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Thread: ATV off road big game retrieval permits for public lands

  1. #1

    ATV off road big game retrieval permits for public lands

    I would like to know how people feel about this.

    Now before I continue, let me say; unless you hunt big game in Utah and know and factor successful harvest percentages, you really can't comprehend how little or no adverse environmental impact an idea like this has, infact in the end there could very well be a net benefit for the environment.

    Unlike like in the past when it was feasible for a person to own and use a horse, it has become more difficult to retrieve game lawfully in an efficient manner. By far most successful hunters do not hunt off of atv's. They are successful because they get off the roads and beaten paths. That being said when successful the same hunters have to gamble lawfully to retrieve their game, risking criminal consequences to retrieve their game in a timely manner. My idea is that a hunter can purchase a game retrieval license prior to this season to retrieve their game off roads and approve trails. this permit only allows use in those conditions when a hunter is retrieving a big game animal carcass.

    By having this it would eliminate unwanted destruction and spoiling of meat, give a lawful option to something that is already widely done anyway, and provide funds to the environment in the best way seen fit. if you actually research the number of successful hunters in an area compared to the number of actual Hunters with ATVs you can conclude the net environmental benefit is by far greater than any if any short term damage incurred. I feel there are many great benefits from this, the permit not only eliminates the law breaking but at the same time reduces the the threat of accident and injury where dangerous risks have been taken in the past to avoid getting caught.
    "You Sombitch's couldn't close an umbrella"
    Sheriff Beuford T Justice

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  3. #2
    I think that they should ban atv's used anywhere on public land for hunting or retrieving animals or antlers. They leave tracks which make other atv's think that it is a trail and after only a couple of times down the same tracks create a trail. Hunting used to be a primitive sport. Bringing home the game is part of the hunting story. Myself and my friends have always packed out animals. They make frame packs for doing this specifically. Sometimes it takes more than a couple of trips. The hunting magazines even have articles with exercises to get into hunting shape. If it was easy there wouldn't be much of a story to tell. I find it amusing to see a whole animal brought back into camp or loaded up for travel down the freeway. I always wonder what they are going to do with the hide, hooves, carcass etc. The average man walks 3 mph. If I double that for rough terrain, I can't imagine meat spoiling that fast unless a hunter hiked 20 miles in to harvest an animal. I am guessing that shady or lazy hunters who break the law would continue breaking the law even with the opportunity to buy a retrieval permit. Generally speaking, hunters looking for an easy hunt or a trophy animal will hunt private land where the use of atv's is common. That's my opinion.

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  5. #3
    I don't like it as it authorizes off trail travel, I am all for on trail travel but taking an ATV or a Bike cross country has an impact. If the hunter can't assess their ability to retrieve the game from where they are shooting it in a manner that will be timely and legal they really should not shoot it. would it not avoid potential spoiled meat if a person hunting took a moment and thought, crap if I shoot bambi here there is no way I can get it out in time, guess I will just have to move onto the next one...
    Tacoma Said - If Scott he asks you to go on a hike, ask careful questions like "Is it going to be on a trail?" "What are the chances it will kill me?" etc. Maybe "Will there be sack-biting ants along the way?"

  6. #4
    The places I've had to retrieve the kill in the past were in terrain impossible to navigate an ATV anyways, on steep slopes or heavily forested areas. I'm not sure there would be a big benefit to this. Walking some distance to the animal and packing it back up the rugged terrain would remain the case for the majority of hunts.

    Plus what DOSS says, should more thought occur as to where you'd like to retrieve the animal before the shot is taken?

    Besides what Shawn says, just a couple of instances of driving through an area could easily make it appear as a trail. If you think of a ridge or valley, the majority of people would travel through a similar spot to get to any place on the slope so this could quickly make long term tracks that may remain visible after the season.

    Plus, if an ATV license like this were to become available, the numbers of ATV users would increase because of the new convenience, versus on foot traffic. I would think more visible tracks would be the result of a permit like this, causing retribution from the anti ATV crowd. And with enough money and effort, they could even bring the ATV privileges to a more restricted state than exists today.

