Alberta Bow Association Allocation Survey

Discussion in 'General Open Forum' started by IronNoggin, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. IronNoggin

    IronNoggin Well-Known Member

    I know a few members here hunt Alberta from time to time. Some changes may be afoot that will negatively effect that...

    It appears the ABA has decided they are in the business of managing hunting programs over there :(

    They have a new survey out, wherein they propose:

    - Doing away with Landowner Tags for Mule deer

    This program has been effective in keeping gates open for other hunters, rewarding landowners for maintaining wildlife habitat, and helping keep crop depredations down a little. The vast majority of landowners I know over there very much like the program, and will be ticked off if it disappears. On the surface, it would seem the ABA desires the 1200 tags be returned to the general hunting fold.

    - Doing away with Non-Resident Canadian access to special draws (LEH)

    This one personally effects me, and a lot of other hunters I know. We spend a good chunk of change over there every time we draw, and our impact is not very significant (300 tags overall!). Will 300 tags make any real difference to the success rates for Alberta only? Or is this simply sour grapes or greed??

    - Create a Special Draw for Archery Seasons

    Obviously self serving. This has in fact been done for most western Mule Deer WMU's, leaving those to the east still general tag. That has had the undesirable effect of concentrating increasing numbers of bow hunters into the remaining general season areas. While they suggest this will be a potential solution to increase opportunity for bowhunters while reducing competition in the special license draw, many simply see it as a self-serving mechanism that will direct more tags in the direction of archery hunting (taking them away from rifle hunters).

    There follows a series of questions and suggestions focused on the Outfitter Guide operations over there, and how to deal with them.

    The survey is open to any one, however their final question will separate out the answers from those who are not an ABA member.

    I strongly suggest anyone with an interest in hunting in Alberta give consideration to filling out the survey.
    Your future hunting efforts may well be effected by the eventual findings.

    Survey can be found on this page under the link Very Important SURVEY:

    Apparently the results will form the draft of an Allocation Policy that will then be put out to the general public for comment, then final review and possible acceptance by the AEP minister. I will try to keep my finger on the pulse, and report back findings as this develops...

  2. walleyes

    walleyes Well-Known Member

    We need changes in AB IronNogin just to many people over here man. We have seen our trophy quality in animals take a huge dive the last 10 years, the last 5 emensily. I would much sooner see tags taken away from outfitter allocation before other Canadians but something has to happen. Sask has had rules like this in place for along time protecting their animals it's high time AB catches up. Try as an out of province hunter to hunt in BC, certainly not as easy as it is to come to AB. You can't go down a cutline in this country and there's not a Yank sitting in a tree stand on it or a Newfie sitting on a quad riding down it. Just to many people it's 10 years to late these changes. Sorry if this effects you but something has to happen.
  3. terrin

    terrin Well-Known Member

    We need similar change in British Columbia in regards to our Halibut as we have too many people targeting them from out of province. It's also about 10 years too late but our season has now been closed for a month. I feel your pain and it's high time B.C. catches up too.
  4. walleyes

    walleyes Well-Known Member

    Yes similar but not the same. That ocean doesn't belong to BC it belongs to all Canadians as such those Halibut are owned by all Candians. Just because the land mass of BC touches the water does not give it claim over it no more than the east border touching AB gives BC claim over AB land. BC ends at the high tide line. BC makes it's fair share off that Canadian owned resource.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
  5. IronNoggin

    IronNoggin Well-Known Member

    I agree some changes, and some substantial changes actually are required in both Alberta & BC in terms of wildlife and wild land management. In Alberta, you need to look no further than your so-called "management" team. For it is they who chose at every juncture to further limit opportunity, turn user groups against each other, while doing absolutely nothing in the way of habitat or wildlife enhancement.

    I know this to be true as I operated there for a very long time both working for Alberta Fish & Wildlife, and as a Consultant working for both them and private enterprises. I maintain a lot of friendships both within the department, and privately. We collectively agree that Alberta's so-called management is little more than a sham, and has been so for a considerably long period of time now.

    This latest is simply yet another example of those problems. Let's have a quick review of the proposals.

    Landowner tags have been a great hit with ranchers and farmers. This is obvious in the subscription rates for those. That encourages landowners to maintain habitat for wildlife which directly benefits many forms of wildlife. It also encourages them to allow access for the purposes of hunting. Taking this program away WILL result in a net loss of habitat, therefore a net loss of wildlife, and you can bet there will be a lot more No Hunting signs going up as a consequence. I know a great many ranchers and farmers over there. To say they are upset with this suggestion is a serious understatement. The amount of tags gained back for regular residents is simply not worth the loss of these very valuable allies!

