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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just finished reading another story in the paper this morning concerning the North Dakota / Non-resident thing. I'll admit it has been an issue that has frustrated me but now I'm just tired of hearing the same thing over and over. I know that many of the NRs on this site and others are also frustrated and have been voicing their views as well on the subject.

Time to move on, without the name calling and threats of retaliation, if you do this then we'll to that. ND can't do anything about the Oct 11th through 17 restrictions. It's now the law for two years. The Governor can't touch it without a special session and that's not going to happen.

I've heard many NRs express the frustration from their viewpoint, both on-line and in person. I have a question now that things are starting to cool down a little (maybe?). What would be a good compromise on the issues? What would it take to get the NR MN waterfowl and upland hunters to help support the ND freelance hunters? How do we ALL get together to fight the G/Os who are positionng us all against each other? What do the NR waterfowlers want in terms of seasons and access? What do the Upland hunters want? If the resident freelance hunters would have the support of the freelance MN hunters I think much more pressure could be brought to bear in the next legislative session in 2005. I also think that some type of consessions could be accepted by the resident sportsmen's groups to have the help of the MN resident sportsmen instead of feeling like many of the NRs are fighting against us.

As many have suggested....it's time to manage things better on BOTH sides of the red river. The time for name calling and responding...you can't do this...and I can't to that,NEEDS TO BE OVER. How do we reach a compromise? You know where BOTH sides give and take. Hopefully there are a number of people here who are tired of the negatives and are ready to get together with positive ideas and actions. Any Ideas?

A resident hunter
 

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Good Post I't will be intersting to see where it goes!
 

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It does wear you out doesn't it. I've only ben following the debate for a couple months and I wish I was still blissfully ignorant.
 

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Non Resident caps and require NRs to ask permission on posted and unposted land. Guide services should be limited to their OWN property or that of someone they are working for.
 

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Field Hunter,
I would be willing to work on some ideas. Thanks for starting this post. From my point of view there are at least 4 issues that we have to address (in no particular order).

1. Access
2. The average guy. The freelancer
3. Youth
4. Separating waterfowl issues from upland.

Some opinions as they relate to the upland side.

Access. Right now it is G/O vs the resident freelancer vs the NR freelancer. Right now you have X amount of total huntable acres, Y is the amount snatched up by G/O. What is left for both freelancers(Z)? X-Y=Z. Three ways to tackle that problem.

One is to decrease Y. As some have said, it may be hard to decrease that number and the best we can hope for is to keep it where it is. I dont have any ideas on that one. Hopefully someone else does.

The second is to divide Z or limit one group (the NR) so that the other group benefits. For the short term, it will help the one group (residents), but divide the two groups. NRs don't like this option. We help pay for it, we wanna use it, that is the way a lot of us feel.

The third is to increase X. There are different ways to do this of course. PLOTS, COVERLOCKS (by the way, I assume Coverlocks is not available to nonresidents the first 7 days, is that correct?), WMA's, etc. Public land. For the long term, most will agree there needs to be a focus here. The way few talk about increasing X is to build more habitat. A farm that doesnt have a huntable population, with habitat improvements will. Someone then gets to hunt it. That someone is not hunting public land anymore. There are ways to do that, if anyone is interested, I can throw out some more ideas. But I dont wanna bore people with a long post.

The average guy. Most NRs know they are gonna pay a higher license. As long as it is reasonable ($100 is reasonable, so is mebbe a little more for habitat/public land??? $125 mebbe?). But it cant get too high. We cannot let it turn into a rich man only sport.

Youth. I feel this thing between states is snowballing. Who is gonna lose in the long run? All of us and all our kids. I dont wanna take away the opportunity for any kid to hunt muleys in Montana, ducks in ND, fish in the BWCA, or whatever.

Separate upland from waterfowl. Different issues, different solutions. Each decision in one arena affects the other.

I will throw out another idea, but it wont be easy or it already would have happened. But involving the USF&W, DU, PF, etc would help. Right now, we are identified as Minnesotans, North Dakotans, etc. We need to stop focussing on that.
 

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Cedar Creek all your idea is going to do is drive NRs to the guides and make hunting suck just like it does in the whole South East. Make it hard for the Nrs to hunt and they will be paying guides and supporting guides leasing lands for the NRs use. The idea of this thread is to come up with ideas that enhance everybodies chance to hunt.
 

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Instead of increasing fee's drastically it would have been far more beneficial to earmark more funds for PLOTS. While there are some hotspots that will always be prime leased land there is plenty of good quality hunting land that could be put into PLOTS by paying the farmer some money. I have a fair number of relatives that farm in ND and most don't have a problem w/hunters.

My suggestion would be a $25 fee on all nonresidents above the age of 16 that would go directly to PLOTS. As far as controlling the purchase of land by charging for multiple license.....well, if they can afford the land I doubt it will detour the purchase. Create enough access through PLOTS and most of the issues would be mute.
 

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NDG&F, primarliy via a $5 increase in the habitat stamp is sitting on a 3.3MM allocation to spend for PLOTS enhancement, with a mandate to more than double the acres. In the past, they've had idfficulties getting sign-ups. Let's see how this round goes, where the parcels are acquired, what kind of quality is obtained, how productive these parcels remain throughout the season etc. before we talk about tossing a whole bunch more money at the deal. I sure hope we see many more of the new yellow dots on the PLOTS map in the SW part of the state.
 

