Time to rant:

Discussion in 'General Hunting' started by Basswipe, Apr 30, 2004.

  1. Basswipe

    Basswipe 8 pointer

    522
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    Aug 7, 2002
    E\'town.
    My name, address and all other info is on file here, so that falls within the rules of public complaints. I'm hoping the mods don't delete this thread, because I think I'm bringing up some good points.

    I have always been a supporter of the KDFWR, but they are beginning to drive me broke. Fees keep going up for everything and I'm not sure about the returns on these increased fees. So far in 2004 I've spent $22.50 for a combo license, $20 for spring turkey tag and $75 for boat registration. Later this year, I will spend $25 for a deer tag. If I decide to kill some more does it will be an extra $10 per tag. Then if I decide I want to do some turkey hunting in the fall, I have to buy a fall turkey tag. Trout stamps, duck stamps, it's all adding up.

    Now for the latest increase: In years past to go Elk hunting you paid $10 to get into the drawing. If you were lucky enough to be drawn you got to hunt for an Elk. This year you still have to pay $10 just to get into the drawing, however if you are drawn, you have to buy a $25 Elk tag.

    It's literally getting to the point that it can cost a few hundred bucks just to have all the proper licensing to hunt or fish in this state. They keep emphasizing taking a kid hunting or fishing, there's more tags and permits. When the kid turns 16, your fees basically double because they must have full licenses.

    Where is all this money going? Our fees keep going up, but where's our return? Game Wardens are grossly underpaid, and there is a hiring freeze. As of now there isn't even 1 game warden per county in this state and it's getting worse. My local CO is retiring this fall. There's one less game warden and the hiring freeze prevents a replacement. KDFWR spends countless thousands sending Tim Farmer and crew all over the state on paid hunting and fishing trips, yet refuses to even provide one game warden per county. KDFWR spends millions on restocking and restoration programs, yet can't even provide one game warden per county to help stop people from poaching these same stocked and restored animals.

    Ask any game warden you see and they will tell you that they are way over worked, underfunded, and under resourced. Their money got so tight last summer that the KDFWR suspended all over time pay for CO's.

    I think the KDFWR needs to rethink it's priorities quickly. They'll eagerly spend gobs of money on the blue bellied sap sucker or something like that, but refuse to address the most basic needs of having CO's out working in the field.

    Our fees keep going up, but where is the money going? In my opinion, it's obviously going to the wrong places. Okay, rant over for now.
     
  2. Hammer

    Hammer 12 pointer

    3,724
    1
    Sep 2, 2002
    Bowling Green, Ky.
    "Where is all this money going?"

    Too much of it goes to the elk. I'll differ on your point about licensing as I think they are reasonable, but I too think there are some better uses, especially like you mention, boosting the game wardens.
     
  3. switchblade

    switchblade Spike

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    Apr 13, 2004
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    I don't know that licensing fees could support the expense, but I wish there was better (more) enforcement. I'm sure we all do. As long as there is a budget empasse in Frankfort, though, it won't happen. Regarding the fees, to be fair, I don't know what resident licenses in other states cost to make a comparison. I do agree that when you have kids you can end up sinking a chunk of change.
     
  4. Basswipe

    Basswipe 8 pointer

    522
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    Aug 7, 2002
    E\'town.
    The budget impasse shouldn't affect KDFWR. KDFWR is self funded, it receives no money from the general fund of the state.
     
  5. RutNBuck

    RutNBuck 12 pointer

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    Dec 10, 2001
    Northern Ky
    have you considered buying your own farm? this would save you a bundle on tags/licenses but you'll also see land is going up as well every day along with taxes insurance etc.....

    "A wise indian once said,the more you move the less you will see,the less you move the more you will see"

    " I live to hunt, but my wife says i may be hunting a place to live"
     
  6. COUNTRYBOY

    COUNTRYBOY 6 pointer

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    Feb 2, 2003
    Butler Co, KY
    I agree with you 110% Basswipe! It's getting to where sometimes instead of just getting out there and enjoying the hunt,you're more worried about getting your money's worth back out of the hunt.

