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Press release for Governors office today stated that he is going set the nonresident cap at 30,000 hunters.
 

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After this entire debate, yah you guys influenced me.

I was hoping for 22,000 and a quick phone call.

This is not good. I fear many of these 30,000 will now hunt even longer in ND this fall. Many may feel that they may not get to hunt next year - caps, increase in cost, drought - so why not stay as long as they can.

Even though I (and my ND hunting buddies) have been lightly impacted by the increase in hunter numbers over the past few years, I feel this year may be out of control.

The backlash will bring even more resentment to NRs in the future, ND landowner-sportsman relations strained, etc...

Hoeven had an excellent chance to calm the waters before the storm. He has failed all. :(
 

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WOW! I will agree with you PH. I think the backlash and resentment towards NR's will be felt. I too could have lived with 22,000, would have been happy with 25,000 but this is almost a slap in the face to alot of residents, and I hope NR don't get blamed or feel the effects in the coffee shop or in the field. I think the blame should be put on guides and their influence on the Gov.

Is hildebrand elected or appointed by the Gov. Must be some fallout between them. Just wait guides will be a getting an allotment of lics next
 

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Just heard the same thing on 790 AM. I don't think we need to become SD like with a limit of 4500, but 30K, why even bother with a limit? A number between 18-22K would be a much better solution to keep all sides happier. With many of the areas of the state being dry, this years 30K will make the hunting pressure seem even higher than last year.

Looked on the http://www.governor.state.nd.us/media/ site but no official update on this subject, so I'm not sure if any new zones and zone limits have been set.

All the information that the NDGF Survey put out this spring stated that a cap this high would lead to very unsatisfied resident hunters. I knew it would be trouble when so much of the political and business development talk I've heard lately is relying heavily on increasing ND tourism.

Looks like Hoeven is basically putting any major decision off until the legislature can look at the advisory boards data next year. So instead of the NDGF, resident hunters, businesses that rely on total hunter numbers, etc. that follow and are well educated on this topic making the decision, we'll now have politicians making the decision.

It seems like if this trend keeps up many of the residents that value the excellent hunting as a big part of the reason they are willing to make far less money here will say why not move and just come back every year for a couple weeks and have the best of both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here is the press release, should have posted it right away.

NEWS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 28, 2002

Contact: Kathy Ibach or Don Canton
(701) 328-2200

HOEVEN ANNOUNCES GUIDELINES FOR 2002 WATERFOWL SEASON

BISMARCK, N.D. - Gov. John Hoeven today directed the North Dakota Game and Fish Department this year to issue no more than 30,000 non-resident waterfowl hunting licenses, seek approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to open the season one week early for resident hunters only and enforce the state's hunting zones to disperse hunting more effectively throughout the state. The decision came after consultation with Game and Fish Department Director Dean Hildebrand. The Game and Fish Advisory board recently split four to four on a decision to limit non-resident hunters.

"This is an important step to respond to resident hunters' concerns about hunting pressures, while still respecting the interests of landowners, our rural communities and others," Hoeven said. "We need to get people working together."

The decision to hold non-resident hunters to 30,000 is based on last year's non-resident hunter numbers, which slightly exceeded 30,000, and this year's count of breeding waterfowl, which is higher than both last year's and the historical average. The decision to open the season one week early was based on a desire to reserve the opening week for North Dakota resident hunters. It will also allow them expanded opportunity to hunt wood duck and teal.

Enforcement of the zoning restrictions is intended to move hunters from areas that experience too much hunting pressure to areas that could benefit from more hunting activity. The state has three zones, and Zone 3, which encompasses much of the central and western portion of the state, has been a "free" zone. That means a license valid in either Zone 1 or Zone 2 has enabled the bearer to hunt in Zone 3 as well during the licensure period. Under the new plan, Zone 3 will no longer be a free zone and non-resident hunters will have to stay in the zone they select.

"We need to take these steps for the 2002 season, but additionally, we need to continue our efforts to increase access," Hoeven said. "It is important that we work with the Legislature to develop innovative management tools to build the hunting experience in our state, now and in the future."
 

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Thanks for the clarification Muzzy. We'll see what the USFWS comes back with on the request to open the season one week early for resident hunters only and enforce the state's hunting zones to disperse hunting more effectively throughout the state.
 

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That zone 3 business is a CROCK. That will do nothing to help the situation!

I think the early opener for residents only is a good plan. I hope it passes.
 

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If you want to let Gov. Hoeven know how you feel ( you know I will )...

Here's his contact information. When he screwed up the pheasant opener....people really let him know it!!! Let's do the same for the waterfowl opener!!!