  7. #5
    Interesting responses, but remember we are talking at most single digit maximum retrievals in 100 square mike parcels at most. I have witnessed many retrievals in my life none have resulted in damage or new trails. The retriever is not out to tear up the mountain. Shawn I know you are not a regular big game hunter and nor are you Beech. I am not talking about hunting off ATVs, I never hunt from an ATV. Intact I actually like what Idaho has done in some areas where they have banned hunting from atvs but granted leniency in allowing them for game retrieval. I just know that this practice of retrieval is used regardless if it is legal or not. Call me the bad guy I'm just stating the obvious. And trust me I'm batting 1000 when Mr traditional backpacker has downed an animal and is given the gift of a fellow ATV owning hunter offering the kind service of hiking back to camp and giving the giving the gift of ATV retrieval. You can pander to the crowd, but especially you Shawn, having known and worked with you, I know not only would you take that gift, but give the good doer a tip for hauling out your elk.
    "You Sombitch's couldn't close an umbrella"
    Sheriff Beuford T Justice

  8. #6
    I am not coming at anybody for the way that they hunt. I still stand by my above statements, they were worded carefully and logically. It is true that I have quit hunting big game for the past 12 years, but I did hunt big game for 20 years before in this state as well as other states. Unless you are harvesting a buffalo or elephant most meat from North american animals can be packed out within a couple of trips or help from your hunting party. I am speaking for myself when I say that I pack out quarters and the backstrap. With proper technique you can have one of the rear quarters intact for the purpose of sex identity. I personally do not have use for the whole animal. If I had taken a trophy, I would bring the antlers or head back in another trip. What I am saying is, how much weight is involved ? Does a hunter need to drag the whole carcass out for any reason other than bragging rights unless of course it is in a trophy class ? Don, if you could explain your first sentence about single digits and mike parcels, I might be able to respond more appropriately ? Unless you are traveling on solid rock or sand, motorized vehicals leave evidences of travel everytime. I really don't care about that. What I hate is following a deadend trail, or the potential of more trails in quality hunting terrain. There is a reason why trophy animals are off the beaten path. I enjoy hunting and shooting for the challenge. We already have the upper hand with our technology and equipment.

  9. #7
    Adventurer at Large! BruteForce's Avatar
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    Well, as an avid hunter and ATV'er, I'd like to chime in.

    We use our ATV's to get into the general vicinity (on legal and existing trails) where we'll setup our stand/blind or hike. We would never think about taking the ATV into an area for retrieval or scouting. Not only is the ATV loud (and will probably ruin some other hunters experience), but leaves damage in its wake.

    We'd prefer to hike in and retrieve our game the old fashioned way (on our backs), then use the ATV to travel back to base camp.
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  11. #8
    Dangerous, destructive, and sets a bad precedent. If you can't get the animal out reasonably, you have no business taking the shot. I realize things happen and that animal may end up a long ways from where it started, but that animal is dead regardless. Better to spoil a little meat than tear up the land.

  12. #9
    This is an old pet peeve of mine. I loathe the ATV's that access areas with the excuse that, We are just using the ATV to retrieve game. But it always seems that they haul their camp in on the ATVs a day or two before the hunt. They chase back and forth to their trucks for extra supplies. The ATV crowd has just plain worn out that excuse and I don't feel sorry for them.

    We pack in 7 miles from where we park the truck. The entire area is roadless and has been closed to any wheeled vehicle since 1983. I've had ATVs pulling trailers haul in large camps with their wives and kids. When asked, They say "Oh, it's legal to retrieve game." But they haven't even shot yet. They just are positioning themselves. Again, Just too many abuses. ( and I'm not against wives and kids coming to hunting camp, Just live by the same rules I have to live by.)

    Others come in from the top and ride down ridges, hunting off their atvs Leaving scars that I can see several years after. When confronted, They usually say they are just following a trail and didn't know the area was closed to ATV's. A trail left from a retrieval will just invite the next ATV rider to follow it.

    I have turned in a number of offenders and pleased that the Forest Service has prosecuted.

    Now with that said, I use my ATV ( and yes I own one) to access areas for my Desert BigHorn sheep hunt. It was not practical to ride horses because of the miles we traveled to access the sheep. I never left the road/trails. Like Brute Force above, I rode the ATV from where I parked my truck to the end of the ATV trails and then hiked from there. I was very appreciative to find the ATV where I left it after miles of hiking. And especially when I was packing out my ram.

    There is a time and place for ATV's But I don't see any reason to give special exception for them. Use them and enjoy them with in the rules that are set forth. If the Forest Service or BLM has closed an area to ATV traffic, hike or horse traffic only allowed. Is that any different than Fly Fishing only River. No bait allowed. It is part of the experience. Learn to cope with the restriction and stop breaking the laws by sneaking in. Or get the governing agency to change the rules.