    A COUNTRYBOY CAN SURVIVE
     
  7. switchblade

    switchblade Spike

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    Apr 13, 2004
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    If KDFWR is self-funded, then why is it subject to a hiring freeze? I haven't thought this through, but it would seem to me that if the agency is self-funded they should be able to do whatever they can afford. This assumes that you are right, Basswipe, about the budget impasse not affecting them (thanks for correcting my spelling). Maybe that is the problem, though. If they ARE self funded maybe the license fees aren't high enough to cover the services we want/expect from them. I sure don't want to pay anymore, either, though.
     
  8. turk2di

    turk2di Cyber-Hunter

    11,196
    34
    Feb 25, 2003
    evansville, ind
    No offense Switchblade, but that's the very core of the problem not just in hunting, but in all of society. People rant and rave about cut's in education, road repair, other vital services, but yet they don't want to pay a singler nickel more in taxes or fee's. The freeze in the KDFWR is probally an internal decision, tho im not for sure. I doin't complain about higher fee's to hunt and in fact they can jack'em up some more if they need too. As long as they give me good reason and use the additional monies for the stated purpose. For instance, Peabody fee's are just $12.50, which is a steal. I'd pay $25 for the honor of hunting there, if the additional increase would go to the Dept buying Peabody for all of us b4 it disappear's into deep pockets. You get what u pay for.U don't want to pay additional money to hunt, then we can't carp when we don't see extra CO's out in the fields[;)]

    what u get out, is what u put in
     
  9. Multidigits

    Multidigits BBBC Members

    17,760
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    Dec 10, 2001
    Vine Grove, Ky, USA.
    You'd really rant if you actually saw the budget and where and how much of your money is spent. This year, they are going to finish about $5 mil in the red.

    They are under a hiring freeze because they are State employees. But if they were'nt, they likely still wouldn't hire additional CO's.
     
  10. skin_dog1

    skin_dog1 BBBC Members

    10,487
    68
    Jan 2, 2004
    Alvaton, KY, USA.
    I don't know what the problem is or a solution, but I do know other states operate much better on less. I also know of other states that are pathetic and it cost much more to hunt. A small increase in licenses would not hurt my wallet alot, but I'm afraid the money wouldn't be used correctly. I'm glad the elk are here and would gladly pay $100 for a tag if drawn! I think the problem may be mismanagement. It always seems like during a budget crunch everyone starts flipping out over how many pens, and paper you use, freeze hiring, cut overtime, but you have the big man give himself a raise.

    http://www.bigbuckforum.com/cgi-bin/yabb/yabb.pl
     
  11. mossyhorns

    mossyhorns Cyber-Hunter

    1,724
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    Dec 10, 2001
    Murray, Kentucky, USA.
    Here is the problem: As hunter recruitment slips, license revenue will fall. License fees will have to increase to keep pace. Add to this mix the demands on the Department for non-game related programs that generate no revenue.

    A bureacracy takes on a life of its own and when it sees its source of revenue drying up, it will refocus toward alternative sources of revenue. For example, when TVA begin cutting the LBL budget, the administrative bureacracy at LBL turned their focus toward things that would generate revenue and would attract additional users. As a result, hunters, campers, and informal users got short-changed while a 700 acre elk enclosure was built, a horse-riders camp was developed, and user fees were increased. In the field personel were cut or lost to attrition while recreation and program directors were hired. They even hired a high-powered fundraiser for $80k whose job was to play footsie with the bird-watchers and tree-huggers to secure large endowments. In short, they sold their soul.

    We are already seeing the same thing with the KDFWR. While the elk program has positive benefits to the Commonwealth's hunters and sportsmen, the reason for embarking on such an ambitious undertaking is twofold -- first, to gain recognition in the professional wildlife community (the "gee, don't you guys wish you had one of these" thing); and second, to give an advantage to certain groups or individuals who stand to profit financially from the program.