    The Non Resident Hunter Host Draws represent less than TWO PERCENT of the overall draws themselves in any given year. Given that resident subscription rates for the draws now exceed 435,000, two percent is in effect nothing. Despite what the ABA and others may tell you, taking this program away will NOT result in any significant increase to resident draw success rates whatsoever. It does fit with management's routine of attempting to appear to be doing something, when in fact it does not. To the rest of the world that well understands this, it smacks of greed and scapegoating.

    Introducing more Archery Only special draws is actually a design by the ABA to limit participation. Privately they have expressed concern that there are TOO MANY bowhunters, and that their numbers are actually increasing. Their proposal to have an archery special draw is intended to exclude those bowhunters who are not as serious as some others (the ABA Membership). Self-serving , greedy, and downright duplicitous considering they're not even willing to be truthful in their intent.

    If you look hard at the recommendations regarding outfitting, it does appear there are some that will directly address your stated concerns, and those of many in Alberta who have watched as an ever increasing slice of the dwindling pie is handed over to them. There is where the focus should lie for the short term, with major long term efforts geared towards increasing both wild land habitats and the wild life that lives upon them. This latter will require a major shift within the management authority, but it is not impossible to bring that change about.

    Eliminating NR hunter host special licenses, making NR use a resident's tag, and removing "less serious" Bowhunters hunters from the Archery Draw are ALL in the direction of exclusion and limiting opportunity. And NONE will result in any realized benefit for resident hunters. This entire proposal is simply smoke and mirrors, designed to pacify (fool) those who do not understand that, create the impression that something is being done, and cater to the desires of an elite few. Sad.

    In this you are in error. I take a few buddies from Alberta (sometimes the NWT & other locations as well) out to hunt with me each and every year. The process is exceedingly simple. Only difference between Alberta and BC is you actually have to apply a little early here. And you have to file a report regarding success rates. Both are relatively simple. I also use the Alberta system almost every year, and find the two programs to be exceedingly similar.

    It effects a hell of a lot more people than me, and many of them Albertans. If this actually passes, I will find ways to deal with it. I always have. But the negative impacts and connotations will live in Alberta for a very VERY long time. It is well beyond time that Alberta tell their "management" team to pull their heads out of their asses, stop creating ever increasing barriers and restrictions, and get on with the job of managing wild life & wild lands. And yes, I lived and worked there in this very field long enough I do have the right so say so.

    The majority of the proposals suggested in the ABA survey are nonsensical in terms of creating any real impact.
    Of course it will allow some to "feel good" that something is being done.
    On the ground, nothing could be further from the truth...

  6. walleyes

    walleyes Well-Known Member

    Some of what you say has merit Iron not all. First off the ABA is absolutely right there are to many bow hunters in AB just to many hunters as a whole. Yes this will encourage only the serious to apply, nothing wrong with that, keep a lot of arrow flingers out of the field. There is no reason why a lot of busier hunted areas should not go to draw for how none what so ever, a draw system is an accurate way of controlling the amount of game taken out of an area and a good number of our WMU's need this, especially in the west.
    Personally I feel other than some native hunting issues that provincially can't be controlled I think Alberta has done a pretty good job of managing its game, fishing is another story don't get me going on that but big game it has done well considering the amount of pressure it gets. I've been hunting big game for coming on 37 years now and was raised by a big game guide I have watched our game extensively for these years and I can say we hold good numbers of most game in most areas still, the big thing is our trophy quality has fallen do to over hunting and yes bow hunters have to take responsibility for this as well. There is no reason bow hunters should get a free pass this day and age when our game is under the pressure it is, none what so ever. And yes I do bow hunt as well, not a hard core bow hunter but I put in probly 20 days a year with spring bear in the field with my bow.
    Yes there are other issues that have to be addressed as well but this one I don't think they are off base with. As an avid hunter and avid outdoorsman I support this move.
    As far as outfitter allocation goes, I don't give two shits if it is only 2% allocation it's 2% to much if we have residents waiting with no moose tags and no mule deer tags while there are foreigners out there shooting game, 1 foreigner killing a moose while 1 of mine have to sit at home is to many,,, just 1. Outfitting should go the way comercial fishing should go, it's an outdated industry that no longer fits into our society. In some places it may work, not in a province like Alberta we are full.
  7. IronNoggin

    IronNoggin Well-Known Member

    We are all entitled to our opinions.
    In mine, every single thing I wrote has "merit".
    And I happen to share that opinion with one hell of a lot of Albertans ;)

    Already largely happened in "the west".
    The ABA is seeking the same province wide.
    This will change many General Open Seasons to Draw.
    Fine, if you're OK with only bow hunting what species you desire every 5 or 10 plus years... Just as is now occurring with rifle draws...

    This well indicates to me just how well informed on game management you are in your own province. The AF&W has done precious little in terms of real management for well over a decade now. Their answer is to limit access, declare areas out of bounds, and to openly turn user groups against each other. Oh, and massive government culls in the name of controlling CWD - In that light, their actions can be summarized by a relevant example: A child at school has measles. Answer to the problem - KILL all the rest of the children so they don't get measles. THIS is EXACTLY the approach taken by AF&W. Let's not forget about them using government rifles on antelope herds for the same reason - only to discover after they annihilated thousands that antelope can't actually get CWD (information that WAS available at the time). What about destroying the largest free range herd of elk in North America? Intentionally. Pretty good job? That's one hell of a reach...

