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Should Trophy Hunters be Exempt From Motorized Vehicle Rules?

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July 21, 2011

Should Trophy Hunters be Exempt From Motorized Vehicle Rules?

By Chad Love

Here's an interesting question: should hunters who have drawn special trophy tags in a game management unit be forced to abide by the same rules as non-trophy tag hunters? That's the question they're asking in Idaho, where apparently hunters who draw out on trophy hunts in some areas don't have to follow the same motorized vehicle restrictions as the rest of us.

From this story in the Coeur d' Alene Press: 
Idaho Fish and Game is seeking public comments on a proposal to apply motorized rule restrictions to trophy species hunts. Fish and Game is proposing to apply motorized restrictions to trophy hunts in game management units where restrictions already apply to big game hunts. Motorized vehicle restrictions were adopted to resolve many hunters' concerns about off-road travel. Typically, these rules restrict the use of any vehicle while hunting, including ATVs, ORV and motorcycles, to established roads open to a full-sized automobile. Hunters may use any motorized vehicle to retrieve downed game or to set up camp, if travel in the area is allowed by the land owner or manager.

Motorized vehicle restrictions can be applied to any big game hunt, including trophy species (moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat). But the restrictions have not been applied to trophy species hunts. This has led to situations in which other big game hunters, such as elk, deer and bear hunters, were restricted in an area while trophy hunters, at the same time, could use motorized vehicles. A comment form is available on the Fish and Game website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/public/.

What say you? Is there some compelling reason that trophy hunters should be allowed to put the pedal to the metal while mere mortals must put the boot to the ground?

Comments (17)

Top Rated
All Comments
from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

I don't think there should be a difference in the rules for the two different groups. If vehicles are restricted to protect areas then it doesn't matter if it is five trophy hunters or 100 deer hunters. Also I would be pretty upset if I were puting the stalk on an animal and some traophy hunter came barreling through on his ATV or pickup truck.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from elkslayer wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

I do support the proposal to apply the vehicle restriction to all hunters because i believe that limited vehicle access to these areas will allow general seasons to continue.
The vehicle restrictions came about because too many elk and deer were being harvested in previously difficult to reach areas, if that trend continued, the Fish and Game was going to put those areas into controlled drawings instead of open season.
It should also be mentioned that "trophy" in the way it is used here does not reflect antler or horn size, but in Idaho there are three "trophy" species that can only be hunted through drawing a tag. Those are Bighorn sheep, moose and mtn goat. the issue is that since the number of "trophy" animals that can be killed is already restricted by issuing fewer tags, is it really necessary to further restrict them by taking 4-wheelers out of the equation.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from HogBlog wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

Hell yes, they should be bound by the same restrictions!

More important, I think, is elkslayer's comment regarding the use of the term "trophy hunter". It's a much maligned title(and sometimes rightly so), particularly when used in mass media, because it implies that the "trophy hunter" is only after trophies (antlers, teeth, horn, etc.) and not utilizing meat. Most hunters recognize that's not really true (for the most part), but the general public doesn't have the benefit of that knowledge.

Meanwhile, the non-hunting public tends to support hunters who utilize the animal, while many are opposed to hunting simply for "trophies". The use of the term "trophy hunting" in the press often tips the scale of public opinion against whatever measure is being discussed... and that is seldom an accident.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

Thank you for the explanation Elkslayer. Was wondering about that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from benjaminwc wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

HECK YES!!!! I'm sick of these ATV offroad cockroaches tearing up every riparian area, watering hole, bog, wetland, aspen grove, rangeland across my beloved state! Get off your fat lazy tail and hunt like the rest of the free world. If you have to sit, then sit in a lazy boy and watch a "hunting" show. But that's my humble opinion...

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from NorCal Cazadora wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

Oh Lord, "trophy hunting" already has a horrible reputation - special vehicle privileges can only make it worse. I can see the HSUS press release now.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from derik wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

Keep it simple apply the same rules and regs to all hunters

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

I'm with derik, keep it the same for all.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rock rat wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

walk or get a horse.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from turkeycreek91 wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

i dont care how much they pay for them tags its not fair just cause you have a "trophy" tag dont make you special all the hunters should have to follow the same rules and regulations

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

The rules should apply to everyone, remember we are all created equal and a special tag shouldn't change that!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hank111 wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Totally agree, I wish that no public areas allowed vehicles for any reason. Walt, where have you been? Thought you may have fallen off the planet.Good to see ya back.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

I concur with the same regs for all idea. No brainer.

