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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://www.ag.state.nd.us/Opinions/2003 ... 3-L-33.pdf

Check out the latest Attorney General opinion at the URL above. This opinion was released yesterday (August 4), and it relates to HB 1223 from last legislative season. This bill was intended to prohibit non-resident pheasant hunting on public land in ND during the first week of the season, and it reads,

"Small Game Proclamation-Pheasants. The governor, in the governor's
proclamation, shall prohibit a nonresident from hunting for the first seven
days of the pheasant season on land owned or private land enrolled by
the [Game and Fish] department for the purposes of hunting or on land for
which the department pays in lieu of tax payments."

Seems straight forward, right? However, the Attorney General interprets this to mean that ALL non-resident hunting, not just pheasant hunting, is prohibited on Game & Fish land during the first week of pheasant hunting. In the last paragraph of the AG opinion, it reads:

"Therefore, it is my opinion that N.D.C.C. § 20.1-08-04.9 requires the Governor, in his proclamation, to prohibit nonresidents from all hunting on land owned or private land enrolled by the department for purposes of hunting or on land for which the department pays in lieu of tax payments. The period during which nonresidents are prohibited from hunting on these department lands is the first seven days of the pheasant season."

The troubling part is that most North Dakotans are more upset with non-residents paying for access to private land, not that non-residents are using PLOTs land. In fact, I'd rather have freelance non-residents hunting PLOTs land because I can go out an make contact with the private land owners.

In my opinion, this AG opinion will simply make those freelance non-residents who intended to hunt public land take along a few more $100 bills and outbid the residents for access to decent private land. The guides and outfitters will probably have a few more customers too.

The commercial hunting industry should be tickled with this ruling. It should be interesting to see how this pans out.

BigDaddy
 

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BigD, you ever seen the "stake your claim" rituals on all plots and most unposted pieces of land on opening morning in the SW the past several years? If you haven't, it's was a sight to behold. I was thinking about leaving the dog and gun home this year, and drive a lunch wagon out instead. Lots of folks standing in ditches, blocking prairie trails, camped (literally) in approaches and generally just hanging around, hours before shooting time, that looked like they could use a cup of coffee and a danish.

This decision, like everything else, will probably be subject to the ol' "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction" principle. Some will come the same, first weekend, and some of those will hire a guide that wouldn't have otherwise done so. Others, perhaps most, will delay their trip one week and wait until the second of roughly 16 weekends to come and will use a combination of the PLOTS and private ground.

Same as the new license split. Some NR's yawned over the deal, others vowed to rip the ND pages out of their road atlas and instead go to other farther-flung states with equal or higher license fees and/or more restrictions, just because they were mad. At the end of the day and after all the grousing, I'll bet we host more nonresident upland and waterfowl hunters this year than in '02.

Ultimately, the intent of 1223, buy into it or not, is to give residents readily available, sane, less pressured and quality opening week pheasant hunting opportunities that haven't existed for several years. Without the recent clarification, there would have been disputes up the kazoo about who was doing what where and for what purpose, and the pheasants don't have a motive-o-meter to decide a duck, grouse or partridge hunter isn't a threat - they'll get pushed around and out regardless of the reasons for the traffic. Like I said, buy into it or not, the AG's opinion was the only interpretation capable of capturing the ultimate intent of the law.

Now from a policy standpoint, you could argue that the law could have been limited geographically to the pheasant areas, but it would have been a huge enforcement nightmare to try and limit only on species. Currently, the law only says "hunting".
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dan,

I will not argue with the AG's opinion. When I read the law, I come to the same conclusion that it covers "hunting", not just pheasant hunting. However, I seriously have to question whether or not the legislature fully evaluated the potential impacts of the law.

I still think that banning non-residents from public land the first week of the season is going to have a negative, not postive, impact on the freelance North Dakota hunter. Non-residents will still hunt private land, and many will continue to work through guides and outfitters. However, the biggest impact is going to be on the freelance non-resident hunter that intended to simply pick up a PLOTs guide and hunt public land. Those non-resident freelancers will now probably hop on the internet and find a guide in the area.

That leaves the average resident hunter in a pickle. You will still find private land to hunt if you do your homework and build relationships with landowners. However, you will now be working against those freelance non-residents who originally were satisfied hunting public land. The result: Additional private land will probably be driven out of the price range of most non-residents, thus forcing many residents to hunt PLOTS land. Will it be any more comforting to see a line of resident vehicles camped out on PLOTs land than if it were vehicles with MN and WI plates? I don't think so.

BigDaddy
 

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BigD, some have argued the FB suit, if successful, could actually improve hunting opportunities for residents as it will seriously deter thousands of nonresidents. Same thing on 1223. There may be instances of opposite-intended or counter-intuitive consequences, but on the whole I think 1223 will be good for resident hunters and on the whole a change in status of the tresspass law would be bad. Certainly room for other opinions, though.
 

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One reason many nonres have told me they do not like the new law is that now they will be competeing with the hord of hunters here because of the teachers convention. Seems they do not want crowded hunting either.

Dan is right about the staking of territory, even in area's with low populations of birds this happens. Witnessed it myself last fall going to set decoys. 5:30 in the moring and waiting by PLOTS land so they could be first to hunt the 1/2 dozen roosters.
 

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Lets see - early Canada season - then sharptail / dove season then a week of duck - then a week of pheasant all unharassed ??? Then to Canada for the really good - no hassle hunting :D I think I can live with this

Then after that the real migration begins & most of the amatures have quit - wow we are still spoiled beyond belief - :D

too bad so many businesses & areas & towns have pooped in their own nest & I won't have anything to do with them :eyeroll: :wink:

Variety is the spice of life - it's just you have to expirence it on their terms as far as dates :roll:
 

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Wow Fetch!!! It seems everything is working out in your best interests!!! :beer: It sounds like youv'e got quite the itinerary going! I'd love to have a schedule like that myself.(kinda do with my hunting trips being planned for this fall) But anyway have a blast!!! :beer: Just don't wear yourself out!!
Later, Mike (Face) :beer:
 

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I think Wayne should run for Govenor & send the banker back to lets make a deal land :roll:
 
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