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Nonresident landowner-duck hunter

14283 Views 27 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Fetch
I've been closely following the nonresident waterfowl debate. Some of you will consider me part of the problem.
I own 160 acres of land in North Dakota because I love waterfowling. There is no place I'd rather be in October than a North Dakota slough. I bought the land to serve as a "duck farm" and hunting camp.
In the spring I plan to optimize nesting conditions including nesting structures and dense nesting cover.
In the fall I want to stay on the land when I'm duck hunting. This year I stayed in a tent. Hopefully at some point I can build a duck shack.
I hunt almost exclusively public land in North Dakota (WPA's) and plan on continuing this. I've been duck hunting in North Dakota since 1993. MN has turned into one big shopping mall and parking lot. We have lost our habitat and with it our ducks.
I did not want to and did not post my land this fall but was surprised at the number of nonresident hunters that showed up - from many states. Because of this I'm planning on posting it in the future (during the duck season). However, I will allow some North Dakota residents to hunt with permission.
I only submit this so you can see what some nonresidents are thinking and what we have to lose.
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You have to remember what the residents have to lose as well. Are you referring to the proposed non-resident cap with all this?
Let me understand this little situation.Your a NR that owns land,but is complaining that there are to many other NR bothering you to hunt your land so this year you are going to post it.I can easily say I have heard it all now.A NR complaining about other non-residents.This is why we need a cap on NR because of people like this who buy up land, and then have the nerve to complain about people they resemble to the core bothering them to hunt it.I'm also sick of people who own land but don't let anyone hunt it but then they turn around and hunt public land or other people's land.This is absolutely sickening.When we get this cap and we will fight until we do, I hope you are one of the first cap casualties.Also now you see what residents of ND have to put up with.Hear's another thing. The reason that Minnesota duck hunting went to crap is because of people like you that didn't have enough sense or guts to fight for your own hunting rights.This is the clearest example that I have ever seen of why we need this NR cap.:puke:
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If the hunting in ND is that close to your heart why don't you just move here? In a town like Fargo you can have the almost the same standard of living as the suburbs of Minneapolis.
I think a lot of the problem stems from BIG $$ that ties up large amounts of land mainly through leasing.

I also agree that a cap is needed and some way to spread people out in the more concentrated areas.

Dr. Bob
As a former resident who know lives in California, I wanted to weigh in this issue. A cap of non-resident hunters is essential for No.Dak. for several reasons. First, with the tenuous weather in No. Dak. the actual hunting season usually does last longer than 35 days. With approximately 60,000 hunters (both res and NR), this puts an extremely high strain on the waterfowl resources which are generally limited to the mid central portion of the state. Second, the "right to hunt" provision (e.g., if it is not posted, you can hunt) does not exist in many other states. I believe that this is the biggest issue that most residents don't seem to comprehend.

The reason for the explosion of NRs is simply the access that the State allows under this provision. In California, you have two choices, attempt to hunt the federal refuges, or lease land that starts about $2,000 for the crappy stuff. It is basically the same in MN, WS, IL and any other states where a high amount of wetlands have been lost. The issue isn't money, it is access. The waterfowl resource is only available to those who have the money to lease the land, and a result, waterfowling in most other states is almost exclusively a rich man's sport.

ND has always been different in that regard. Very nice people, usually second or third generation landowners, who don't mind allowing access to hunt. But now the winds have changed, and you a have large number of people who are willing to open their wallets, because even if you have to pay for the opportunity, it is much better than where you currently reside. That is why a cap is essential.

Look no further than the neighbor to the south. SD has a cap of 4,000 for NR waterfowlers. This was passed in the 60's, and has withstood numerous lawsuits, even the State supreme court. Even with the cap of 4,000, the State has a large commercial outfitter enterprise.

While a cap is essential in ND, I don't think it will solve all of the problems. Once these commercial interests are established they will not go away. Once again, the bottom line for NRs is access to the resource.

A grass roots movement has to be started at the local level to outlaw or abolish these commercial interests. I had actually sent Chris H. an e-mail detailing an idea that I had about the legality of commercial hunting. In a nutshell the idea stems from ND's no commercial farming law. If you can't have commercial farming, why can you have commercial hunting? If there are any lawyers out there, please weigh in with any knowledge you may have about this thought.

