As the upcoming elections loom, I urge everyone to vote no on Initiative 161, which proposes to eliminate guaranteed outfitter sponsored deer and big game licenses. It also proposes to raise the cost of nonresident licenses (by nearly half) under the guise that it will set aside money for hunting access and habitat.
I-161 is not good for Montana, especially the families that have made their living outfitting for generations. Without these guaranteed licenses they will have to depend on the lottery. The loss of these outfitter-
sponsored licenses will have a much bigger impact than that, considering that tourism is No. 2 in Montana’s economy. It will affect the number of people flying through our airports, sales of groceries, sporting goods and fuel, and patronization of small-town establishments.
Right now, revenues from guaranteed outfitter-
sponsored deer and big game licenses are set aside for hunting access and habitat. Block Management is completely funded by these outfitter-sponsored licenses. To match the revenue created by outfitter-sponsored licenses, 1-161 proposes to raise the nonresident fees by nearly half. “It also increases the nonresident big game combination license fee from $628 to $897 and the nonresident deer combination license fee from $328 to $527.” This is the language that will appear on the ballot.
I-161 is not good for Montana. It will negatively affect many families across the state that depend on nonresident hunting. It will negatively affect our economy. Please vote no on I-161.