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There was an article in the Forum and an idea brought up at the Judiciary Committiee Meeting. I like it. I'm going to add an email address for Lois Delmore, the Chairmain, so you can let her know how you feel about this. I'm going to have to say I'm in favor. 30,000 NR is a very high number where your chance of being denied is VERY LOW. And spreading out the numbers will keep pressure down. Great idea in my mind.
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N.D. waterfowl compromise emerges
By Janell Cole
The Forum - 04/03/2002
BISMARCK, N.D. - The irresistible forces and the immovable objects in North Dakota's hunting debate got together again Tuesday at the Capitol. But this time, a possible compromise emerged on the subject of the 30,000 nonresident waterfowl hunters who come to North Dakota.

The two sides in the perennial controversy are those who like the economic boost that nonresident hunters bring to the state, versus the resident hunters who say they're losing access to nonfee hunting land because of nonresident hunters. In 1990, there were just 5,500 nonresident waterfowl hunters.

The Legislature's interim Judiciary Committee B is assigned to find a solution in time for the 2003 session. Its chairwoman, Rep. Lois Delmore, D-Grand Forks, and other legislators said they think there is movement toward middle ground, particularly on the topic of the 30,000 waterfowl hunters.

It came in the form of a proposal from Devils Lake Chamber of Commerce director Randy Frost, whose area enjoys the infusion of nonresident duck hunters' cash.

Rather than cap them at 10,000, 12,000 or 15,000, as some propose, he said the state should have only 7,500 come to hunt here in each week of four weeks of hunting.

It will mean the same number of hunters, but spread them out over the season.

It's worth looking at, some members of the committee said after the meeting.

"Hopefully, we're leading up to a bill that can work and bring balance between the two main groups we've got, the sportsmen and the landowners," Delmore said.

She opened the discussion Tuesday with a pep talk to the capacity crowd: "The committee has been asked to deal with a very contentious issue. It's going to have to be a compromise by all involved."

After attending hunting meetings Gov. John Hoeven ordered on the pheasant season opener last month, she hopes to see more of a cooperative spirit.

"Sometimes I'm disillusioned by the very inappropriate comments on both sides," she said. "None of the players is going to win if we keep going at each other."

Rep. Lyle Hanson, D-Jamestown, submitted a proposed bill Tuesday with a cap of 15,000 nonresident waterfowl hunters spread out to at least five. It's similar to a bill he introduced last session that did not pass. But he also didn't dismiss Frost's idea.

The problem was further illustrated by Deputy Game and Fish Commissioner Roger Rostvet, who told the committee that with only 165,000 acres in the department's PLOTS ("private land open to sportsmen") lease program that pays landowners to allow hunting, it's no wonder there is "pressure" and lack of access. Even with the governor's call for an increase to 500,000 in five to seven years, that is small by comparison to the 45 million acres of privately owned land in the state, he said.

"It's still only five acres per person. You can't buy yourself into access for everyone and every purpose in North Dakota," he said.
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Your welcome for the info. Try to get the link to Rep. Lyle Hanson's address so we can also e-mail him and thank him for fighting for us. We can't relax with the pheasant issue, we have to keep pressing forward so c'mon people get those emails sent and be heard!!!! :computer:
 

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This sounds like a good idea. My only concern is that the number keeps getting raised. What happens next season if there's 40,000 hunters? They will then raise the cap to that (since it's gone from the proposed 22,000 last session to a 25,000 one and now a 30,000 one). ND could handle 30,000 hunters I think and I like that they spread them out over the season. Maybe even adding more zones would help as well. There has to be some kind of compromise. Then again if there's a drought (and it looks likely there will be), NR numbers will probably fall anyways.
 

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This same article was in todays Minot Paper.There was also a qoute from Mark Ressner.Mark,if your out there I see you made some proposals at the meeting yesterday.Can you let us know what you proposed and how the meeting went.The next meetings are set for May 8 in Dickinson and May 9 in Bismarck.
 

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Compromise is the key to success here.

The main issue I see with Mr. Frost's plan is that is plays into the guide/outfitter scenario perfectly. They sell packages by the week or part week. The guides can only take so many hunters each week anyway.
By creating blocks of licenses, the guides have their client base stretched out for the entire season.