Governor's Office
Dept. 101
600 E. Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, ND 58505-0001

(701) 328-2200 [Phone]
(701) 328-2205 [Fax]

1-800-366-6888 [TTY-Relay ND]
1-800-366-6889 [TTY-Relay ND - Voice]

[email protected]
 

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This is very disappointing.He could have picked a lower number and kept res. and most non-res happy.
Cancarver....the director is appointed by the governor...kind of ties his hands doesn't it?
 

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I wonder where he's getting his advise...does he believe if he says there's a cap(which is not really a cap), the residents will hush up on this issue???

Is this set in stone or does the G&F have a final say so??? I guess he needs another wake-up call from the resident sportsmen
 

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I would say this is it.He has made the final decision.He has to sign it.This mornings paper says the GNF will start selling licenses next week.They can only be obtained over the phone,internet or in person.This is the only way they can keep track of how many there are.No more selling at stores and court houses.
 

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Ok guys Im from Iowa and this will be my 4th season hunting at age 31 (late bloomer) anyway ive been to ND twice and I have never had any problems with the locals ,they were all very nice and willing to let us hunt (we freelanced) my question is are we hated by the local hunters in ND? The reason we go is because its somewhere different and we were treated nicely so we go back ,but id hate to make to many enemies by just hunting there ,could you let me know your opinions? ,thanks TT , and any info on Robinson ND would be appreciated :beer:
 

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Sunday and Monday I will be near Robinson cultivating corn so I can gather some information if you would like.
 

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I just read on another page that the early week he is aking for will be residents only. is there any truth to that? I have hunted opeing weekend every year but have thought about switching to the calendar arrival of cannasbacks. I also see zones will be restricted, thats the one thing I didn't want, and keeping only three zones how is that going to help? How come some of you regulars haven't posted with your feelings? I don't think anyone won out except for the guides.

If hildebrand is appointed the old gov must of gotten some politcal preesure from somewhere to go beyond.
 

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Cancarver...the press release above clearly says if the season is opened a week earlier it will be for residents only.I believe it will be for ducks only and not geese,which will open on the traditional opener.There has always been 3 zones.The difference being a license in zone 1 or 2 was also good for 3.That will not be the case this year.
I said on another thread that he gave in.I think he should have settled closer to what the GNF wanted,but he is strictly pro business.BUT at least there is now the precedence of a cap for the next legis.
Tealtamer...Come on out and hunt...we do not dislike non-res.I hunt with non-res all the time as do most of us.
 

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I agree that this "cap" isn't really going to do anything. The whole idea behind the cap was to limit the corporate outfitters and stop the leasing and buying of hunting land by NR's. This cap isn't going to do that. Hoeven did what I thought he'd do...sit on the fence and not risk backlash. I suppose he thinks most folks will see that he set a cap, and not even really look at the number part of it. I think he's going to get more than a couple letters to the contrary. Not to mention a lack of support from the state's sportsman next election.

On the bright side, and yes I think there is one (even if it's small)...at least numbers will not increase thise year. We were looking at a 5-7,000 jump in numbers this year if things kept going on track. Imagine how much worse things could have continued to get. Another year or two of increasing hunter #'s would have only made a cap of 18-22,000 all the more difficult to get. Think how hard it would've been to get a cap if NR's hit 40,000. At least this gives us a starting point. Maybe it was foolish to think we could resolve this so easily...most issues of this magnitude take years and several strides to accomplish (not to say there hasn't been a lot of people working very hard for years on this). Although this is probably not a stride, it is at least a step in the right direction. Now we can work from here to get what is needed.
 
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What's the point? Typical political based decision, indented to satisfy everyone, resulting in satisfying no one. I do think ya'll underestimated the influence of the service industry in your state. From my perspective they want nr hunters, and were told first hand by a few hotel owners that they put pressure on the governor. In the end, who did you think he would listen to? A few loud hunters or an industry the directly represents the second largest industry in your state. It's clear to me why he decided the way he did. The next great dry spell is coming and that will naturally keep nr's away.
 

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This really stinks. I wonder what all the meetings were for if they weren't going to change some things. Fine I agree that limits are the first step and that 30k is a place to start, but I still don't understand if there were so many resident hunters upset about access/crowding then why not set the limits lower. On top of it they are talking about us going in a week earlier and shooting out the ducks. It could be three or four weeks before we get birds coming down to replace the locals we shoot out. Add in a few weeks of early season Canada hunting and you are going to have a lot of birds pushed out of the state by opening weekend of waterfowl. Let's say something like this happens: I'm from Iowa planning a trip, now do I take a gamble and come up the first few weekends of Oct. or do you try to time the migration later in the month?? Well time will tell but we are still going to keep on this. Full Force ????? stop with comments like you are so in tune with everything going on here. The next great drought?? Sure looks like it just ask folks from DL to Ada. A few loud hunters????? :-?
 
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