Sunday, February 25, 2024

Letter: Hunters have to endure 'dog-and-pony show'

| January 21, 2009 11:00 PM

Dear Editor:

Well, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is starting its dog-and-pony show to curtail hunting seasons in Region 1.

Their first proposal is to cut back on the number of antlerless whitetail doe permits. The FWP knew in the spring of 2008 that the doe/fawn ratios took a substantial drop but continued the slaughter of antlerless whitetails anyway for the 2008 season.

The FWP personnel in Region 1 should be given three options for that decision – resign, retire or be fired. Hunters in Region 1 cannot afford to have that kind of mentality responsible for the future of our hunting opportunities.

One has to wonder, what’s next? I suspect in a couple more weeks, the FWP will announce further restrictions on hunting opportunities. This time it will be for elk. They will piece-mill the bad news to us a little bit at a time. I wonder if they will also cut back on the outfitter guaranteed out-of-state permits they have been overselling since the legislation was enacted? Or, is that too much revenue to be lost to the department?

All the smoke and mirrors will not cover up the real reason for the lost hunting opportunities in Region 1. It’s not the winters we have had in the past two years. Our doe/fawn ratios will continue to drop. Our elk cow/calf ratios will continue to drop, regardless of winter conditions.

Oh, and then there is the Region 1 “meeting” they hold in Kalispell. Here is how that works. Two to three hundred people show up. The FWP people go through their proposals and then they give the public two to three minutes of testimony time – just enough time to get about one-fourth of what you want to say. Then they do whatever they want to anyway.

But, hey, they had their public meeting. So, all is good. In the meantime, wolves continue to eat away at our hunting opportunities.

Don Wilkins, Libby