I would guess that the NR hunter numbers are already spread out through the season. Hotel and lodge availability influence this. Some NRs come early, others around pheasant season, some show up late Oct., others still actually hunt ND in November. The only time where there maybe a spike in NR numbers is around MN teacher's conference days. I would like to see numbers back that up though, I would guess more MN people flock to SD for pheasants that week.

When a NR buys a license they need to specify dates. The ND Game and Fish department should know already if there are weeks of heavy hunting pressure or not.

Why not drop the number of total days to 10 or EVEN 8 that could be split into two blocks - wouldn't you have the same effect ?

Reduce the number of NR hunter days in ND.

SD has unlimited pheasant hunting licenses, but you only can get 2 blocks of five days.

More extreme ideas:
1) How about banning NR from hunting weekends and give the residents the weekends to themselves. Problem here is you impact the averaging working man. Also prevent kids from hunting with their parents.

2) The US F&W service is proposing a September 24 opener for ND. Maybe the residents should have the first week to themselves. Would the guides allow this too happen ? Is this another pheasant gate about to happen ?
 

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This proposal of 7500 NR per week would probably work,BUT I see MN hunters screaming loud and long.If the week went from Sat to Fri,they would get to hunt 1 weekend.$100 for 2 days of hunting!!!7500 NR would pretty much disappear out here,especially if they were also given zone restrictions.They would probably have to have a lottery for the week of teacher's convention.
 

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Without more Zones I don't see as big a difference ??? They also need to be spread out into more areas with waterfowl. If they all pile into the same handful of comunities as they do now - How will that help economic development ? Those places are are pretty full (at least for 5 or 6 weeks) But it is better than nothing. I wonder how many of these licenses will be gaurenteed to guides & outfitters ??? Or will it be 1st come 1st served ??? Or Can outfitters buy up a bunch ??? Or lottery ??? Any thing on a weighted lottery ??? I would'nt be too quick to compromise - they are way ahead on all this !!! Time to catch up & make it make more sense - then down the road adjust (But let the People who know decide) I think they work for the tax payers, at the NDG&F :roll:
 

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I am currently a Minnesotan who grew up in ND. I occasionally hunt geese in MN, never ducks.

The ND G&F should already know when most MN hunters show up to hunt ducks by their time selections.

Is there a peak during MN teacher's conference ? Not so sure anymore. Not as many MN kids hunt compared to 10 or 20 years ago. Many head to SD - pheasants. MN kids in sports are tied to football. Minnesota youth hockey now starts by October 10th for any boy 10 and over.

Ken you are correct - the average "working-man" Minnesotan would get hit hard with the one weekend restriction. I would argue back that these guys are probably hunting 5 days total in ND anyway. The guys hunting with guides on a one week trip would feel no impact.

Question : Not all ND land is prime or good for waterfowl. Is the prime waterfowl land primarily leased up by lodges and guides ??

Or is the main issue with resident hunters the competition with free lance NRs for federal WPAs and non posted land access ??

Need to decide what type of NR hunter impacts the quality of resident hunters the most and work to reduce that factor.
 

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I to like the idea of 1 week for NR and a set number of tags issued. But with setting up more units to spread these guys out are we really gaining ground?

What is the plan for chocking back the Outfitters/Guides numbers? This is radical but I like what Montana did to control the Elk farming. No new Elk farms and the current permits to raise are not transferable. This would work here to No more new Outfitters and the current permits are not transferable. I think the MT residents had to use the referal/special vote process to get the point across to the Polititions. Just a idea.
 

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I think a lot of people from other states would like the plan. You should be able to get a license and plan a week and I have heard from some people in Minnesota say that there needs to be something like this done because they don't want to come here and spend money for lousy hunting. With some zones pressure would be spread out and harder to lease or buy land because you don't know the zone you are hunting in. This is give and take so I think the founding idea is a good one. I also would like to see access stamps for everyone and give the money to landowners who let us on.
 

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This would also mean residents only for the early Canada season and if the USFW gives us a Sept. 24 opener it would mean res. only the first week of the general season.It would also mean res, only after Nov 1.The snow hunting was great last Nov. in the southern part of the state.
 

