Idaho Senate hands defeat to ATV hunters

robby denning

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This just hitting the news (link at bottom). Idaho senate allows Fish and Game to continue to regulate hunters using ATV's to hunt.

This is a win for the hunters who want to hike/hunt without ATV's. I'll say right up front I was for this defeat. While Idaho Fish and Game has their problems, they were trying to help stop the onslaught of hunters using ATV's and give all of us a better experience on the mountain. Good for F&G!

Just last night, at a spring break barbeque, I got into an edgy discussion with a Forest Service employee and a pretty hard core hunter who were arguing that Fish and Game SHOULD NOT be able to regulate hunters using ATV's.

They think all that authority should be to the land managers (Forest Service, BLM, etc,). I conceded that would be great but the land managers are the first to say they are understaffed and have a hard time enforcing trail closures, and those managers aren't specialists in managing hunters, just forest users. They pretty much agreed with me and both said that ATV's are a big problem in Idaho.

If hunting is to be preserved, then we must challenge the greatest threats to its existence. I know many hunters who won't hunt because they can't get away from the ATV's. If this bill would have passed, we'd be telling those hunters they are old fashioned and the future is here. Thank God we didn't send that message.

Also, for those of you who know Lou Griffin of Idaho Falls, (a real deer/elk hunter!), he was instrumental in bringing about awareness of this bill and its defeat- thanks Lou

http://www.idahostatesman.com/2012/03/26/2051730/senate-kills-atv-hunting-bill.html#storylink=misearch
 

littlebuf

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Good,id like to see them restricted as much as possible everywhere possible.
 
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robby denning

robby denning

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littlebuf that seems to be the consensus with most hunters. It seems the few "vocal" ATV hunters are the only ones who support unlimited access. Many guys I know with ATV's don't approve of driving everywhere, they just end up doing it because everyone else is and it's been legal in many units.. There has to be some limits. There used to be great areas in SE Idaho that weren't really that far from a road that held elk/bucks but once the ATV onslaught of the 90's hit, you have to hunt true backcountry to find good hunting. Sad, really.
 

trophyhill

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i'm not sure how it all works in ID but i don't have an issue with ATV's "unless" they get off of designated roads/trails. for example hunting an OTC unit in CO a few years ago there were logging roads and forest roads that led deep into the back country. i have a 4 wheel drive pick up and was able to access an area i picked out prior to traveling to CO on Google Earth. killed my first elk back there too. it sure would suck if i could no longer access that area by way of my pick up or ATV and had to hike in 10 miles. if i want to do a hunt like that i could hike into a wilderness area (which i did also) more and more imho the fed and local politicians are sticking their noses into areas they really don't need to be.
 

Mike7

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I hope Idaho will get smarter about the way they implement this, like they have with the cuttrhoat trout. The current road closure system is unenforceable in my opinion. With such a mixture of rules (open and closed similar roads inside the same units/regions, some roads open only at certain times of the year, poor signage, some roads open to retrieving game and setting up camp but not to other uses, and even possibly roads only closed to hunters), I just don't see how you can get a handle on things.
 
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robby denning

robby denning

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all I can say Mike7 is that in the southern Idaho ATV areas I hunt, I know where I can go and can't go with an ATV. The only guys who don't are those that spend no time to find out. Just want to show up on the opener and go everywhere their ATV can go. The laws will be complicated when an almost unlimited public wants to access a limited resource.

trophyhill, the law doesn't affect areas like you are talking about, if the the land manager has them open to full-size vehicles. The law attempts to stop the continued use of many of the ATV trails pioneered in the 1990's that were either not there before or only very skilled motorcycle riders could use (very few of those guys hunt). I'm not advocating everwhere be locked up so it's backcountry, but at least a return to the limited access of the 1980's before ATV's made even the 1 mile parcels you used to have to hike into worthless because an ATV could get in there in five minutes.

In SE Idaho, units 69, 70, 71, 72 still had "pockets" of country, maybe 2000 acres or so, that were good because you had to walk to get there. By late 90's, those areas were gone. Fish and Game is just trying to get a handle on this and set the clock back a few decades.
 

Mike7

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Rob, I know nothing about Southern Idaho, but here in N. ID ATV's have historically been able to go everywhere in the summer it seems and cut new trails in every year. A couple of years ago, I went to the forest service (who owns most of the land up here) and the people working the office dealing with the public really had no idea what roads/trails were open and for how long they might be open. Some trails are open to motorcycles and not ATV's, and only up until a certain date. Maybe it is because everything is in flux right now, but it just seem to me that they could be so much smarter about how they implement things...basically, so it makes it easier for people to not break the law and easier for them to enforce the rules.

I don't ride an ATV and only really get bothered when they haul in and leave a bunch of trash, or ride into a closed area that I have hiked a few miles into. I think if they stategically had large easily demarcated areas of the forest where ATVs were clearly allowed only on main roads (i.e. gravel roads traveled by car) and that was the rule for the entire year and for hunters and others alike, then this could more easily be supported by everyone using the forest. Heck, people would help enforce the rules by turning in riders who were clearly breaking the rules. But also then have other areas/regions open for recreational riders and hunters, where ATV's can use any non-gated road/trail.

I just think, when they come up with rules, they need to look at their own ability to enforce and clearly display the rules in addition to what is right for the wildlife and public...and most importantly take into account human nature. Because, if you don't put a sidewalk going straight from the parking lot to the building, then people are going to invariably cut/walk across the grass instead of taking the sidewalk, especially after someone has already done it.
 

evan williams

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Robby,

What a win for the true hunters of Idaho!!!! I am glad to see that things have turned out the way that they truly needed to to maintain the hunting heritage that we have grow up on and one that I win be passing down to my children.
 

PlanoDano

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Wonderful news, the units I have hunted only allow ATV on roads for full-sized vehicles. Old ATV trails have mostly been blocked and signed. There seems to be good compliance where I hunt.
 

MuleyFever

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Awesome for ID. However, its enforcement that is needed. So many A-hole ATV users think they can go anywhere they wish. A couple years ago on my hike into my spot on a hike/horse only trail I quickly noticed ATV tracks. A-holes drove right through the gates that say no motorized vehicles and tried to make it up the mountain. Lucky the trail is to rough and they didn't get very far. I carried out a couple pieces of their machines they lost trying to get over the rocks. They did tear up the trail though where it was just a single track.
 

87TT

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There will be issues but, Hell it's start in the right direction.
 

realunlucky

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Wonderful news, the units I have hunted only allow ATV on roads for full-sized vehicles. Old ATV trails have mostly been blocked and signed. There seems to be good compliance where I hunt.
This is a 7 year old thread maybe your seeing the benefits now

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