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L. Gallagher

MI Gov proposes new license fees

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dogrunner

My guess is this will be opened up for public comment, the state tourism councils will voice their opinion and we will reach a happy medium on the out of state fees.

I'll start working on this now, I agree $150.00 is too much for small game.

This afternoon I'll get an email on the Gov's desk (just trust me on this). I'll also get the Tourism industry on board and voice my opinion as to the out of state fees harming tourism operators and we will get some feed back going.

Fritz

How many non-resident grouse/woodcock hunters travel to MI each season?

I don't know how many but I see quite a few and I hunt the whole state. I have seen trucks from as far away as Texas and Cali, so they must like something here, because the could have went to Wisc or Minn.

I don't blame them. All out of state hunters should chase the king in Michigan. It is the best state for grouse hunting!

Maybe the Gov has been lurking on uj and knows how you guys love hunting our limbchicken, so he upped the stakes. It is only in the top 3 behind Minn and Wisc. I think it is pass due, they should have raised it 5 years back.

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caleb

Caleb,

You have to have MN trail pass for horses as well.....honest. And they don't groom a two track for horses.

They do in some places.  The new Cuyuna Lakes trail comes to mind: http://cuyunalakestrail.org/index.cfm/home.  I think there's also a mowed horse trail parallel to the Gateway trail.  I know it's not done everywhere, though.

As for all the stocking, I don't know if that's really a good use of money either.  We're dumping a zillion walleye fry in Mille Lacs every year and it's still heading toward a catch and release format.  Lake Minnetonka is basically a put and take for walleyes from what I understand, yet we're stocking the heck out of it too.  It'll probably continue though because of the proximity to people with a loud voice.

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caleb

Frankly, if the above situation accurately described my own state, I'd be furious if my own DNR didnt do exactly that.  Keeping prices too low guarantees there will be no investment in the product quality, and it becomes a commodity. How is that good for anyone, resident or non-resident?

What you are describing is a system that invests in developing product added value. True for most private businesses.

But bear in mind... this is a GOVERNMENT TAX. I seriously doubt that a higher license fee would result in more grouse population or additional access to hunting. They are demanding more for the same product.

I don't think that's true at all, at least it's not here.  A significant chunk of our license fees go to providing a quality experience.  Most significantly in MN is walleye and trout stocking.  Without license money funding those programs the fishing in lots of places wouldn't be that great.

In terms of bird hunting, there are hundreds of miles of state forest roads that need to be maintained in order to access our grouse covers.  If those weren't maintained our grouse hunting possibilities would be significantly reduced.

That's a red herring.  I can't think of an example that a state forest road wasn't put in for logging -- not hunting.  Yes, those roads are maintained and hunters use them to their benefit...but those are generally minimal maintenance roads which are used again for logging when that section of forest is back in rotation.

And who uses those roads more than locals?

I don't think road maintenance is a red herring.  It isn't free and our use contributes to the costs.

I had forgotten about Hunter Walking Trails.  Lots are mowed.  Their creation and maintenance isn't free.

MN+Hunter+Walking+Trail.JPG

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Dan Voss
Was the pitbull tied there when you arrived?

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caleb
Was the pitbull tied there when you arrived?

Ha!  I think that's one of Tim Esse's dogs.  Very fierce.

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Larry Brown

I note that there are several people here who've said they're done hunting Michigan if nonres small game goes up to $150.  Look at it this way:  Competition is as real in the hunting world as it is anywhere else across our economy.  If you're traveling from IL or anywhere S or W of there to get to the UP, you're going to pass through one or maybe two other states (WI and MN) with equally good grouse and woodcock hunting.  Stop short of the UP, save $65 on the license, save maybe a tank or so of gas, save driving time--so that extra $65 isn't the only savings a lot of nonres hunters can save.

