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There still is a lot to add and delete as there will always be give and take, but here's what I feel fit.

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Why base economic development on a limited resource? We're wasting money and time that could be spent on bringing more jobs into the state and rural economies. By degrading the living standards of residents, you're limiting a huge part of being a North Dakota resident.

Obviously after a lot of discussion, land access is the biggest issue and most agree. So how do we approach land access? First of all, I like the idea of the Land Access Stamp. The first time I heard it mentioned was at the Judiciary B meeting in Fargo last September by Curt Wells. I don't think anyone who hunts in North Dakota will argue over an extra $25 for more opportunities for all. If that money results in more habitat, that will provide much needed cover for all species that thrive there as well. Sportsman like to see there dollars go directly to work and this would be a great way to do it. This is extra income for landowners as well, as landowners are one of the biggest keys to the whole process. It would be great for some of that money go towards public crop fields, so field waterfowl hunters can have more opportunities as well.

2nd, I would NOT raise license fees besides the Land Access Stamp. We're trying to create land access, not get rich off of those trying to carry on a tradition. It's the average joe who want to bring his or her family and friends here that should be welcome. They could take their vacation anywhere in the world, but they chose to come here. So if it's money North Dakota wants than let them come. But there can be too much of a good thing. Would North Dakota economies love an extra 50,000 hunters; you bet. But can the resources support it? I feel that money will only be short term, as there will be too many trying to profit from this trend, and the result will be a huge decline in land access. When land access drops, so does the amount of interested hunters. I don't want to look 10 years down the road and see that nobody comes here anymore because there's no where for him or her to hunt. That's why there should be a limit on non-resident hunters. I think a limit of around 25,000 non-resident waterfowl licenses, on a lottery base, will help keep the hunter population at a manageable level. The same should go for upland licenses. Than rural businesses can benefit in the long term, with a constant flow of hunters, not the short term. I think they should group the licenses with the lottery. I would hate to see a family of 5 plan a trip, and only 3 can make it. So it would be a group application.

I also believe there should be zones to spread out the hunters. It only makes sense to spread out the hunters so we're not stepping on each other's toes. I believe the 6 zones applied from the NDSA are valid.

I believe there should be a high fee on outfitter licenses. This will result in fewer outfitters. But at the same time, the larger outfitters become more powerful. As an outfitter's income increases, so do the amount of leased land AND the amount of amenities that the outfitter will provide. Many outfitters believe their customers bring a lot of money into the state. They do, but how much does the community benefit when the outfitter supplies food, lodging, drinks, licensing, shells, etc. etc. Other than gas at the local gas station, the outfitter keeps all of the money in the business.

There should also be a limit on the number of acres leased by an outfitter. There's no reason why an outfitter needs 50,000 acres. That's just greed. I know an outfitter that is very profitable without leasing one acre of land. The limitation should be strictly regulated as well. There could be too many loop holes (i.e. brother also leases 10K, mother leases 10K, under the table agreements, etc.) with just a flat limit.

There MUST be a balance on all issues involved. Managing the amount of hunters, land access, landowner concerns, and the resources will ensure there is money for the rural economies, opportunities for resident and non-resident hunters, and more habitat for wildlife. The outfitters will always be able to cater towards the rich, but we must make hunting accessible to the average citizen. Didn't we vote on making hunting and fishing apart of our heritage in this state the other year? We need to preserve that heritage.
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Very good points. I also believe that along with limiting the number of non-res and limiting the amount of land an outfitter can lease you must also limit the number of outfitters. Is this possible? I dont know. But it would be one way of eliminating the commercial aspect of hunting.
I believe that there are 2 types of hunters.

1. The peolpe who want to be led to their hunting spots and to their decoys and not do any of the work of hunting, only shoot birds.
2."Hunters" People like the rest of us who want to do everyting ourselves and enjoy our sport, whether we kill anyting or not, thats why its called hunting, not killing.

ND needs to protect its residents, but also give the opportuinity to a limited number of NR who want to come and "hunt", not kill.

HOO-DEE-HOO
 

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I totally agree with what you say Dan accept for one thing.I would have to agree with Phil Robertson when he says"I am a conservationist all year long until the first day of hunting season comes.Then I am there to kill. It is the total opposite thing of conserving." :sniper:

[ This Message was edited by: Wingmaster on 2002-03-15 00:39 ]
 

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I have had the shooter vs hunter debate on other sites many times. Those states that are mostly pay to hunt, have turned into basically shooter states. Pay to go to one place. Almost 100% decoy hunts. No scouting, no physical work, no need for knowledge of what or how the birds will do things, under many variables.(now/was? - with a robo you could shoot ducks with very little knowledge of waterfowling) always expecting a limit. Have to legally bait / plant food & crops to attract waterfowl. Even the contact with the landowners can be a huge part of hunting vs shooting. Trying to find that owner of the scribbled sign with no phone # is a hunting skill many never expirence. Plus knowing folks out in the country. Knowing the lay of the land. Where the water is. Where the crops are & how the crops are used, varies from yr to yr & also as the season progresses. Are all things many shooters have no clue about.

I know we live in & grew up in hunting paradise. I just want to try & keep it that way for generations to come. I love ND - every part of the state is unique / different - special. The shooter / killer part of hunting is a stage we all go thru. But real hunters evolve. There is nothing wrong about any of the stages. It's too bad most never really get to expirence them thru real hunting ???
 

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Any idea of zones needs to be thought out carefully. The NDG&F traditionally designed zones to pattern snow geese. If they rezone the state they should go by duck areas. That is really what ND hunting has become.

A single northern zone above HWY 2 is no longer valid for distributing hunter density.

I see three main areas that have the greatest access/hunter density issues for waterfowl:

1) Devils Lake basin (good marketing)

2) Areas within 50 miles of Jamestown. Especially NW and SW (Woodworth, Gackle, etc.)

3) SE ND Valley City to Lidgerwood

Note that all of these areas are on the eastern half of the state. As you move west of about HWY 3 the problems of hunter density decrease quickly. Central and western ND have fewer towns with motels and the towns are situated farther apart.
 

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I think non-res will have to resign themselves to zones.The problem will be the size and what highways break up the zones.The Sportsmans alliance tried this last year,and a lot of non-res. complained that the lines drawn cut their areas in half.I guess they will just have to choose.It may take a few years for the GNF to figure out where the most pressure and they will need the power to tweak the system.
 

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Who cares if NR's are mad about the proposed zones.It is not up to them to decide.If they don't like them them they can go somewhere else.

_________________
ONE SHOT 2 KILLS

[ This Message was edited by: Wingmaster on 2002-03-15 12:17 ]
 

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Mr wingmaster.

It is not that simple. When you make more zones you will disperse people out more. Yes some areas will have less people in them, but obviously other areas will see an increase in hunter density.

What if the area in SE ND was to triple in NR numbers while other areas of the state saw a reduction ?

The haves and have nots.

If I am a resident hunting in an area of ND that sees little NR pressure, then I would be hesitant to support any zone changes.

(There are sill plenty of these areas in ND - the locals stay quite and there is no marketing board like DL has)
 
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