September 24, 2023

Selling Out Hunting Heritage to Big Money Auction Tags

This information was released by the Idaho for Wildlife organization:

The Boone and Crockett club has decided to follow the SFW [Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife] and MDF’s [Mule Deer Foundation] agenda of selling off our big game to the highest bidder and support auction tags.

B&C has decided to abandon the North American Model of Wildlife conservation‘s most important provision that was created to prevent North America into becoming another European wildlife model where only the rich or elite hunt.

The 4th sister in our current Wildlife Model states, “Every citizen has an opportunity, under the law, to hunt and fish in the United States and Canada.” “Regardless of your social status, race, creed, religion or gender, you have the right to legally hunt and fish on most public lands in North America.”

Auction tags are hunting heritage killers – just like wolves! The graph below illustrates what happened to the hunting opportunities in Utah when they decided to put their big game up for sale! Idaho Sportsmen, please fight against adding more big game auction tags (Governors Tags!)

Do you want your kids and grand-children to hunt?

Why are auction tags so deadly to our hunting heritage? Hunting is reduced considerably in these areas so big bucks and bulls can grow older and sport huge racks. This translates into the end of the traditional father/son, opening-morning, hunt for a raghorn bull or two point buck. This is a dangerous path and a very slippery slope that Idaho lawmakers need to closely consider before they endorse it.

How much [money], habitat success, and conservation projects can compensate for eliminating our hunting heritage?

What is the real price of auction tags? We can lose 50% of our youth hunters very quickly, but is it worth it?

How has all this conservation [money] helped Utah mule deer populations? Back in 1961, 132,000 deer were tagged in Utah. In 1985, they had 200,000 hunters who harvested 82,552 deer. This year, there were only 84,600 total permits issued, which covered archery, muzzleloader and general rifle hunts. Now Utah’s Mule deer harvest averages approximately 25,000, but the biggest tragedy is over 50% of Utahans have given up hunting!

How much good has all this auction tag [money] been to improve Utah’s declining Mule deer populations when Utah decided to put a $50.00 bounty on coyotes to improve Mule deer numbers? I support the coyote bounty but I wonder if raising all this [money] to justify auction tags is really making that much difference to benefit the mule deer?

Auction tag supporters tout the big [money] being raised for conservation, but is it truly worth the price of eliminating thousands of youth hunters and threatening the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation?

It’s amazing how the “checkbook” of a few wealthy proponents of auction tags can “Inspire” our big Sportsmen’s groups and state agencies to sell off our big game to the highest bidder!

Those that are pushing for more auction tags, need to realize they are jeopardizing the hunting opportunities of not only our next generation of hunters but their own children and grandchildren! Other states’ data can, and will, substantiate this!

For the rich guys who are always the primary architects behind this short-term, self-serving agenda, remember your grand-kids may not have your wealth and privilege.

Your decisions can and will reduce their hunting opportunities. Is this what you want?

Please consider the long-term consequences for our youth and their hunting heritage.