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No More Guides, No More Finder’s Fees in Utah

By twenty20photos

There is a bill in Utah that cleared the House and Senate unanimously that will limit the number of guides and spotters on public lands per hunter. Now, the new limit will be two per hunter if passed by the commission. In addition, this bill also makes it unlawful for guides and outfitters to pay a finder’s fee and compensate more than $25 to anyone that finds a potential animal for their hunter. Compensate means “anything in value in excess of $25 that is paid, loaned, given, granted, donated, or transferred to a person.”

This is a fairly substantial bill that seems to be aimed at the largest outfitters in the state and to make these high-profile trophy hunts in Utah a little more fair chase on public lands. Many hunts in high profile units utilize “spotters” keeping an eye on the target animal, up to 12 or even 15 spotters and guides on each hunt is not uncommon. Violations of these two rules would result in an “unlawful take” ticket which is followed by a hefty penalty. This bill was sponsored by Casey Snider, the same House sponsor of the trail cam bill that was passed late last year. 

However, these rules do not affect hunting or guiding on private or CWMU hunts. If passed, I can see these to be difficult to enforce by wardens but perhaps this is a good motion and a way to advocate fair chase hunting in Utah if put in place. What do you think?


Lines 266 – https://le.utah.gov/~2022/bills/hbillint/HB0062S05.pdf



About Dan Pickar

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  1. all for it, good idea.

  2. FINALLY a bill which may help the COMMON man on federal/state owned hunting grounds!

  3. I challenge everyone that is for this bill to simply remove the emotion of wildlife out of it and ask yourself….do you want government having this type of power?

    As a customer, I now cannot hire more than one outfitter for a hunt.

    There is a slew of reasons that this doesn’t make sense but everyone needs to remove the emotion of wildlife out of it so they can see how you DO NOT want government having this much power.

    Furthermore, this won’t change a thing. There’ll still be as many people on the mountain as there was before.

    Another meaningless, unenforceable, feel good law.

    • HELL YES I want government to help protect THE COMMON PERSON interest over the rich (for a change). You like the old idea of having the KING’S forest and hunting grounds that peasants weren’t allowed to be able to hunt in? I think your tin foil is getting too heavy. This is one of the few things that government SHOULD be doing. Protecting the AVERAGE person’s ability to hunt fish, recreate, provide instead of just the rich.

      And once the person in charge gets fined, and their licensed suspended, or revoked, there will be less law breakers, and more regular people actually hunting.

      That is first. HUNTING involves the person SHOOTING stalking and finding game, not being walked up to an animal and just shooting. If that is all you want, go volunteer at the local slaughter house shooting animals for the butcher, because that is ALL these people are doing. They are NOT hunting, and they are depriving REAL hunters of opportunity. There is no fair chase or actual hunting involved in the crap they are doing.

      I would say they didn’t go far enough, no need for more than ONE GUIDE to HELP you stalk and find game. Your pseudonym says everything.

      • It isn’t a pseudonym. It’s my full name. And I had the balls to put my full name to my post. Unlike you. Furthermore, I’ve yet to see any proof or any convictions or any tickets issued to mossback. I use him as the example because he’s always the one that everyone talks about in all their stories.

        As far as guides and outfitters go, I have been screwed over in the field far far far more by regular joe hunters than by any outfitter. And I most likely spend more time in the field on a lot more hunts than you do.

        But that’s either here nor there. No I don’t want government having this control. Yes it’s a slippery slope. Yes it’ll escalate into more and more as the years go on. Remove emotion out of it. Wildlife is nothing but emotion. It’s incredible how people will get on board with just about anything if it involves wildlife. As far as what outfitters pay or don’t pay, they are licensed with the state. They do carry insurance. They do have to have leases in the forest service ground that they are working on.

        And what old idea of the kings forest? Where have you NOT been able to use the forest? When and where have you been banned because of outfitters?

        This changes nothing. Outfitters will continue to have a presence. As will the public.

        I have watched many outfitters help regular people on hunts, I have watched them point them to animals, guide them for free, help pack out, and just be a good person all around. Why the hatred for them?

        Again, facts. Not stories. Give me provable facts. Actual convictions and actual tickets.

        Everyone has the uncle that saw mossback block a road one time and they got out and knocked Doyle out. Give me actual facts.

        Let’s see em terry k.

