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I am a non resident and I have duck and goose hunted in N.D. for the past 8 years. The best hunts of my life have taken place in North Dakota. I say to the residents of North Dakota, fight the commercialization of your hunting resources to the last bit of your strength. You have the last best place to hunt in America because of the relative lack of commercial hunt operations be they lease or guide service. The rest of the country is dominated by commercial hunt interests. When I go to North Dakota, it is the freedom to search out game and go hunt it that is so appealing to me and I think so many others. It is the freedom that is so important and precious these days. Invisible walls do not yet arise at the road side in North Dakota. A person can look at the far horizon and more times than not say why not. Do what you have to do to protect this last precious reminder of what has already passed most of us by.
Jeff Lansdale aka Hatchie Dawg
 

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Thank you Jeff..I am glad someone understands the issues and realizes ND does not want to put up a DO NOT ENTER sign for nonresidents, but only wants to keep something that is pretty special and protect it for both the residents and non-residents.
 

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I am from Texas,which obviously would put me as a non resident of North Dakota. Let me tell you what happens when commercial hunting takes over, I've seen everything change in the last decade and a half.

I had relatives who had land up in the panhandle, and down by the coast. I spent much of my time there helping them on the farm and became good friends with many surrounding farmers of the area.Hunting was great for a couple years,as I could hunt in prime areas.But when commercial hunting moved in,it literally changed overnight.

Let me tell you,commercial hunting turned my relatives area into a cutthraot mentality.Greed took over and now theres hard feelings over who gets the most money or whos getting more for their lease.I had a shotgun pulled on me by the same people I used to call friends because they felt I was going to trespass to shoot birds on their land. I was only getting out to pee.And when a couple big wigs moved into the area,they put up a couple lodges for hunting clubs and thats where all of the money goes. Write down to the big hunting areas and ask the local businesses how commercial hunting has helped them. They will tell you that their hunting business is a thing of the past as the local clubs provide every service under the sun to help with their margins. Don't be fooled by those wanting to commercialize your hunting. They aren't out to help anyone but their own wallets at the expense of so many.

Nowadays I can only afford to hunt a handful of public lands.Imagine how safe hunting is when 40 guys pile into a 10 acre pond, sometimes more.Watching fist fights break out because somebody shot sombody elses bird. No thanks.

Nowadays I don't hunt in Texas anymore. I can only save up to take a trip a year if possible to places like ND or Canada where hunting (real hunting) still exists.

I'm with Hatchie Dog and do whatever it takes! When your hunting is gone you wont get it back. I've been reading around here for a couple hours and I can clearly see who your enemies are. The person who made a shot about ND hunters sided with PETA is insane.In my mind the commercial hunting operations are as close to PETA as anyone. Come to my hometown, it's full of hasbeen hunters.The majority of TX hunters is gone, support gone, money gone, all because of hunting operations.

Dont think what happened here wont happen to you. I respect what you guys are doing up there, dont ever let anyone tell you you're doing the wrong thing!
 

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Hatchie, Jay, good testimony. Would you come back on my email please. I'd like to visit with you. Thanks.
 

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Thanks for your honesty

This is our best & maybe only time to standup & ask our elected officials & appointed & respected G&FD people to help us try to keep ND special.

There is so much that could be done to make public hunting better.

Also make the income to small towns better - helping them economicaly by good management of hunters & improving Freelance Hunting.

It is the Freelance Hunters that spend the vast majority in small towns- It's just they cannot all crowd into the few towns - all at the same times (few weeks) We have to find ways to get other towns interested in working with the Farmers & Landowners in their areas. To welcome Freelance Hunters - there are so many areas with ducks that hardly get any pressure at all - things could be done to expand the times & days in certain zones (More zones) Many more zones - Let the G&FD work on & study where more hunters are needed & welcome.

What has happened to our good areas for SOB (Snows Or Blues) hunting is sad & a taste of what you discribe in Texas.

It will take some real Leadership, to change the thinking, the commercial sides in all this have used, to get people fighting & working against each other - turning this into a political mess. & using our Legislature as a way to enact Bad Legislation & make rural communities think commercial (pay to Hunt) is good.

That is why this session & what is done after it, is the crossroads to the future of hunting in ND.

We have only learned & woke up recently to what has been going on now & for several years. ND was so good & untouched by all this - we Freelance Hunters were lulled to sleep & satisfied with our Blessings - But you are so right, it can change really fast.