If you want a big specimen of those three species, you're eventually going to be hoofing it anyways. I guess moose can be an exception there, but the biggest bulls I've seen were in places that would swallow a quad.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steward wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

I was just wondering...are the seasons the same? The hunters who have the trophy tags...are they hunting during the same time as the regular deer, elk, or other season? If so, I think it is one more reason to keep the restrictions the same. How bad would it be to be drawing a bead on a deer, and have it scared off because another hunter is coming by in his ATV to pick up his trophy animal? Keep it simple. Same restrictions for all.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from tom donohue wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

have you noticed that almost all the jerks on an atv are at least 20 lbs or more, much more, over weight. why should they get a special exemption to go to the head of the class? well i bought my atv now you have to let me ride it wherever i want too...furthermore how does an average joe even afford those things. you can buy a good used jeep for what they cost today. oh i know how. dont buy insurance, health or otherwise, dont save for your retirement, live on extended credit, dont buy your kids shoes or school lunches, da guvment pays fo dat, claim a disability and whine about how the rest of us have to accomadate your lazy fat ass. here in WA state we were smart enough not to make atv/offroad vehicles street legal, nor can you operate one on any state or forest road. cant license it and cant insure it. i have had two hunts ruined because of atv's and i will not tolerate those who abuse my rights. im calling the cops on you. and if i happen to come across your rig parked on a mountain top, well...those aluminum crankcases just cave right in from a good thump with a rock. the only way to "treadlightly" is on your own two feet. fair chase only!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from SMShields27 wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Can they shoot from the vehicle? That isn't hunting to begin with, let alone a trophy. Everybody should have to play by the same rules.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from larrichan wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

I agree with tom donahue. Why should a "true" hunter and sportsman ever be on an atv? There are killers, and there are sportsmen and conservationists that understand and love the outdoors. I am convinced that it is the increased activity of atv's in the western states that is largely responsible for the decline of the mule deer poplulations (in addition to overgrazing by livestock, increased poaching and drought). Back in the 1970's we learned the affects of snowmobiles on deer and elk during the stressful winter months. Well, in the arid west, the one of the other critical stress periods is late spring and summer because of drought. This is concurrent with fawning and calving times, as well as when many atv's get out after the long cold winters. I think the the energy expended by constant running from atv noise can't be made up for in diet during those critical time periods, and as a result, we have fewer deer and elk. I have no problem with people enjoying the sport of riding atv's, just do it in places that are already destroyed. Don't destroy what little is left of natural habitat. As for "trophy hunters", what makes them any more special than anyone else? I would go the other way, someone with low income that just needs the meat has a more convincing argument than any trophy hunter.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from benjaminwc wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

HECK YES!!!! I'm sick of these ATV offroad cockroaches tearing up every riparian area, watering hole, bog, wetland, aspen grove, rangeland across my beloved state! Get off your fat lazy tail and hunt like the rest of the free world. If you have to sit, then sit in a lazy boy and watch a "hunting" show. But that's my humble opinion...

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from elkslayer wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

I do support the proposal to apply the vehicle restriction to all hunters because i believe that limited vehicle access to these areas will allow general seasons to continue.
The vehicle restrictions came about because too many elk and deer were being harvested in previously difficult to reach areas, if that trend continued, the Fish and Game was going to put those areas into controlled drawings instead of open season.
It should also be mentioned that "trophy" in the way it is used here does not reflect antler or horn size, but in Idaho there are three "trophy" species that can only be hunted through drawing a tag. Those are Bighorn sheep, moose and mtn goat. the issue is that since the number of "trophy" animals that can be killed is already restricted by issuing fewer tags, is it really necessary to further restrict them by taking 4-wheelers out of the equation.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from derik wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

Keep it simple apply the same rules and regs to all hunters

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from rock rat wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

walk or get a horse.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from turkeycreek91 wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

i dont care how much they pay for them tags its not fair just cause you have a "trophy" tag dont make you special all the hunters should have to follow the same rules and regulations

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

I don't think there should be a difference in the rules for the two different groups. If vehicles are restricted to protect areas then it doesn't matter if it is five trophy hunters or 100 deer hunters. Also I would be pretty upset if I were puting the stalk on an animal and some traophy hunter came barreling through on his ATV or pickup truck.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from HogBlog wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

Hell yes, they should be bound by the same restrictions!

