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post #25 of (permalink) Old 12-21-2007, 10:10 PM
B&C 140 Class
onehorse's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Montana
Posts: 798
Bruce, I'm not defending these Shields River outfitters, but the genes and food sources out here produce really big bucks. There is lots of agricutural land where deer can eat everything they need for maximum growth. These fields are not set up as feed lots or attractants for deer, but as a matter of fact, draw and produce big deer without that goal in mind. A person would only have to control a large tract of land and limited hunting access, to easily claim trophy size deer. I do all my hunting on public land and always get at least a 4x4 with a 15 inch or better spread - it's not hard. These deer are 2 1/2 year olds - the genes and food are that good. If I had enough patience and discipline, I could be shooting much larger deer. So, although I hate to say it, I believe that in this part of the country, these outfitters are probably not feeding steroids, etc. to produce big deer. That would not be good business sense as they would be wasting their money on unnecessary expenses.
Another point on "pay-to-hunt" practices:
In Montana we have the Block Management Program where the state takes money from licenses fees of nonresidents and pays it to land owners to allow the public to access their ranches to hunt. So, in effect, the ranchers are being paid to let people hunt, just like the outfitters are getting paid. The only difference is that the ranchers are paid indirectly by the hunters while the outfitters are paid directly. So, if I set up on a piece of this land that borders an alfalfa field and get a really big buck (I've at least seen them), would that buck be OK in your Record Book?
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