Unless our Law makers wise up & see the truth - ND could become no better & resources will become lost for the average hunter.

This is about so much more than money. Although it could be a Blessing to all. If Lawmakers will learn & listen to the good people in all this.

Many Lawmakers would be surprized at the cross section of good people who have stood up & fought for our hunting Heritage in recent months & the past couple years. I think they are learning & listening (Finally) But there is a up hill battle yet to fight.

It is up to us, to elect & support the right people & correct & show the true colors of those that want to commercialize ND hunting. Many have been blind or not heard, or listened to, the right sides in all this. I hope that is / has changed ???

Thanks for a letter of truth & caution on the subject.

I know I was spoiled in the past - expirencing what I have - I too am making plans to find unspoiled places to Hunt - (Not just shoot) & be able to enjoy something that is a big part of my life. I know it will cost more & I will have to do & try new things.

I just hope it is still in ND
 

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Very savvy reports by Hatchie and Jay.

I just hope that North Dakota's tradition can be preserved. We have examples of what not to do (Texas). If we can't learn from mistakes made by others, we are not very smart.
 

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I hope you guys can defeat the guides and lodges. Because when guys fly in to hunt a lodge the lodge is the only one to make any money. In Colorado it is bad enough thank god for public land or no one would be hunting Elk and Deer. For bird hunting cooperation wit communities and landowners is important. In Colorado we are just stating a walk in program for pheasants while some land owners like it more than others they realize if they want a coffee shop/dinners in their town and such to survive year round they need to make money during the hunting season. Guides and lodges do not support the community financially just their own business. In the parts of Colorado with the easiest access to public land for big game those communities fair much better than the ones with private ranches or where private ranches make access to public lands difficult.

Limit commercial hunting or it will kill hunting especially dear and waterfowl hunting. In Colorado you can still hunt big game because of public land and pheasant now with the walk in program. Before the walk in program pheasant hunting in Colorado was declining fast. In Colorado other than public land it is getting harder and harder to waterfowl hunt if it is not public and has water it is leased. Even getting into a cornfield can be difficult I am very fortunate that some of my College roommates have family farms.
 

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We should send these testimonials on to the legislators that will be voting on these issues. Thank you very much for your input gentleman.
 

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Whoever owns the land is responsible for paying the taxes duck acres. I assume you are trying to make the point that since they pay the taxes, they have the right to say who can go on the land. I think we all agree with that. However, they knew (or should have known) when they became owner of that property that North Dakota allows hunting on land that is not posted. This is not something new, it is the way it has been for a long time here. If you do not want people hunting on your land, you do as generations before you have and post it. If you do not care if anyone hunts it, you do not post it. This is the way it is, has been and should remain.
 

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Pike,

Just because it has always been done that way doesn't mean it is good or should remain. Examples: slavery, recent welfare programs, Sunday opening laws in ND, and numerous other "traditions" are no longer in place. While I do not think we need to change the way things are done now with posting, I do believe it will not be that major when all that will happen is that a different group will have to post their land as open to hunting. It should be all property owners right to expect privacy for the land they own. If they do not care who hunts or uses it, then they should be the ones to post it.
 

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Just because it has always been done that way doesn't mean it is good or should remain.
I agree with that statement on some issues just not this one. I am also glad we agree that the posting laws should remain as is.

I disagree in it not having an impact. For those who always ask permission(even on unposted land), only hunt their own land, etc. it will have zero impact. Unless they want to let others hunt their land they will have to put up signs.
Those it will affect are those who do not ALWAYS ask permission to hunt unposted land. I think it will affect the numbers of NR who come here which will in turn affect the small towns and businesses. One of the biggest reasons we get so many freelance NR is because of our posting laws. They do not have to buy a lease, know someone, own land or hire a guide. They can actually hunt, look for game, move with the flocks, etc.

Will it affect me? Yes, I do not always ask permission to hunt unposted land. I do enjoy finding new areas to hunt and trying new things. I like the fact that I can get out and drive, enjoy being out, find a promising looking spot and hunt it if it is not posted or being hunted by someone else.
This was a major factor in why I moved back to the state when getting out of the military. ND's outstanding hunting and fishing opportunities. I think it keeps a lot of our youth in the state/brings them back. A lot more than people think. But since it is hard to put a number or dollar value on it so it does not get the recognition it should.
 
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