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Dan I don't blame you for wanting them in the SW part of the state but wouldn't it be better to spred them ( plots) out with the intention of attracting hunters away from the SW where I take it the congestion is the worst?
 

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I'd say put 'em where the birds are. Wouldn't do much good to put them in the RRV or other pheasant-challenged areas. And, if you've got a copy of any old PLOTS maps, you'll see that the SW, traditionally the best pheasant hunting area, also currently contains the lowest concentration of PLOTS parcels of all good pheasant areas. Already lots of yellow dots in the SC and NW areas - relatively few in the SW.
 

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Well we agree to to disagree. I did say put some of them there but there is lots of good pheasant hunting in other areas. Non-res don't need to see a thousand birds a day to be happy I think you could pull a lot of them away from the congestion. I know I would and do prefer elbow room and solitude to large bird numbers. And alnost the whole state has good pheasant hunting
 

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What does RRV stand for anyway?
 

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Red River Valley.....farmed road to road, very few upland birds!!!
 

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That would be a good reason to purchase pLots access in the area and create habitat and increase upland populations in the RRV. Maybe its not doable but without it there never will be a population of game in the area. Habitat = birds as we all know.
 

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Bob, there are also climactic limitations. Within ND, lattitude is less climacticly consistant than other states.

If you draw a line from the SE corner of ND to the NW corner, everything south of that line is considered primary (not necessarliy prime) pheasant country. Generally, the farther south and west you go, the more moderate the climate and the more productive is the pheasant ground. When we have several "open" winters in a row and good nesting conditions even the East and North portions of that area can be very good, and areas North of that line some distance (not statewide) can be good. But, get one or more bad winters, and outside the best areas, we're on a rebuilding pattern again, no matter the habitat.

It would be unreliable and not cost-effective, if the goal was upland habitat, to spend too much of the money outside of the more reliable areas. Don't mean to be a doom-sayer, but we're about due for another "pheasant-buster" winter.
 

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I know you know your stuff about ND so let me ask you this would native birds like sharptails make it there. How about huns. How much of the survivability is due to ditch to ditch farming. Don't you think the habitat could be improved to amke it survivable. I am asking not challenging I really have a clue what its like up there.
 

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I meant to say I "don't "have a clue what the weather is like up there
 

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Dan,
I will have to disagree with you a little on the habitat issue. Given good habitat, the pheasant is a very hardy bird and could easily survive in good numbers in areas like the RRV. This is evidenced by the fact that many areas of MN and ND that are out of the "prime" areas can thrive given good habitat conditions. However, if you couple bad weather and poor habitat, you're absolutely right, they will not survive. The key is habitat and the correct type and quantity of habitat. So, to say that the RRV and like areas cannot handle birds now is correct, but could they in the future with enough habitat work? Absolutely. Note I said enough habitat work and not just "some" habitat work. Pheasants numbers, particulary in tougher climatic regions require the correct mix of habitat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Bobm,

The weather in and around the RRV can be 20 -30 below zero with 40-60 below wind chills for an extended period of time.....hard to get upland birds to survive even with good cover. We're also flat as a pancake in the RRV areas and the snow just piles into any cover effectively killing all roosters during a big blizzard...few trees either...pretty much road to road farmng with no cover even in the fence lines. The grouse could survive the cold and snow but with no cover.....

I'm not sure but I think the farmers in the Red River Valley make much more money on farm products...sugar beets..... than a CRP payment would cover. I checked with the Game and Fish department, for my brother-in-law who just inherited 400 areas of pasture in SC ND, about putting the land into the PLOTS program. I was informed that GnF pays approximately $2.00/acres additional on top of the CRP payment that the farmer receives from the feds. The land has to be planted in CRP or left natural inorder for the Gnf to enroll it in the PLOTS program. So in the Red River Valley where most of the land is extensively farmed, the landowner would have to let the land go idle before he was paid a PLOTS payment. If I'm wrong on this, someone please correct me.

As we've said in the past that just increasing the PLOTS acres alone are not going to solve the problem. It'll help but it's not everything.

Dan is right on the PLOTS.....yes there are some good hunting spots that are not in the SW but ND needs more good land enrolled in PLOTS in the SW where the majority of the birds are located and also the area that is able to sustan the most birds during a heavy winter due to the climate n the SW.

If my senerio is correct above on the amount of PLOTS payments per acre then there are going to be very few PLOTS acres ever signed up in the SW. Let's say farmer x gets $40.00/acre CRP payments = $6400.00/year and he gets an additonal $2.00/acre to sign up with PLOTS then he'd get $6400.00 + $320.00 = $6720.00/year.
The Big G/O out there is paying the farmers $15.00/bird that is shot on their land. I would think with the thousands of pheasants in that area that 200 birds could be shot off of a 160 acreas during the course of the season. I think that's actually somewhat conservative. So now the farmer gets the $6400.00 CRP payment and $3000.00 for birds shot on his land. If I was a landowner I know which way I would go.
 
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