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We have one major issue as sportmen for the next Leg. session

ACCESS ACCESS ACCESS ACCESS

Here is a list of three key issues that will help all hunter keep access.

# 1.Capping the number of guides and outfitters at 250 or less.and limiting the amount of land that one guide or outfitter can control.Make a listing of all the property that is leased be listed and recorded with the Game and Fish Dept within 10 working days of the lease.Make sure that tough laws are in place and accountablity for game law voilations.

#2 Put caps set by the Game and Fish on Non Resident for both waterfowl and upland game and raise the fee for the licence. This means letting those that understand the biological side do their job. Make sure that none of the licences end up dedicated to guides or non-res land owners.

#3 Make an effort to aquire land access for all sportsmen for all hunting seasons.

I think that this will keep more land from being leased up it will provide the rural settings with needed tourism. This still allows a landowner to charge for hunting privileges. This is not the perfect solution but I think a fair balance. We will see opposition to this by the tourism dept and the guides and outfitters, and some landowner, but we as sportmen have to stand united behind these core issues as they are the driving force in the loss of access for all hunters resident and non-resident alike. We cannot get split over sideline single issues or try to pit residents againist non residents.We have fallen into that trap already and this worked. We have not looked at the outfitter side of the problem enough. The nonresident is going to get hurt some with this but unfortunatly that is part of the price that has to be paid.

Access is the main issue and if the size and number of outfitters and guides are not kept in check we will see the state of North Dakota being like Colorado is for deer and elk hunting. Pay or go away.

I realize that not all will agree with me on this but look at my posts and you will see I have encourage compromise, this has some of all the things that most hunters want and from my poll most of the things the businesses and landowners want. I would like eveyone to think about this and not just have a emotional reaction. We need a solid core positions that can be supported by the majority of the people that have been sent to Bismarck. We have bill that will limit the use of motor boats sent up and this has caused a disagreement on this website already. We pass the core issues and this bill would not have been drafted etc.. This is why we need to stay focused on core issues.

I like to hunt in the marshes for ducks over decoys,some like to field hunt only, others only hunt geese, some only deer etc.. but we all have the same need and that is access.

I have places to hunt waterfowl, phesants, and deer that will never be taken from me, but that does not mean that I feel that I should not get involved to see that all of us have the same things that I have. Sorry I got so long winded.
 

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I like most of your ideas. I do not like the capping of NRs, but realize that will probably happen. My biggest issue is the raising of the NR fees. You are going to make it impossible for the freelance hunter! You will only be left with the rich, is that what you want? Please, rethink that part of your idea. Does the freelance hunter tie up land? No way. It is the rich that do, so by raising the license, you will have little effect on access. Plus, how long before SD and MN do the same to NRs coming into their state? Maybe they will go one step further. It is easy for this to snowball. 10 years from now, it may be virtually impossible for the average man to hunt out of his own state.
 

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Dino:

As a NR I disagree with point about raising fees and caps. As with most fees increases, a legislative bill is usually required to raise those fees, so I really don't think that is a valid argument. Also, the cost of a license is really nominal in the grand scheme of things. Why is it that sportsmen/women will shell out $1,500 for a shotgun, but complain about a $100 license. Where do you get the most bang for the buck (no pun intended), the license or the gun? In essence, the license allows you to pursue your passion, not some trophy shotgun you get to showcase.

As far as caps, they are a reality in almost every aspect of hunting. Once again why do we as sportspeople accept the fact that in most states (not all) there are caps on large mammals? I can't just show up in Montana and buy an elk tag. Why should this be any different for any finite game resource? The State of North Dakota is too small to support higher densities of waterfowlers. With the increased densities, the proliferation of guides (which most likely caters to less than five percent of the hunting population) has further reduced access to the average Joe. As I have said previously, California sells around 68,000 licenses a year, but they stage over 80% of the Pacific Flyway. North Dakota doesn't stage anywhere near that number of birds that occur in Central Flyway. You could make the argument that they produce the most ducks, but once again extreme pressure pushes the birds into SD where they do have caps. I am all for caps and you should be too. After all if you concerned about spending your money on a license, don't you want the best value and quality hunting experience that your money can buy.
 

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I think you are on track I would just say watch out in number 2, the only way I support caps if it is due to biological and game management reasons. It is hard for me to believe the pheasant and sharptails can not handle the hunting pressure. I want to also put in my 2 cents that the license fees/access fees do need to go up with the mioney being tied to securing long term leases for hunter access. Although I understand the concern over rising costs, raising revenue to secure long term access is needed.
 
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