fbpx
Letter

Commission Vice Chair Did the Right Thing

Hunters remain split on the merits of his amendment, and we’ll save that fight for another day

By Kevin Farron

Hunters agree on the need for things like quality habitat, large landscape conservation, and scientific management of our wildlife. But things get fiery when you start asking sportsmen about who gets to hunt, when, where, what, and how. 

For example, the question of quality opportunity vs. quantity of opportunities came up during December’s Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting.

Vice Chair Pat Tabor brought a proposal to move a currently limited, quality bull elk hunting opportunity to unlimited. Biologists confirmed that this wouldn’t likely impact the herd numbers, but it would affect age class and bull-to-cow ratios, not to mention hunter experience. Understandably, this pit hunters who favor “quality” against those who prefer “quantity.”

To his credit, Tabor quickly recognized that this process – especially on such a controversial issue – was less than ideal. It didn’t provide the level of engagement from all the stakeholders he was appointed by Gov. Greg Gianforte to represent. This was a conversation best suited for the biennial season-setting along with the in-the-works update to the elk management plan.  Tabor then did the most commendable thing he could do he withdrew his motion.

Hunters remain split on the merits of his amendment, and we’ll save that fight for another day. But in the meantime, we can all agree that Vice Chair Tabor did the right thing on this one. And we thank him for that.

Kevin Farron
Missoula

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.