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If they go to zones. The people hunting with guides would get their zone choice.

Would the other people get to select a zone ? 1st and 2nd choice ? 2nd drawing for under sold zones ? Cost to run lottery / lotteries to ND G&F.

I am sure many NR would not come to hunt in ND if they were not drawn for their prefered zone. This could really work at reducing overall numbers. This could reduce potential leasing by NR in over subscribed zones.

When you (a ND resident) apply for that buck deer license in SE ND and are denied - would you take a buck license in another part of the state you have never visited ? Or sit until next year for a buck license ?

What about retired ND farmers living in AZ or a NR coming home to hunt the "homestead" with dad ? If they are impacted by this new system would the land be post in revenge or anger ?

[ This Message was edited by: prairie hunter on 2002-04-04 07:42 ]
 

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Ken:

The early Canada goose season SHOULD be residents only.

Do you really think any guide or outfitter would give up that extra week in September or first week in Nov ?

[ This Message was edited by: prairie hunter on 2002-04-03 16:00 ]
 

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There has got to be give and take and people can always come back for deer season. We take less money to live here so if people want to hunt that bad then move back to the state. Residents should get some rights for freezing up here. Landowners who live in AZ would be granfathered in I'm sure and college kids keep an address here anyway. I don't think landowners would post in response especially if we can raise fees for all hunters residents and non. raise guide fees and dole the money out to the landowner. People make the choice to live here or not. This might be good for econ. development in ND because if people who love to hunt are restricted then maybe they will move back and bring money into the state by living here...just a thought.
 

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prarie hunter,

I agree about the early Canada season.I was just making a point.I also don't have a problem with the first week being res. only.

I am mainly talking about freelancers who would want to come after Nov. 1 if the birds are here like last year.I'm not saying I am against it.I really think this kind of proposal would benefit guides and outfitters and hurt neighboring states freelancers.
 

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The article in the paper is a start. I'll agree with a couple of you in that, why is the 30,000 hunters the number that has come up in the discussion? The 30,000 NRs in the paper is roughly the record number of NRs that ND has ever hosted. 30,000 is too many if we don't spread them out more. Let's not settle on a number right now. Let everyone study this issue and come up with a workable number of NRs. The selling of permits over the course of the season is a great idea but we also need to spread out the NRs as to the areas they hunt. Give the Devils Lake area more if they can support them and give SE ND less if they can't support as many.
 

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As a non-resident, I find it very curious that the proposed cap number just happens to coincide with last years NR numbers. Does anyone out there think that NDG&F had any say in this cap figure??? Of course they did. When approximately 80% of their revenue is generated through license sales, they aren't going to stop that cash cow from depositing huge sums of money into their general fund.

Once these agencies get flush with money in their general funds, they get used to spending this money on equipment, etc. All one would have to do is look at their general budget expenditures over ther past five years (which coincides with the exponential growth of NR license sales) and attempt to find out where all of this huge influx of license revenue is going. I'll bet you would be very hard pressed to find that in habitat restoration and access programs. Lastly, if you look at their history, this agency lags behind most other states when it comes to habitat restoration, hunting access, etc. Of course, the current director likes to portray that the state has done such a good job of developing its resources. That is about as phony as Al Gore claiming to have invented the internet.
 

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This proposal sounds fair to me but.........It does not address the issue of huge amounts of leased land being taken up by the outfitters. That problem needs to be looked at too!

Dr. Bob
 

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Game and Fish Departments all have there need for money.

ND needs the NR waterfowlers
MN needs the NR anglers
SD needs NR pheasant hunters.

Yes SD have very tight caps on waterfowl hunters (and a third of those waterfowl licenses are essentially for guides only), but the number of pheasant hunters in SD is unlimited. Didn't South Dakota sell nearly 60,000 non-resident pheasant licenses last year ?

Each DNR has different strategies for access. South Dakota has walk-in access program where they lease land. Minnesota purchases land every year to add to their wildlife management lands. ND does a little of everything a little land acquisition, a little PLOTS, etc...

Why not let the US F&W buy land for WPAs like they could before ?? Land free to hunt with little cost to most NDs.
 
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