    Your anecdotal information aside, professional game managers, biologists, ranchers & farmers on the land all of the time certainly do not agree with your assessment. In fact, the vast majority, including myself, give Alberta a Failing Grade when it comes to REAL management of wild lands and wild life.

    You really should READ what I post before running off on the keyboard. The 2% refers to the number of Special License (draws) afforded Non Resident Canadians through the Hunter Host Program, and has absolutely nothing to do with outfitting whatsoever. Period. And again, were that program to be removed, there would be zero gain in terms of resident draw success rates. To all looking in, it is an immature act of spite.

    Outfitters see between 10 to 20 percent of overall allocations province wide, dependent on species and game availability. While you (and other Albertans) may be able to make some inroads there (and I would suggest you perhaps focus your obvious well intended drive there) you will never be shed of them. Really. To think otherwise is delusional actually despite personal "feelings" to the contrary. What you may be able to do is realize an eventual modification to those percentages, but beyond that, the outfitters will be in Alberta well after you and I have long since left this mortal coil.

    I am not trying to pick on you here. It seems to me you largely have your heart in the right place. But I would strongly suggest you take a little time to educate yourself with what is happening in your own back yard. Those who are on the path to true and professional management could really use one so passionate if well informed. Just a thought...

    Finally as noted, the ABA proposals are largely nonsensical.
    Apologies if you don't concur with that.
    A great many of those who are involved directly with these issues do.

  8. walleyes

    walleyes Well-Known Member

    No Iron your views are based on personal feelings and beiliefs mine are based on 100 plus days a year in the field out here. I am quite aware of our situation and yes there has been mistakes made,, where hasn't there been.

    I will leave you with this I don't want this to be a fight but what I told you wasn't a question it is the way it is take it or leave it. Thx for your effort but in all reality,, keep your fight at home your just concerned you may lose some hunting opportunities in someone else's yard.

  9. IronNoggin

    IronNoggin Well-Known Member

    Actually my views are based on well over a decade of service with Alberta Fish & Wildlife, and damn near the same as an active Consultant. Combine that with over 35 years of guiding and hunting in Alberta, and you might start to understand just how well I know of what I speak. Through those years, I often spent 2 or 3 weeks at home - all of the rest were in the field.

    And as I suggested, you are of course entitled to your opinion. A shame you cannot understand where I (and many in your own back yard) are coming from. As for me, I will chose to ignore your misplaced advise, and continue to fight for PROPER Habitat & Game Management in my former home Province.

    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  10. IronNoggin

    IronNoggin Well-Known Member

    As the deadline for filling out these surveys (yes, there are now two of them I am aware of) I thought I would give a bit of an update...

    One of the fellows "in the know" collected the numbers from Alberta F&W. What he discovered was a little startling:

    F&W commented that the NR special license numbers are so small that it was not considered worth the time to do a detailed analysis.

    2016 NR Special Licenses issued-
    Total - 300
    Applications - approx. 1000, Average Successful Priority Level - 3.3

    WT - 1 out of 361 total licenses = 0.3%
    MD - 149/10,188 = 1.5%
    Elk - 32/1826 = 1.8%
    Moose - 104/11,114 = 0.9%
    Pronghorn - 14/678 = 2.1%

    Total Licenses = 24,176
    Total NR Licenses = 300, 1.2%

    In other words, removing the non-resident Canadian (Hunter Hosted) draws would result in NO increase for resident draw success. None of the surveys indicate this, and in fact they openly suggest that such a move is to the benefit of their residents (when it is clearly not). Such exclusion borders on lying directly to their constituents IMHO.

    A little further digging resulted in the discovery that it is the APOS (Alberta Professional Outfitter Society) which is driving this suggestion due to their supposed "losing potential revenue with the allowance of Hunter Hosted NRs".

    More than a bit of a reach IMO.
    Most of those I know who travel to Alberta to hunt these tags certainly are not in any position to engage an outfitter!
    Just "normal" hunters, without the deep pockets required to be personally catered to.

    So, it appears that the residents are being sold a load of BS suggesting their success rates will get better in order to secure their votes, which translates to direct support for the outfitters cornering the complete market for those from outside Alberta.
    Hmmm... Smacks of something their ilk in BC might have dreamed up...

    Surveys will close soon.
    Here's the links if anyone is remotely interested:

    Many THANKS to any and all who can offer their support. ;)
    Takes but a minute in each case...

  11. IronNoggin

    IronNoggin Well-Known Member

  12. IronNoggin

    IronNoggin Well-Known Member

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