More important, I think, is elkslayer's comment regarding the use of the term "trophy hunter". It's a much maligned title(and sometimes rightly so), particularly when used in mass media, because it implies that the "trophy hunter" is only after trophies (antlers, teeth, horn, etc.) and not utilizing meat. Most hunters recognize that's not really true (for the most part), but the general public doesn't have the benefit of that knowledge.

Meanwhile, the non-hunting public tends to support hunters who utilize the animal, while many are opposed to hunting simply for "trophies". The use of the term "trophy hunting" in the press often tips the scale of public opinion against whatever measure is being discussed... and that is seldom an accident.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from NorCal Cazadora wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

Oh Lord, "trophy hunting" already has a horrible reputation - special vehicle privileges can only make it worse. I can see the HSUS press release now.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

The rules should apply to everyone, remember we are all created equal and a special tag shouldn't change that!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hank111 wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Totally agree, I wish that no public areas allowed vehicles for any reason. Walt, where have you been? Thought you may have fallen off the planet.Good to see ya back.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steward wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

I was just wondering...are the seasons the same? The hunters who have the trophy tags...are they hunting during the same time as the regular deer, elk, or other season? If so, I think it is one more reason to keep the restrictions the same. How bad would it be to be drawing a bead on a deer, and have it scared off because another hunter is coming by in his ATV to pick up his trophy animal? Keep it simple. Same restrictions for all.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from tom donohue wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

have you noticed that almost all the jerks on an atv are at least 20 lbs or more, much more, over weight. why should they get a special exemption to go to the head of the class? well i bought my atv now you have to let me ride it wherever i want too...furthermore how does an average joe even afford those things. you can buy a good used jeep for what they cost today. oh i know how. dont buy insurance, health or otherwise, dont save for your retirement, live on extended credit, dont buy your kids shoes or school lunches, da guvment pays fo dat, claim a disability and whine about how the rest of us have to accomadate your lazy fat ass. here in WA state we were smart enough not to make atv/offroad vehicles street legal, nor can you operate one on any state or forest road. cant license it and cant insure it. i have had two hunts ruined because of atv's and i will not tolerate those who abuse my rights. im calling the cops on you. and if i happen to come across your rig parked on a mountain top, well...those aluminum crankcases just cave right in from a good thump with a rock. the only way to "treadlightly" is on your own two feet. fair chase only!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

I concur with the same regs for all idea. No brainer.

If you want a big specimen of those three species, you're eventually going to be hoofing it anyways. I guess moose can be an exception there, but the biggest bulls I've seen were in places that would swallow a quad.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

Thank you for the explanation Elkslayer. Was wondering about that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

I'm with derik, keep it the same for all.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from SMShields27 wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Can they shoot from the vehicle? That isn't hunting to begin with, let alone a trophy. Everybody should have to play by the same rules.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from larrichan wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

I agree with tom donahue. Why should a "true" hunter and sportsman ever be on an atv? There are killers, and there are sportsmen and conservationists that understand and love the outdoors. I am convinced that it is the increased activity of atv's in the western states that is largely responsible for the decline of the mule deer poplulations (in addition to overgrazing by livestock, increased poaching and drought). Back in the 1970's we learned the affects of snowmobiles on deer and elk during the stressful winter months. Well, in the arid west, the one of the other critical stress periods is late spring and summer because of drought. This is concurrent with fawning and calving times, as well as when many atv's get out after the long cold winters. I think the the energy expended by constant running from atv noise can't be made up for in diet during those critical time periods, and as a result, we have fewer deer and elk. I have no problem with people enjoying the sport of riding atv's, just do it in places that are already destroyed. Don't destroy what little is left of natural habitat. As for "trophy hunters", what makes them any more special than anyone else? I would go the other way, someone with low income that just needs the meat has a more convincing argument than any trophy hunter.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment