 20x in fees and leave a ton of money behind in stores and local businesses. They actually prop up our existing systems! On top of that, they are part of the seeds of the future...so while I respect any state's right to do as they please with their wildlife, I do hope they consider the crucial role played by NRs both for their near-term support and long-term solidarity as hunters.

Steven B.

Idaho considers big changes to nonresident hunting - posted 4 weeks ago

Lots of comments here, mine more than many. Look, residents pay $18 for their deer tag while NR pay $300. I can see the NR deer tag going up 10%, but Idaho should consider residents paying a bit more than the price of a twelve pack of beer for their own tags. Move that to $50 and bump NR to $350 and IDFG and the herd should benefit. As it stands, NR deer tags pay for way MORE THAN HALF of the deer tag revenue to the IDFG! Comments about over-hunting in Idaho are too general, but from my own experience, it is pretty rough. The best OTC elk areas get north of 30% success rates, with most in the 10-20% range. I think the Idaho hunters have some tough decisions ahead of them, but it is absolutely their resource to manage. They can choose for all residents to spend $18 to be "in the game" each year, or choose to manage the resource as a controlled hunt only (or anything in between). It is their decision. One thing is for sure, you cannot have your cake and eat it too. Utah already offers a comparable deer opportunity for cheaper than Idaho, and that may become my new spillover archery deer state. Colorado offers better, but is a longer drive for me!! I have zero issue with the proposed changes...they are fine; however, non-residents are not the issue...overcrowding of hunters is.