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California MRS: Things to Watch For

Tis the Legislative Season and with that comes new laws and regulations.  California has been in the spotlight over the last few years for the Anti-Bear Hunting movement that has been happening there.  Anti-hunting NGO’s (Non-Governmental Organizations) have attempted to get bear hunting removed from California.  The removal of bear hunting has been shot down, as of now, but it’s expected to be returning to the docket again this year.  Keep an eye out for that one.  

Going on right now are the WRC (Wildlife Resource Committee) meetings.  At these meetings, new proposals are heard on regulatory actions and public comments, for or against.  The WRC then decides on whether that proposal should be heard by the Fish and Game Commission, for possible regulatory changes.  

One of these proposals that will be moving forward in the process, is the proposal to close the “Grandma Loophole” for party application draw tags.  Historically, your “Grandma” would buy a license every year and apply for a draw tag.  With that, she would gather a preference point each year she doesn’t draw a tag.  If she draws a tag and returns that tag, she will also receive a preference point.  Now say she has 10 points, and you decide to start putting in for draw hunts as a party.  In California, they average the preference points out among the party members.  Grandma having 10 points and you having no points, puts your average at 5 points.  

This year you both apply as a party for an X6A deer tag.  X6A usually takes 5 points (or 5 years of applying and being unsuccessful) minimum to draw.  With the 5 Point average, you draw the tag your first year applying.  Once you draw that tag, Grandma turns back in HER tag and gets another preference point so she will have 11 next year.  You hunt X6A this year and next year you have an even better shot because now Grandma has 11 points, bringing your party average to 5.5 points.  You can see how this snowball can start rolling down the hill and makes it easy for someone to game the system.  You could hunt X6A, or even better units, every year when others must wait years to hunt those units if you apply this way.

The proposal to close this loophole would look something like this.  An individual party member may only return their tag if their points are less than or equal to the party’s point average.  For instance, in the scenario above, you would be able to return your tag because you have zero points, and the party average is 5.  Grandma wouldn’t be able to turn in her tag and retain all her points because she has 10 points, and the party average is 5.  The only way for all the points to be reinstated is if ALL party members turn in their tags.    

This hasn’t been voted on as a new regulation yet but be prepared because I see it coming in the near future.  Is this a good thing or a bad thing for California hunters?  Comment down below with your thoughts.

About Rodger Holscher

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  1. Orion Cazadores

    Any “system” every system will have scammers and schemers ! Like its said in the SOF community – u ain’t cheating u ain’t trying !

    • When those holes are left in the system, I think it’s fair for people to take advantage of it if they are smart enough to work within the confines of the system

  2. I can’t wait to see what they do.

  3. I think that’s a fantastic thing and it needs to go through! All I can say is if you already don’t like the direction that this is going, you obviously might need to evaluate you morals.
    Let me explain my position on this. I live in the heart of arguably the best trophy mule deer area in the state of Commufornia. At least what’s left of it! When I moved to this location 12 years ago, it took approximately 4-5 points to draw the #1 unit in the county which is five minutes from my house. Last season it took 10 points.
    Okay so I know some of you are already mumbling or groaning to yourselves something like “Welcome to my world!” Or “I’ve got news for you, point creep is happening everywhere.” Well save your breath and any responses for now because that isn’t what my argument here is about.
    This past season I had no idea this scam was happening or even possible until I was approached by a prior friend of many years. This fella began bragging to me that he had drawn the above mentioned unit by putting in with his wife who had max points. I congratulated him and offered to help him on the hunt. His wife then chimed in with a large smile and said “Yeah and he’ll be able to draw next year, and the year after!” When I questioned that absurdity, they proceeded to explain the scam. I was taken off guard with this and didn’t really respond immediately. I again offered congratulations and went on my way. Later that afternoon I was pondering on the scam again and a few things really started to fester and boil in me. I forgot to mention earlier but this fella who is bragging about scamming the system is a fish and game employee. Additionally, he doesn’t even live close to this county. I know that doesn’t matter in itself, but for those of you who are not Commufornia residents, I’ll shed some light on another issue for you. In a majority of the shilly places to live in this state (eg A zone, B zone, and all of the D zones, you can walk right in and buy 1-2 deer tags for the zone you live in over the counter. At the same time, you can put in for the X zones where I live. When you don’t draw, you’re really not out anything. You can still grab your 12 year old son and head out 10 minutes from the house and have a hunt. When I don’t draw, I’m just out because even if I wanted to load up my 12 year old son and head 2 1/2 hours down the hill, (for those glorious over the counter tags I mentioned), the vast majority of A, B and D zones are all private property. Giant surprise! That’s why they can dish out 10s of thousands of over the counter tags. Okay… I already sense the negative responses coming like “You are the one who chooses to live there instead of down here in the cesspool with all of us.” So once again, we’re not quite to the real point here. I’m just giving you all a tiny bit of background which is leading to my rage.
    Here are the facts which have led to my heartfelt feelings being poured out to the world. I have not drawn a deer tag here in over a decade of applying and I’ve watched the point creep stay just ahead of me the whole time. Worse yet, my son, who moved here when he was 3 months old and turns twelve years old tomorrow, will never draw a tag where we live if this keeps up. Meanwhile, I’ve got fish and game employees bragging to me about how they and their wives have scammed the system and will enjoy waving at me when they show up to deer hunt every year. I mentioned earlier about Mr. fish and game being a former friend. I must admit that the mere fact that he “scammed” did not at first cause a blow up or end our friendship. The best part of the story is when he called me (after not showing up for the whole first week of season), hunted two days and gave up! Said it just wasn’t a good season but it didn’t matter because he could hunt it again next season! Well this here my friends was the final straw. I told him that regardless of the high esteem I had held him in for many years, my desire to maintain our friendship had left the building. For those of you thinking “What a prick move”, I forgot a very important element to this equation. My boiling point really came when I realized this A-hole had not robbed me and the rest of the M___c County residents of one tag. They robbed us of two! Do any of you know what I’m talking about yet? In California, there is no form of returned tag sale like many other western states are doing. This means that Mr. fish and game scammer who wants to hunt 2 days and head home unfilled with a once-a-decade tag wastes the first tag. His scamming wife who has no interest in hunting anyway wastes the second tag! It’s gone. By By. So here we are with two totally wasted tags in a unit that only gives out about 150 tags and that’s just one scammer! How many are out there?
    I’ve said a couple times now that I wasn’t to my real point yet. I think I’m finally there! The point is whether you live in California, Wyoming, Montana, Idafornia, or any of the other western hunting states, we must stand up to scammers! There just aren’t enough resources left and far too many cheaters “scamming” those resources to keep hunting sustainable.
    My best regards to all my fellow sportsmen who are not cheating or scamming a system. To those who are, F U! If after reading this, your impression is that I am just “Sour grapes” for not drawing tags, then I have failed in my address. I’m sad for what I have watched happen to hunting in my lifetime. Maybe you all should just examine your own state’s fish and game management policies and loop holes to find out if you’re being scammed as well.

    • This comment right here should be read out loud. “Word for Word” At the next (Wildlife Research Committee) ‘s meeting. Your message describes perfectly the need to eliminate any opportunity for abuse the Drawing system has.. The Temptation for a unfair advantage is too great. Even for the most honest man When it comes to Big Muledeer.

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