        • I can give you a provable fact. CWMUs are the best example. There is currently about 35,000 acres of public land on the East side of Deseret Land and Livestock. About 15 years ago, the smart guys in DWR rolled all of that land into Deseret’s CWMU. This public area has trophy elk and deer in it. The reason for taking away that land from the general public was that it made it easier for Deseret to manage their land. In other words, to keep the public out. I agree with Terry. It is time that the guys with unlimited money and land are the only ones that can hunt the public animals. Get rid of Mossback spotters and make these lazy guys hunt instead of showing up to just shoot!

        • Agree you with Greg and Terry! No outfitter ever helped me, such a big competition and money game!

  4. Need to level the playing field and make it more of a “fair chase”.

  5. I am all for it. The big money guys who sit back and pay others to find a trophy will not like it.


    Needs to happen , the stuff some of these big time outfitters like, ” mossback” , etc. are doing on public lands is literally out of control .


  8. Great idea, but I believe it should be taken a few steps further: Only the hunter or a group of hunters within the same party, with valid tags, should be allowed to locate animals on public land, and no money should ever exchange hands for locating animals on public land, not even $25.00. These animals belong to everyone, and everyone should be on an equal playing field to start the season. The only exception being the above scenario where a solo hunter or a group of hunters, within the same party, all with valid tags, conduct scouting missions prior to or during the season. Scout away, but do it yourself. Forking-out cash to pay someone to locate animals on public land is a distinct advantage, and just to clarify, I have the ability to fork-out cash as well, but would never do so. I choose to and will scout and locate animals on my own. Also, the hunter, especially a non-resident, pays a ridiculous amount of money for tags to hunt out-of-state already, so the non-resident or even a resident for that matter, should not be at such a disadvantage before going into an area to hunt public land for ANY animal. This practice should have never been allowed to occur in the first place. In my honest opinion, it’s just plain wrong. Thanks for the info., Dan.

  9. I fully support this bill. Our great sport has become way too commercialized. This past year I had the only NR muzzleloader cow elk tag in a Nevada trophy bull unit, with my season dates occurring prior to the bull hunts. I was looking forward to a low pressure hunt. Multiple times during my hunt I was interrupted by scouts from a major guiding business who were in the field trying to get pictures of a big bull that they could “sell” to a potential client. It was very disappointing. When I asked these guys to give me some room and respect my hunt, they said they’d try not to interfere with me, but there was simply too much money in it for them and they were under too much pressure to try and “win” the governor’s tag holder as a client. They ended up really messing up my hunt. Pretty sad that our sport has evolved to this. I really hope other western states follow Utah’s lead on this one.

  10. It’s about time. I had a run in with some Mossback spotters a few years ago. We had some harsh words and it ruined my hunt. Couple of egotistical jerks. They acted like celebrities and didn’t like the fact that I was legally hunting in the same area that they were. It is ridiculous that an army of people find a trophy animal for a client and all they have to do is pull the trigger. That’s not fair chase hunting to me. Hope it pisses off all the outfitters.

  11. I’m not against this; however, I laugh at the hypocrisy of many of you. The comment from many of you is that the “animals are for all the people.” If that is true, then on FEDERAL LANDS, non residents and residents should have an equal chance at tags. I don’t mind paying a higher tag fee than a resident, but give me an equal chance on FEDERAL LANDS.

  12. I fully support this bill as it does apply to fair chase not who has the most money but the least personal effort. The next big issue will be the restrictions on long range shooting or reduction of tags due to this practice. Our government will have to address this because of some people’s need to increase their kill rate by throwing money or technology at it instead of hunt skills and effort

  13. As stated above…”Another meaningless, unenforceable, feel good law.”

  14. I’m all for this. We have the same problems here in Arizona. And stop this “I don’t want the Government to have this kind of power” Bull Sh*t. The Government has every right to regulate any aspect of public domain and wildlife certainly falls under public domain. The ones crying are the ones that will now have to learn to hunt and will have to actually put in some field time and effort if they want that Trophy. If you are against this law, you are in a very small minority. Take your Trail Cams and Army of Guides and Spotters and hunt private land if you don’t like it.

  15. John R Public land owner

    yes!!! a small common sense step towards fair chase.

  16. love it, they should do it in AZ also.

