Should Michigan Auction Elk Tags?

A Michigan state representative is floating a plan to make some of that state’s coveted lottery elk tags available to … Continued

A Michigan state representative is floating a plan to make some of that state’s coveted lottery elk tags available to those with the deepest pockets.

From this story on UpNorthLive.com:
So if passed, the lottery system would still stay in place for most hunters. But the 5 highest bidders, Michigan resident or not, could essentially buy their way in to getting an elk or bear license. There has been a lot of talk that granting 5 licenses to bidders would be taking away opportunities for average hunters who have more luck than cash, but Representative Stamas is quick to point out “this would provide an additional 5 licenses that do not take away form the current quota. It specifically states in the bill that the number of these licenses is not too subtract from those that are already available to the current Michigan hunters.”

And the money raised from the auction would stay with the DNRE to help offset future license increases for all hunters. It’s a plan that could promote our hunting opportunities beyond our state borders. On the other hand, it’s a plan that has some frustrated, unsuccessful lottery applicants pretty upset with the possibility that someone could replace luck with bucks. Mr. Stamas says “I would tell that person these five licenses do not take away from his or her opportunity to get a license. It specifically states that the DNR can not reduce the number of permits, and number two it would allow him or her to bid on this license and maybe able to get to hunt a little bit sooner then they once were able too.”

So what does the DNRE think about the bill? …”We do not support the bill. Wildlife and our natural resources are held in the public trust. As a consequence of that, we manage resources to provide maximum opportunity for the public. We do not believe publicly managed resources should be reserved for the exclusive use of those with the ability to pay top dollar for the right to hunt. We do not believe publicly managed resources should be reserved for the exclusive use of those with the ability to pay top dollar for the right to hunt.”

Good idea or an unfair way for wealthy hunters to bypass the system?