One last point, I really place a lot of the blame on commercial organizations and companies that produce hunting shows (I am not going to mention any names but anybody reading this knows who they are). These shows are constantly shooting video in ND showcasing the wonderful hunting opportunities. The biggest problem is that they are the ones who are promoting the guides and commercial outfitters. They are not filming these shows on WPAs or public land, but are using the guides and outfitters for access, so they can get really good footage of great shoots. They do these shows on private land tied up by commercial outfitters, and then literally spit in the face of all the resident hunters, by plugging these entities numerous times during the video. Just watch one of the biggest waterfowl conservation groups that has a hunting show airing Saturday mornings if you don't believe me. I sent a letter to the president of the organization stating my concern about this practice. I have not heard any response, but I will most likely not be a supporting member in the future.

The bottom line, abolish the commercial hunting outfitters.
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Good Stuff !!! I like the idea (anology) about comparing farming to hunting. The family farmer sure can relate to how we feel, up against commercial/corporate hunting. If we can get a program thru additional fees to lease land from farmers. So anyone who purchases this stamp can hunt these lands. Plus get the farmers to see our side of the equation. That should get the polititions attention. I do think more farmers / landowners are on our side in all this. The dept. of toursim & the hospitality industries are starting to see the truth in all this. Only the ones already connected with the commercial interests (& never thought of other alternatives) support them. If the money gets followed & investigated it would also change a few minds. Why not give farmers that join a habitat stamp lease program some legal Tax advantages also.

I have always thought a way to give preference to former (native born) or those that have owned land for say at least 20 years. Should get some sort of weighted preference in a lottery. Like they do in the deer lottery. If your not drawn for a tag one year, the next year, you get 2 chances etc. But No way should any recent purchasers of land get any preference.

There really are lots of ideas - ways to change things. BUT does anyone really want to hear them ???

[ This Message was edited by: Fetch on 2002-03-09 10:57 ]
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I am econmic development. The only reason I moved to ND is because of the of the wonderful hunting oppurtunities. Do you think it was because of the weather. I have lived here four years and hunted here for six. I came from MN where most of my relatives are farmers. I had great land access and good hunting by MN standards, but it pales to my ND experiences. My job and my wifes job leave the state if I move. I love farmers and wish we had more of them so the smaller towns could have a thriving downtown. I am all for subsidizing the small farms but how can a farmer take a subsidy than turn around and charge me $100-$250 dollars a day to shoot three roosters off his CRP acerage that I am more than happy to help subsidize is beyond me. O I just remembered what that is called, GREED!!!!!
get a clue people we need caps on NR's, Zones for waterfowl, increased fees for better land access, a program that pays farmers an "honest" amount for land access, severe limits on outfitters and the leasing of land, a governor with balls to admit a mistake, and a tax commisioner to take a serious look at some 1040's and books from some of these guides and outfitters because we all know this is a big "CASH" business.
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I was wondering about the whole issue with Hoeven and the innuendos swirling about the commercial lobby. Has anybody actually attempted to get his contribution list from his campaign? All of this information is available under the "freedom of information act." It would be very interesting to see how much money they put into his political coffer. If you can attain this "smoking gun" with the financial link, then you can bring to this to public's attention at one of these meetings, and expose him.

One other question: do the outfitters have paid lobbyists? If so, then a local, established group should try to counter these gains being made the outfitters. After all, the voice that isn't heard, isn't heard.

Hope you don't decide to post the land that you've purchased in ND. In fact thank you for post here, it'll get residents more fired up to try to limit the amount of non- residents that are permited to hunt in ND.

I find it simply incredible that you would even consider posting the land.

A brief history lesson for you on why the residents of ND got mad and limited the number of days that non-residents can hunt is that too many big money non-residents were coming into the state and leasing the good areas. They were doing exactly what you contemplate doing, restricting access to the resident hunter.

I'm one resident that is getting fed-up with the number of non-residents that have this same perspective.

I know that the majority of non-residents are hard working people like myself that enjoy the outdoors. Put some work into your hunting trips and get to know the landowners. It's much more enjoyable in the long run than buying what you want.

[ This Message was edited by: Field Hunter on 2002-03-10 11:52 ]
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Thanks for you comments. The reason for my post was to get your comments about nonresident landowner rights. I hear your answers loud and clear.
Just a couple of comments:
My land has not been and is not posted. I hunted for part of about 7 days last year. For the remainder of the upland, waterfowl and deer seasons it has been open to use by anyone. Every hunter I met last fall I gave permission to hunt before they asked.
In my short North Dakota duck hunting history last year was the first I saw significant waterfowl hunting pressure. I can see why you are going to limit nonresident hunters. I think it is a good idea and this is why I mentioned the surprising number of resident and nonresident hunters I saw on the land.
If I post the land it will not be in any way a no hunting sign. I would only ask for a phone call and some ability to know who is using the land.
I will not post again.
Bioman - There is a ND guide Assn. & they have had considerable effect on lobbying the ND Game & Fish Dept & the politicians of the state for many years. Many times giving the impression what they want is good for all hunters.

I have written to all who may listen. Even today I wrote to Randy of the Devilslake Chamber to come here & other sites to read what the other side that CARES is saying. Hopefully before the DL meeting. So maybe he & the hospitality Assn. can see more than one side of all this.
Denny - I think some of what you were trying to say was misunderstood. Or else bad timing under the currant circumstances. You are welcome to stay & post. If I left everytime I have ever been misunderstood or been called on why I said that or that someone disagreed with me. There would not be many forums for me to post at on the internet :smile: We are just really sensitive at the moment. No one really got out of line as far as I can tell.

Cannonball hosted a political fund raising hunt for Hoeven last fall. So yes, they are buddy-buddy and this is widely known. A letter was even found dating back to a year ago from Hoeven to Cannonball with Hoeven badically guaranteeing the earlier opener for them. It's no secret what Hoeven's intentions are and where they stem from.


You made a lot of good points. The only one I disagree with you with was raising license fees. I think raising fees is a lose-lose situation for everyone. First off I think hunting should be for all walks of life. It shouldn't be a sport of the rich and I think raising license fees only promote that. We have to remember that the blue-collar guy deserved to hunt our state just as much as the rich. Plus the last thing we want is the only hunters coming to our state being a bunch of rich snobs. I have nothing against the wealthy (most of them worked hard for their money), but we should also remember that it's not the blue-collar guy who is leasing and buying is the wealthy.
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Denny, I think you should stick around man, i like the idea of having an actual phone number to call and ask permission for on posted land, all to many around here have NO HUNTING OR TRESSPASSING, and their name scribbled illegibly on the sign, no phone number nothin'. I also think we need to cap the non-res hunters, but i think 4000(like in SoDak) is bit low. I'd say between 6000 to 8000 sounds like a good number. I got a few relatives from Minnesota that come over here anually and camp at a farmer who we know's farm. Roughin it'. :wink: The dang pigs get loose every night and ravage the camp site, even one mornin' there was one with a beer can in its mouth! Hilarious stuff.
I love the Pig story!!! I used to raise a few hogs and I can see it happening plain as day :smile:.

And I agree caps are needed. But I think your numbers are too low. I believe the state has enough room to accommodate 20,000 - 25,000 NR's if they can spread them out a bit. This would be especially true if they can put some limits on the leasing of land by outfitters and rich dudes!

I also think the higher numbers are more realistic as far as getting legislation passed. The opposition will never hear of the low numbers.

Just my $.02

Dr. Bob
Your right Dr. Bob...I think somewhere in the 20-30,000 range.That will be a lot if we go into a dry cycle.
I'd also say someplace in the low 20,000s as a cap. In addition to this we need to spread the non-residents out more evenly, so there aren't 50 different vehicles driving by and looking at my decoys every day.
Like I said raise the license fee. I am not talking a large amount but fifty bucks per non-resident license will not stop the average joe from coming here to hunt. Hell, fifty bucks won't buy supper and drinks at most good restraunts for me and the mrs, but it could go a long ways towards more plots lands. also why do they have so little plots land in the prime pheasant areas? I believe it is because many farmeers are making far more charging high fees for hunters what do you guys and gals think?
I think $50.00 is a little high and I feel if they are going to raise it it should be for everyone.......not just NR's. I am not against some kind of habitat charge for PLOTS or other programs that would put $ into access for everyone. I think it is good business for landowners and hunters!

If what you are suggesting did happen it would not prevent me from coming but it would make it more of a strain. I think most here would agree it is the BIG $$$ that is a large part of the problem - not so much us "Average Joes". If you penalize us I think we all loose.

If G&F were to charge this $50.00 fee for NR kids (under 16) it would be too much for me. I really hope that does not happen.

Also - It sounds like you are more of a pheasant hunter and I am strictly after ducks. I think we may be comparing apples and oranges :smile:.

Safe Hunting,

Dr. Bob
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