I used to make yearly trips from IA to the UP, going back as far as 1983.  Sometimes twice to hunt, once to fish.  I now live in northern WI, but I've still bought a MI license the last couple years.  Hunt up there with a couple friends, one of whom now has a cabin up there.  They're both IA residents, so they can come and hunt with me, save gas, save $65, stay at my place.  And in my case, I can make long drives of 20 miles to hunt WI coverts (or just walk out my door and start hunting) rather than 100-150 one way for a UP hunt.  I'd still do that if they keep the license competitive to WI and MN.  Like I said, I've long recognized that $69 is a bargain.  So make it $90, I'll still go.  Not that I can't afford $150, but it starts to be one of those matter of principle deals, and I don't like being gouged.  And in my case, it's a pretty serious gouge because as a seasoned citizen, I only pay $9 for my WI small game license.

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bosco mctavitch

Creagh said the department has support for the increases from groups representing outdoors enthusiasts, based on the department’s promises to use the money primarily to improve wildlife habitat, outreach and public safety.

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Guest

Frankly, if the above situation accurately described my own state, I'd be furious if my own DNR didnt do exactly that.  Keeping prices too low guarantees there will be no investment in the product quality, and it becomes a commodity. How is that good for anyone, resident or non-resident?

What you are describing is a system that invests in developing product added value. True for most private businesses.

But bear in mind... this is a GOVERNMENT TAX. I seriously doubt that a higher license fee would result in more grouse population or additional access to hunting. They are demanding more for the same product.

I don't think that's true at all, at least it's not here.  A significant chunk of our license fees go to providing a quality experience.  Most significantly in MN is walleye and trout stocking.  Without license money funding those programs the fishing in lots of places wouldn't be that great.

In terms of bird hunting, there are hundreds of miles of state forest roads that need to be maintained in order to access our grouse covers.  If those weren't maintained our grouse hunting possibilities would be significantly reduced.

How the MN DNR utilizes license fees:

http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/aboutdnr/budget/bottom_line/thankyou.pdf

How one area Wildlife office uses their funding:

http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/fish_wi....ids.pdf

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Steelheadfred

http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10363-170963--,00.html

Facts You Should Know

   One of every six Michigan residents hunt or fish.

   Hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing contribute more than $3 billion annually to our economy.

   Recreation related to fish and wildlife conservation is vital to Michigan's economy, directly supporting more than 33,000 jobs.

   More than 76 percent of the DNR's budget comes from funds that are restricted by law on how and why they can be spent. One of those funds is the Game and Fish Protection Fund (hunting and fishing license fees) that provide nearly one-third of that total.

   The DNR receives little money from general tax dollars (General Fund). In fact, out of the DNR's total budget, only 9 percent comes from the General Fund - and half of that 9 percent goes to local governments, with only the remaining 4.5 percent to conservation.

   In contrast, just 10 years ago, 23.3 percent of DNR's budget came from the General Fund.

   The last time hunting trapping and fishing license fees were increased by Legislature was in 1996.

   The DNR has initiated $8 million in program reductions over the past three years.

   Cuts in conservation programs not only threaten our fish, wildlife and public land resources, they also threaten Michigan's economy.

   Learn more: Conservation Funding Trends and Implications

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Cooter Brown
As for the European situation, I don't think the decline of hunting there has nearly as much to do with the price of licenses as it does with the lack of public hunting access.  In Scandinavia where there is a strong tradition of public right of way that includes hunting rights, they've got a greater percentage of their population out hunting than just about anywhere else in the developed world, including the US.  That's in spite of highly restrictive gun laws and a market socialist economic system.  As long as there's locally accessible public land with wild game, I think the hunting tradition will remain strong.

Thanks for the invite.  Might have to move operations to MN.  

I'm sensitive to this right now because I couldn't afford to go this year for the first time since 2001.

Like Larry said, I know it's been a bargain and have been expecting an increase, but 150% is hard to swallow.

As far as europe, the license fees (as far as I know) may not be expensive--they may be free for all I know.  But lack of public access as you say is the issue.  If you have money, you have access.  Same result reached by different cost model.

Scandinavia a far as I know has a lot of public land--like Michigan.

