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I see that the Montana Outfitters and Guides Association is advocating for a bill that would give out additional cow elk tags for the shoulder seasons. They call it more opportunity for hunters. I see it as a way for us peasant Montanans to clean up the mess they’ve created by leasing up land to sell trophy bull elk, making it impossible to effectively manage elk.

MOGA Executive Director Mac Minard in December called our public lands a “sanctuary” during the shoulder seasons because they’re generally restricted to private lands and inholdings. Minard left out the fact that outfitters have created more than 6 million acres of sanctuaries during the general season, where they selectively kill a few bulls while purposely holding large herds of elk to ensure their clients get a game.

MOGA has worked for years to hide the outfitted acres as required in state law. Now they want shoulder seasons on public land and multiple tags per hunter. Don’t be fooled into thinking this will result in more hunting opportunity. Some people are charging even for the shoulder season cow hunts, even as they gripe about too many elk and the damage they cause.

We’re heading the way of Utah and other states that have very little opportunity for average Montanans.

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Jason O’Rear

Laurel

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