  17. Well, I was trying to be nice when I mentioned my experience with a “major guiding business” and did not provide the name. Yep, it was Mossback. The owner’s son drove his truck right out into the sage flat where I was waiting for elk to come out of the junipers. When I talked to him he seemed nice enough and told me he would stay out of the area until the end of my hunt, which was another 3 or 4 days. The very next morning I made a long hike into another draw further up the mountain and he was there again with his truck. Yes, we had words! I asked him why he didn’t do what he said he would do, and stay out of the area until my hunt was done. He pleaded with me saying “hey, I’m just doing my job and I’ve got to make a living”. He then informed me that the next day there would be at least 6 spotters in the area. Yep, no respect for the common man.

  18. I’m against government over-reach as much as any of you are, and I agree this law will be difficult to enforce. I would love it if we did not need laws at all, yea right. My view is that laws like this are necessary to keep in check the people who are driven by greed and can’t find a way to make the right decision when faced with the potential of putting a wad of cash in their pocket. This law will at least give wardens some level of ability to clamp down on those who don’t have the common decency to respect others of us in the field.

  19. This is a good attempt at restoring fair chase to the sport of hunting. Using a whole army of people to track and monitor a trophy animal until someone willing to pay huge money can stroll up and shoot it with little effort only serves to make all hunters look like the lazy, bloodthirsty idiots the media tries to portray us as. It may, but shouldn’t, be that hard to enforce. It’s unfortunate that there are people in the hunting community who even think this would be good practice and so government has to step in and force sportsmanship and ethical hunting, but I guess there will always be those who want to game the system. This should also help reduce confrontations between regular hunters and these people who seem to think they can take over public land and force others out, and arguments between armed men are never a good idea, there’s too much chance of something regrettable happening.

  20. I don’t like too much government in things but Utah needs some help. From there fish and game and how the rich run the system (mossback, tines up, exc). At the same time I am a person that notices the need for the decent rich people because they are the ones that have the funds we need to fight back the anti hunters and what other expensive problems we have. I think this is an awesome bill for average guy but a bit more government interference then I would like. I still don’t see anybody ever getting convicted of it because they will word them as buddies and friends and not show they are getting paid to help. Trying to stop the rich for fair ground doesn’t work very easily. There’s always a way around with money. I grew up and live in Utah. The worst fish and game in the west.

  21. It shouldn’t have to be enforced with all the ethical Hunters out there they they will just follow the rules🤣

  22. Bare with me I have a few things to get off my chest!! As a “” Seasoned Old Fart Resident Hunter of 64 years I have pretty much seen & heard it all… back in 78 we were hunting the “” Alice Lake area up in Cookeville Wyoming, for Deer, & Elk. We were only camped a short distance from a “” Very well established Outfitter, at the end of our Hunt we stopped by their camp for a visit and experienced a Successful Hunter that had pulled the trigger on a nice Bull , He had flown in from New Jersey. I must say he thought he was really something after he had complained about having to ride a horse for 5-6 miles and was pretty “” Saddle Soar”” Exclaimed he just wanted to get a trophy Bull Elk, that he had never & would never Hunt again.. and gave his “” Newly purchased Weatherby Rifle”” as a “” Tip”” to his Outfitter. I came away from that experience pretty disappointed, that their are people out their that really don’t have the “” Passion “” & experience the release of Adrenalin from the hard work & effort that goes into a successful hunt… anyone can pull the trigger but that indeed does not qualify one as a “ Hunter. Another time a Non Resident Hunter flew in for a Mule Deer tag in Utah and was told the spotting team had lost the prized Buck … he had the audacity to tell the Spotters that he had no time to sit around until they relocated the Buck & to call him & he would jump on his “” Corporate Jet”” and could be back shortly. And they call that Hunting?I have a bone to pick with I believe both the DWR & State Legislature of Utah. Correct me if I’am wrong but it’s the State that determines how Utah/ Resident & Non Resident Hunters license./& permit fees are distributed … more importantly for “” Fish & Game Conservation we need more transparency & Accountability to the Sportsmen of Utah on where their dollars are being spent maybe if 100% of the Dollars go to the Fish & Game We wouldn’t be having the ridiculous escalating fees as Sportsmen to pay.. !!I’am amazed & disappointed that the decision makers have bought into the “” Big Money Game”” don’t get me wrong I do believe some aspects of some program are good but I feel there should be more dollars spent to give the Youth who are our future more opportunities & more encouraged programs.Mentoring for young boys & girls. “” “””Just More Accountability””

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