    The focus will continue to change from the traditional hunting/fishing mindset to development of additional profit centers for the Department. More land will be sold or leased for non-hunting uses. More attention will be paid to the restoration of non-game species that will attract national attention and dollars from groups that don't necessarily support hunting and fishing. High powered PR and fundraising positions will be filled at the expense of enforcement personel and biologists. Money talks. The soul of the Department will be sold to the highest bidder to preserve the power and position of the bureacrats.

    We should already be questioning whether seasons are being regulated for the benefit of the resource or to maximize income. The fall calendar is already crowded to the point of confusion as seasons are being added or expanded in hopes of attracting more license and fee dollars. Small game hunters are seeing their piece of the pie shrink in proportion to the decrease in their economic impact. Do we really need to reintroduce river otters to the ecosystem? How much sense does it make to pay a staff to help landowers develop ponds for fishing, then introduce otters that will have such a negative impact on farm ponds that seasons must be established to control the otters? How much sense does it make to protect bobcats at the expense of the wild turkey population? How much sense does it make to sanction gill-netting under the pretense of removing rough fish while at the same time wringing hands over the decline in the quality of the sport fishery? The inherent problem is that the hunter and fisherman -- the human element -- will be reduced to nothing more than another tool to be used in wildlife management. As other tools are introduced (other predators besides human), the role of the sportsmen will be diminished.

    The bottom line is economic power. The appetite of the bureacracy will continue to exceed the contribution of sportsmen until a larger piece of the pie will be owned by funding sources that do not rely on hunting or fishing. The answer is to strip away the bureacracy and narrow the focus to the benefit of the hunting and fishing public. Otherwise, our once proud heritage of hunting will give way to what will amount to a statewide petting zoo.
     
  12. turk2di

    turk2di Cyber-Hunter

    11,196
    34
    Feb 25, 2003
    evansville, ind
    Mosseyhorns, that is a very profound and sobering analysis of the state of affairs[:0]. It's a sad state of affairs when dollars overide biological fact when ruinning a game program. I cringed when Gov Fletcher stated in his budget speech that state properties need 2bcome self sustaining[:0]I C A Branson Mo at Pennyrile, at LBL[:(] for instance. The main problem is hunter apathty. Hunters thinking that someone else is fightinmg thier battles[V]. It's time, indeed way past time, for us Ky hunters to pick up da phone and contact our rep's to let them know our feelings. If we don't, we r just like a mayfly on a log in june, just waitin to be snapped up by the legislative frog[:0]

    what u get out, is what u put in
     
  13. switchblade

    switchblade Spike

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    Apr 13, 2004
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    Well, it's a great discussion. Thanks for your well-written articulation, Mossyhorns. No offense taken, either, turk. I should have written more clearly and said that I would be glad to pay more to receive more, or even pay more to receive the same if the situation is getting as dire as Mossyhorns predicts/observes. Sometimes I get a tad too reactionary and don't think before I speak. I do know for certain that money is the mother's milk of just about everything. It would probably do us all well to continue this dialog and as turk did above offer suggestions as to what we might do to impact the situation in a postive way. As someone once said, "Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness."
     
  14. turk2di

    turk2di Cyber-Hunter

    11,196
    34
    Feb 25, 2003
    evansville, ind
    Switchblade, very well put, even if it was quote-on-quote!Lets all try to stay on top of the discussion[;)] Nothing is more important to me than hunting in Ky! We need everyone's input and involvement to keep our state hunting responsive to the grassroots hunters needs[;)]

    what u get out, is what u put in
     
  15. uplandchessies

    uplandchessies 10 pointer

    1,788
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    Mar 20, 2002
    Florence, Ky, USA.
    I don't mind doing my part for fish and game, but $62.50 for a resident hunting/fishing license does seem a little excessive. And I'm not a deer hunter! I don't spend much more than this (sometimes less) as a non-resident to hunt states with abundant game. Appears Kentucky is trying to faze the small game hunter out of the equation. Truthfully... it wouldn't hurt my feelings... I can put my money to use elsewhere.

    Chessies CAN do more than waterfowl!!!
     

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