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WI Brookie Guy

Frankly, if the above situation accurately described my own state, I'd be furious if my own DNR didnt do exactly that.  Keeping prices too low guarantees there will be no investment in the product quality, and it becomes a commodity. How is that good for anyone, resident or non-resident?

What you are describing is a system that invests in developing product added value. True for most private businesses.

But bear in mind... this is a GOVERNMENT TAX. I seriously doubt that a higher license fee would result in more grouse population or additional access to hunting. They are demanding more for the same product.

I don't think that's true at all, at least it's not here.  A significant chunk of our license fees go to providing a quality experience.  Most significantly in MN is walleye and trout stocking.  Without license money funding those programs the fishing in lots of places wouldn't be that great.

In terms of bird hunting, there are hundreds of miles of state forest roads that need to be maintained in order to access our grouse covers.  If those weren't maintained our grouse hunting possibilities would be significantly reduced.

That's a red herring.  I can't think of an example that a state forest road wasn't put in for logging -- not hunting.  Yes, those roads are maintained and hunters use them to their benefit...but those are generally minimal maintenance roads which are used again for logging when that section of forest is back in rotation.

And who uses those roads more than locals?

I don't think road maintenance is a red herring.  It isn't free and our use contributes to the costs.

I had forgotten about Hunter Walking Trails.  Lots are mowed.  Their creation and maintenance isn't free.

MN+Hunter+Walking+Trail.JPG

Yes, it most certainly is a red herring (using it as an argument for astronomical n.r. license fees) when those roads are open to all users -- hikers, mountain bikers, sight-seers, ATV riders, and deer hunters.  They're not used just by grouse hunters...and nor should the financial brunt of it fall on the shoulders of nonresident hunters...it's the killing of the goose for its perceived golden eggs.  Again, these are minimum maintenance roads...so it's not like they're costing the township, country, or state a fortune to have on the map.

In regards to hunter walking trails, which I meant to bring up, they once again were logging roads that are gated and mowed...sometimes.  Again, I can't think of one gated walking trail that didn't start out as a logging road and won't again be used as a logging road once a harvest is scheduled.  But to your point of maintenance, perhaps a dedicated grouse/woodcock stamp would help pay for some of the maintenance, but I don't see how a 100% or more increase in nonresident small game license fees is justifiable other than to thin the herd so only those who can afford to hunt will be able do so.

A friend of mine who lives in Holland, MI and owns hunting property in Iowa came up with this suggestion:  Charge out of state hunters/anglers the same rate that their home state charges nonresidents.

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braque du upstate
I' d love to hunt MI. Cost is a real issue for me. At $ 150 it's a bit steep for a weekend trip.  Especially if the boy were to tag along.  Affordable 3 day,7 day licenses would be an attractive option.  150 isn't horrible if i spent the week, or lived close to the border.

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Remo
I skipped some of the pages but North Dakota is going up apx 20% on game fees too. It is long over due here. Our deer licenses haven't been raised in about 25 years and most of the other ones haven't reflected the higher costs that NDGF has to deal with. In my state one of the problems is that the legislature insists on micro managing the Department when they don't have a clue.

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Dan Voss
I skipped some of the pages but North Dakota is going up apx 20% on game fees too. It is long over due here. Our deer licenses haven't been raised in about 25 years and most of the other ones haven't reflected the higher costs that NDGF has to deal with. In my state one of the problems is that the legislature insists on micro managing the Department when they don't have a clue.

Why is long over due for ND? Isn't there a discussion about getting rid of the state income tax? And that's because of the oil boom?

Seems to me they have plenty money to fund their Game Dept.....if that's what they choose to do.

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Remo

Dan, you have remember that North Dakota gets a Grade F for political corruption.

The ND legislature is primarily composed of elderly white ultra conservative men. They have no love and certainly no respect for the  ND Game & Fish Department. Science is a dirty word here. So the legislature refuses to use 1 cent of any ND tax money for the Department. Yet tourism is the third largest industry. The total costs and benefits of wildlife management are based on license fees in ND. On top of that the ND legislature is constantly raiding the NDGF account by amending in non-wildlife related budget items for "special" projects.

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