    This area has been closed to ATVs since 1983 and you can still see trails on the ridge top

    I never owned horses until the Forest Service closed the area I hunt to wheeled vehicles. Since that time, I've decided that it was hard work to haul an elk 7 miles back to my truck. So I found a way to own horses/mules. I use them extensively for my back country travel. I share trails in many areas where ATVs are legal. But since the area I hunt was set aside as roadless, I have adapted and abided by the laws.

    I've hunted extensively. I've had some brutal retrievals where I swore I would never shoot an animal in that canyon again. I've learned to bone out my game and bring out only what is edible. We have harvested Buffalo, Moose, Elk, Deer and Big Horn sheep, So I know it can be done and in many cases enhances the experience.

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  14. #10
    I'm pro-hunting and pro-ATV but I still don't think it could possibly be constructive to allow off trail travel for the retrieval of the kill. Even though I haven't been big game hunting for almost a decade, I'm sure the mountains haven't changed much. After all, I'm in the mountains every week.

    The thing that makes retrieval so difficult is the rough terrain at the kill spot, from thick forests and brush to steep hillsides, places impossible to navigate an ATV anyways. But for those rare instances of retrieving from a meadow, unfortunately ATV tracks would be far more scarring. It would only further enrage the anti ATV crowd and place further burdens on the community.

    It's quite common to go hunting with a group with only one or two people actually holding the tag while the others are scouting. I would suggest splitting the carcass among the group for easier packing out, at least to the trail where you left the ATV.

  15. #11
    I always bring my fourwheeler hunting, though it usually only leaves my truck if I see a pristine meadow that I feel would look better with a double track across it. Normally its just so much easier to shoot right from the truck anyway. If you can't back your truck up to the kill then just move on and try again.
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  16. #12
    I've seen several instances where an atv was used to retrieve game over land that did not have a trail and it was impossible to find the tracks from those atvs the very next day.

    I think a "retrieval permit" would generate a lot of funds, and should be considered.

    Of course, there are 100 ways to retrieve your game, but why should we be limited on how we do it.

    I'm not saying atv riders should be allowed to criss cross the land however they see fit. But if it's an established trail and / or it's not in an area damaging to the environment, IE marsh land, then why should it be closed. I do abide by the stay on the trails law, but in some cases only for fear of punishment.

    I enjoy ATV's, hiking, mountain biking, mountaineering, hunting and pretty much every other outdoor activity, and I don't understand why one group thinks they need to control all the other groups. There's A LOT of open land out there, plenty of it to go around.

  17. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by fourtycal View Post
    I always bring my fourwheeler hunting, though it usually only leaves my truck if I see a pristine meadow that I feel would look better with a double track across it. Normally its just so much easier to shoot right from the truck anyway. If you can't back your truck up to the kill then just move on and try again.
    When are we going hunting ? How many pairie dogs can you haul in your truck ?

  18. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Sombeech View Post
    I'm pro-hunting and pro-ATV
    Thats all I needed to read of your post. Great to know you are on board Sombeech.

    Now can we get the hunting sub-forum moved from the "On Foot" section to the "let's ride" section of Bogley?

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  20. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by fourtycal View Post
    Thats all I needed to read of your post. Great to know you are on board Sombeech.

    Now can we get the hunting sub-forum moved from the "On Foot" section to the "let's ride" section of Bogley?
    For sure!!

  21. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by fourtycal View Post
    Now can we get the hunting sub-forum moved from the "On Foot" section to the "let's ride" section of Bogley?
    Sorry, I've already got it scheduled to be a subforum in Canyoneering

  22. #17
    I vote for no off trail travel. I have packed many animals on my back. I see no reason not to. This from someone who is getting ready for a week long ATV trip.

  23. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by middlefork View Post
    This from someone who is getting ready for a week long ATV trip.
    Where to?

  24. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Sombeech View Post
    Where to?
    I think the term they use in the canyoneering forum is SDT
    Maybe I'll do a trip report if I ever get the picture thing figured out
    Last edited by middlefork; 05-21-2012 at 01:24 PM. Reason: spelling

  25. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by REDFOX View Post
    When are we going hunting ? How many pairie dogs can you haul in your truck ?
    It sounds like that means we need a new thread for the 2012 Bogley Pop'n Dog Spectacular. I will try to secure a mule to retrieve downed dogs, as mules and horses and ever so affordable acreage, are much easier to come by then ATVS. Besides I think most of the diversity challenged folks who pestered our last trip report, decided to convert over to that new KKK hate site.
    "You Sombitch's couldn't close an umbrella"
    Sheriff Beuford T Justice

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