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Outfitter Sponsored Licenses

Mule Deer Foundation Position on Montana Initiative I-161

March 2010

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Mule Deer Foundation which has eight local Chapters in Montana has been asked for a position on Initiative I-161 which seeks to abolish outfitter-sponsored non-resident big game and deer combination licenses. MDF believes that this issue pits hunters against hunters and a ballot initiative should not be used to address this issue when other avenues exist to resolve any problems perceived or real with the existing program. MDF believes that game management, hunter access, guide and outfitter licenses should be regulated by the agencies given authority to do so by the Montana Legislature not by popular vote.

Both sides have valid concerns with I-161 and these concerns should not be aired through the Initiative process. MDF believes that the existing Private Land/Public Wildlife Council was created to specifically address the issues raised in I-161.

As with many ballot initiatives, the facts about the original issue become lost in 30 second TV/Radio sound bites or in paid political ads in newspapers.

MDF recommends that both sides of I-161 work together to resolve the issues that have lead to this ballot initiative. Hunters and Anglers need to work together to maintain access, quality wildlife populations and the opportunity to enjoy our sport today, tomorrow and for future generations.

The Mule Deer Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit wildlife Conservation organization headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. The mission of the Mule Deer Foundation is to ensure the conservation of mule deer, black-tailed deer and their habitat.