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Poor Richard's Almanac from the January 15 paper - www.bensoncountynews.com

The issue of limiting out-of-state hunters from coming to North Dakota will be played out in the State Legislature this winter.

The first shot was fired by the so-called sportsmen's groups in North Dakota who forced Gov. John Hoeven to back down from a proposal on pheasant hunting. After caving in to the intense pressure they showed they could deliver, Hoeven gave them what they wanted: a limit on the number of out-of-state waterfowl hunting licenses the state will issue.

This limit caused the loss of many thousands of dollars to businesses in this area. You don't believe it? Call Kyle Blanchfield at Woodland Resort at 701-662-5996. Call Randy Frost at the Lake Area Chamber of commerce at 701-662-4903. Call Steve Chase at Spirit Water Inn in Minnewaukan at 701-473-2587. They'll tell you how this limit took money out of the pockets of struggling businesses.

Not being satisfied with Hoeven's ill-conceived limit, so-called sportsmen's groups in North Dakota now want to apply something called the hunting pressure concept to granting waterfowl licenses to out-of-state hunters. If habitat is good, the limit will be something like what it is now. If habitat is not so good, the limit will be less.

It sounds reasonable, but it's merely an excuse to impose more stringent limits. The hunting pressure concept results in pressure on the governor to keep the limits on out-of-state hunters artificially low so there is less competition for resident hunters.

If wildlife were threatened, I could see the merit of the hunter pressure concept. Imposing it under present conditions is not only totally unnecessary, it is unwise from an economic standpoint. There are some areas of the state which may have more hunters than property on which to hunt, but that is not the case in this area, according to what I've been able to gather.

The argument that these so-called sportsmen's groups make is that they are attempting to conserve our wildlife resources. Yeah, right. There are so many Canadian geese they are destroying their habitat. A spring goose season was instituted to reduce their numbers. It hardly made a dent. I've never seen so many ducks, coots and deer.

The fact is that our waterfowl resources are not anywhere near in danger. What is in danger is the rural North Dakota economy.

We have something called the hunter economic impact concept operating in our little towns in the Devils Lake Basin. Devils Lake has been flooding us unmercifully. But with Devils Lake lapping at Minnewaukan's shores, a tourism industry catering to hunters and fishermen has suddenly sprung up. We have a cafe again. Our bar remains open. A bait shop was established. A motel-resort was created. Our store, which sells gas, finds boats lining up to fill at the pump. A lot of this activity is related to fishing, but a good deal of it is also related to hunting.

Don't get me wrong. These businesses aren't thriving. They're hanging on. They're surviving. Take away one-quarter of their customers and they'd probably all fold. That's what the hunter pressure concept will do to our struggling businesses. The so-called sportsmen from thriving Fargo have no feeling for the mom and pop store owners who go broke in the small towns. They can easily be sacrificed so urban North Dakota hunters can have hunting fun without competition from out-of-staters.

When the so-called sportsmen's groups applied their pressure to Hoeven with threats, that was all well and good. When I said there would be a severe backlash if these so-called sportsmen's groups succeed in placing further limits on out-of-state hunters, a letter writer in The Forum at Fargo (Saturday, Jan. 11 issue) said I was trotting out a "dirty scare tactic." The letter writer said we should "compromise." Rural North Dakota has already paid dearly with Hoeven's limit. We are supposed to "compromise" by giving up more.

I don't think so. I read recently about landowners in Idaho banding together and posting more than 100,000 acres as a result of displeasure with state policies. That could easily happen here if our backs are pushed further against the wall.

We are fighting for our survival. And we're damned mad that these so-called sportsmen's groups in North Dakota are trying to gain advantage for themselves by stifling what little economic growth we are seeing.

In 2001-02 hunters and fishermen spent $260 million in rural North Dakota. Of that figure, $48.4 million came from nonresidents.

Make no mistake about it. If the so-called sportsmen's groups manage to further damage us we will fight back.

At a time when the state desperately needs more economic activity why would the State Legislature want to curtail much-needed business in North Dakota? Testimony on the hunter pressure concept will be heard in the State Senate Jan. 23. The so-called sportsmen's groups are united and will be in attendance in force.

Will rural North Dakota businesses and landowners stand up for their rights, or will they allow these groups to take them from us?
 

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Has the state truly given up on rural ND? So basically the sportsmen are going to be blamed for all of rural ND's problems? Can't there be any economic alternative for rural ND other than taking away one of the few benefits we have to living here and selling it?

