Tuesday, June 23, 2009

In North Dakota hunters come first

© By Othmar Vohringer

In a press release from June 1, 2009 the North Dakota Game and Fish Department announced changes to the use of Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) effective immediately.

The changes involve treestands, painballing and geocaching. The deadline to remove treestands has been extended by three weeks to Jan. 31. Scott Peterson, wildlife resource section supervisor, said extending the archery season has allowed bowhunters to hunt WMA’s later into January than previous years. “This left very little time for archers to remove tree stands,” Peterson said. “We thought it was prudent to give hunters more time to remove tree stands.”

Paintballers and geocachers do not fare as well. The Game and Fish Department announced that these activities are now prohibited on all WMA’s in North Dakota. “While these types of activities may not always create a significant impact to an individual WMA, they do create a considerable amount of unnecessary disturbance to both wildlife and wildlife habitat,” Peterson said. “They also have the potential to create competition with hunters and anglers who help pay for managing WMAs.” said Peterson.

The lion’s share of funding to purchase and maintain Wildlife Management Areas comes directly from hunters through the special excise taxes generated by the sale of firearms, ammunition and other hunting related products. The funds are distributed to the states by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service each year. Peterson reasoned, and quite rightly so, that therefore hunters and fishers should be able to hunt and fish undisturbed by paintballers and geocaching activities.

I take my hat off to the North Dakota Fish and Game Department for putting hunters, fishers and wildlife habitat first. I hope that the North Dakota decision is adopted by other states and Canadian provinces with the same showing of respect toward hunters and fishers who finance the bulk for the management of WMA’s and other public lands.

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4 comments:

SimplyOutdoors said...

It does seem like a definite step in the right direction. I'm a little torn about an all out ban on the geocachers and paintballers, but I can understand since they really are not paying for the resource.

I am wondering if maybe a limited time period for the geocachers and the paintballers was a better move, especially not during hunting seasons.

I just hate to think about shutting the outdoors off to anyone, for any reason.

I guess maybe I need to give this one a little more thought.

Albert A Rasch said...

OV,

That's great news and one of the few examples of a logical governance that I have heard of.

Thanks for the info!

Regards,
Albert
PeTA: Cruel to Children
Where do Donations to the HSUS Go?.

Rick Kratzke said...

I agree 100% with this statement, “While these types of activities may not always create a significant impact to an individual WMA, they do create a considerable amount of unnecessary disturbance to both wildlife and wildlife habitat,”

Othmar Vohringer said...

Arthur - the ban for geocachers and paintballers is, as I understand, only in place during hunting season. When I lived in Illinois I hunted in state park and a few times hikers and mountain bikers would scare deer away from my stand location. It is my opinion and only mine that at least during hunting season all other activities should be stomped to give hunters a chance and for the sake of safety.

Albert and Rick, O too find this a common sense solution. The hunting season only lasts four to four and a half months and during that time I think the woods should belong to the hunters alone for reasons I stated above.

-ov-

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