Coming Soon: A Massive Increase in your Hunting Fees
March 14, 2005 - Just like last year, Rep. Joe Stengel (R-Littleton) is attempting to dramatically increase the fees for hunting in Colorado.
Fortunately, it was killed last year by a Republican legislature.
This year, with Democrats in charge and hell bent on making government bigger and fatter, the bill has already passed the House and is awaiting action in the Senate Agriculture Committee.
House Bill 1266 is designed to take more money from hunters (and fishermen as well), and give it directly to the Division of Wildlife by, in effect, doubling the fees hunters must pay for licenses. It creates a "habitat stamp" which would be required to hunt on public property, but we can call it what it is: a tax.
Make no mistake about it: hunting is a huge industry in Colorado. If you doubt that, stand on an I-70 bypass at our state's borders in the fall and watch the number of trucks heading into our state to hunt deer, elk, or sheep. Or go to a local diner in Kremmling during elk season.
Most hunters already consider the DOW an out-of-control, arrogant beaucracy with many closet greenies lurking in its dark corners, but are forced to fund it (through the purchase of a license) or lose one of modern life's last great adventures (taking game).
Though the bill's promoters love to tout their hunting credentials and pontificate on their desire to promote hunting, they seemed to have skipped their economics classes in school. Since when does taxing (or, more accurately, increasing a tax) an activity bring more of an activity?
For that reason alone we've dubbed HB1266 "the Hunter Reduction Act of 2005."
Their estimates on the DOW's future revenues, given this bill passing, are also off-base. They don't account for the likely decline in license purchases ("Wow, you mean we'll get less hunters if we increase the fee? Shazaam!"). It's called killing the goose that laid the golden egg.
For more statistics on this issue, click here.
It is noteworthy to view which Republicans joined the Democrats to pass this bill out of the House: all but one Republican is an A or B NRA rated politician. It even includes the NRA's concealed carry bill sponsor and poster boy, State Rep. Al White, who has repeatedly voted against gun owners when he thought no one was looking (hint: we are ALWAYS looking). Once again, the NRA's ratings of politicians is shown to be invalid (We'll post the voting records of all state legislators at the end of the session).
What you can do:
Call members of the Senate Agriculture Committee to urge them to vote AGAINST House Bill 1266, the Hunter Reduction Act of 2005. You can call any of them toll-free outside of the Denver-metro area by dialing 1-888-473-8136.
We provide e-mail addresses as well, but do not rely on just e-mail as it is too easy for politicians to delete. Trust us: a phone call is twice as effective.
|Sen. Jack Taylor||R||303-866-4866||None Listed|
Fallacy Number One: The CDOW Cannot Manage Our Wildlife on Current Revenues
Fallacy Number Two: CDOW Revenue has not kept up with inflation. How do other states manage on half as much?
Fallacy Number Three: Inflation has driven costs up.
DOW expenditures have outstripped the Consumer Price Index.
Fallacy Number Four: Colorado Residents Do Not Pay Their Fair Share of Wildlife Management
Fallacy Number Five: Colorado sells more hunting licenses to residents therefore makes more from them.
Fallacy Number Six: CDOW and the Wildlife Commission Have a Good Working Relationship with Colorado’s Resident Hunters.
Fallacy Number Seven: CDOW is working to bring our Mule Deer Herds back.
In a paper published in 1999 Colorado, Idaho, and Montana Researchers stated that a fawn doe ratio of 65 is necessary to maintain a deer herd.
The Wildlife Commission at the request of CDOW biologists dropped the statewide minimum fawn doe ratio of 50 from the Big Game Season Structure 2004.
Thanks to Dick Steele for making this information available.