I'm giving a presentation at the Alerus Center in GF tomorrow (2 p.m.), for the "New Ideas" convention for North Dakota. We're going to expose the potential for rural businesses to compete on a national level in Ecommerce. Location has been a big factor in the rural decline, on the Internet physical location is meaningless. I encourage any rural businesses to take part in the presentation, and learn how to reestablish your business on the Internet. The cost is free. We'll have a booth so feel free to stop by anytime other than 2-3 pm
 

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wow... :puke: how can everyone be so blind!! i was going to write to legislators this weekend, but after reading this i just had to do it today, i remind them in all my emails this year and last session about ND's outmigration of youth and how i will be a statistic of that if they don't realize what is really needed to boost our economy... Keeping good hunting to keep residents! i don't think they realize how many people actually live here just for the hunting and fishing!
 

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This so called editor of a so called neswpaper doesn't know what he's talking about.This so called editor is on a mission to end resident hunting here as we know it.I wish I subscribed to his so called newspaper so I could cancel my subscription.
 

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The worst part is as editor and small town business person he is being listened to and believed.
 

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He makes a few valid points. . .tourism is an industry in ND. ND is struggling, especially in the rural areas. Where do you strike that balance: keeping the residents happy and at least attempting to fuel the tourism industry?
 

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LaSalle read back & see many of the ideas to make small towns better for fall hunters (& they will come) remember over 95 % are Freelance not PAY to hunt.

Here is another ND forum that I wrote a plea for NR's to join us in our battles with Guides & Outfitters & misguided commercial / Hospitality people, that have been spooked to believing what we think is good - is bad for them. http://www.refugeforums.com/refuge/show ... genumber=1

I'd like to run the Tourism Dept. & be able to coordinate & cooperate with the Chambers of Commerces & ND G&FD & Landowners of Communities that want to improve their participation in Fall Hunting opportunities. (WHY CAN"T PEOPLE SEE THIS ???) The possibilities are untaped & almost limitless - But going the route of Pay to hunt is not the best answer. Also having unlimited free for all of NR's is not either.

I applaud what towns like Kenmare & Cando are trying to do. What is sad is the towns that have tried this - You can tell they really don't have people who know what hunters like & how they think & what they are looking for. Plus they are competeing against each other - in sceduling & inviting hunters to come at the same times- again the Tourism Dept. should be helping them & also promoting Freelance hunting. We could grow & improve this hunting paradise, if folks could work together & do what is Best for all.
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This Editor is more than just looking out for his small town. He is somehow very connected to Guiding to be this narrow minded.

There is so much that could be done to improve ND & allow more NR hunters. But it has to be managed - Not a free for all & NOT promote Pay to Hunt.

The Good part is, I bet this site reaches alot more people, than his newspaper & I bet ??? the ones that believe his stuff, are already in the pockets of the Guides ???
 

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He mentions 3 of the main players in the guiding industry by name and phone number. Of course he is mouthpeice. That was never in question.

The orginal Forum letter should have been posted, rather than this tripe. The letter to the forum was thoughful, well conceived, concilliatory, a nice piece of work that must have really twisted this poor editors underwear. Good arguments do that to folks holding the opposite view.

M.
 

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MRN, you say those 3 people are in the guiding industry, how do you know that? It said a they were from a resort, an inn and a chamber of commerce. Do you have evidence of their ties to guiding?
 

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Any one on this site for awhile will know these three individuals are for the complete commercialization of hunting in the Devils Lake area.

Kyle Blanchfield, Randy Frost, and Steve Chase.

Of course Kyle says he always let residents hunt for free on his massive lease if they just ask. :eyeroll: JUST KIDDING ???
Actually it is probably his way of cheap scouting. Some resident calls Kyle and says can we hunt that 160 barley field off county 11 - full of snow geese. Nope - got men there tomorrow. Thanks for the tip -- snicker, snicker ....... :poke:
 

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1) what PH said
2) under what conditions would you give out someone's phone number in print?
3) what do you think the purpose of the names and numbers was?

M.
 

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Just clarifying, did't want to jump to any conclusions. You would give out #s if they felt strongly about the issues, which undoubtedly they do. Mebbe we dont agree with them, but you cant say they dont feel strongly.
 

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The article seems like a piece pimping guides and how much they bring into an area. It's been writen already but why would you put names and numbers. Stange?
 
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