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Resident / Non-Resident Data Collection. North American Wildlife & Natural Resources Conference Columbus, Ohio March 23, 2006. Background. Multiple Lawsuits Legal Challenges to Resident/Nonresident Disparities in Access and Cost of Hunting

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Resident / Non-Resident Data Collection

North American Wildlife & Natural Resources Conference

Columbus, Ohio

March 23, 2006

  • Multiple Lawsuits
  • Legal Challenges to Resident/Nonresident Disparities in Access and Cost of Hunting
  • States’ Ability to Allocate Hunting Opportunities Threatened
  • Congress Responds with the “Reid Bill”

“Reid Bill” or "Reaffirmation of State Regulating of Resident and Non-resident Hunting and Fishing Act of 2005“


Commerce Clause Does Not Interfere with States’ Ability to Regulate Hunting and Fishing


But . . .Reid Bill Does Not Fix Everything

New Law Does Not Limit --

  • (1) applicability or effect of any Federal law related to the protection or management of fish or wildlife or to the regulation of commerce;
  • (2) authority of the United States to prohibit hunting or fishing on any portion of the lands owned by the United States

Litigation Continues . . .

Must Courts Listen to Congress?

Minnesota v. Hoeven

“Congressional interpretation of what is and is not interstate commerce is not controlling on the judicial branch.” (On Appeal to the 8th Circuit)

  • Litigation Continues . . .

Moving Past the Commerce Clause

Taulman v. Hayden (Kansas)

  • Privileges and Immunities
  • Private Land Ownership

SCI’s Involvement

In March 2005, SCI released a statement in support of the ‘Reid Bill’ reaffirming state control over wildlife, even on Federal lands.

(For SCI’s complete statement on this issue, visit under ‘Where We Stand’)


SCI commissioned research on state resident/non resident hunting opportunities.

Phase I Research:

  • Cost and Tag Allocation
  • Bear, Moose, Elk, Sheep and Goats
  • All States With Seasons

Phase II Research:

  • Cost and Tag Allocation
  • Deer
  • All States

Survey Information Sources:

  • state fish & game websites,
  • hunting magazines (i.e. Hunting Fool),
  • agency personnel
  • Obstacles to Process
  • Huge Volume of Information
  • Data Required from Multiple Sources
  • Difficulties in Comparing Differences in State Approaches
  • Four Typical Resident/Non Resident Disparities
  • Costs (Licenses, Permits, Tags)
  • Allocation (License, Permits, Tags)
  • Access to Areas
  • “Hassle Factor” (Hunting courses, state reciprocity, guide requirement, etc.)

Examples of CostDifferential

Average costs for elk hunting in Western states is 4x higher for non-residents vs. residents*.

Avg. Price for Residents: $93.08

Avg. Price for Non-Res: $433.35

Average cost for moose hunting in Western states is 3x higher for non-residents vs. residents*.

Avg. Price for Residents: $308.00

Avg. Price for Non-Res: $1083.05

* Data from the Western Conservation Administration Officer’s Association as of 7/31/05


Examples of Tag Allocation Differences

  • In 2005, one state’s resident hunters received 80 elk tags vs. none for non-residents.
  • In another state, of 86 sheep tags issued, only 6 went to non-resident hunters.
example of allocation differences
Example of Allocation Differences
  • One state sets a cap at 10% for all non-resident moose hunters.
  • Another state awarded 575 resident moose tags and only 12 non-resident tags.

Examples of Access Differences

  • Resident moose hunters in one state have full access to all 19 state units, while non-resident moose hunters hunt in only six.
  • In another state, non-resident moose hunters have access to only 56 of 116 available hunt units.
examples of access differences
Examples of Access Differences
  • The majority of elk units in one state are not even open to non-resident hunters.
  • Non-resident elk hunters in another state are restricted to one zone and private land only.

Examples of Hassle Factor

  • In one state, bear tag applications must be filled out in person at state fish & game offices.
  • Another state requires non-residents take a bear ID test before purchasing a license. (A score of 80% or better is mandatory).
  • One state will only issue permits to hunters that attend in-state bear hunting seminars.
  • Another state requires that non-resident mountain sheep hunting is done through licensed guides.
research plans and goals
Research Plans and Goals
  • Continue Survey
  • Work with state legislators via the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC).
  • Encourage cooperation between legislators of different states. (e.g. regional committees).
  • Coordinate efforts with IAFWA
  • Discourage future litigation.
research plans and goals1
Research Plans and Goals
  • Analyze Data for Comparison Value
  • Make data available for use by SCI members.
  • Make data available for use by the larger conservation community.