The bill accomplished three things for the NM resident hunter:
1) Increases resident allocation of tags from 78% of total tags to
90% of total tags for all species except Bighorns, Ibex and Oryx.
2) Addresses the revenue issue by mandating that all applicants buy a general hunting license. Most residents do this already. Most residents and non-residents do this in other western states for which they apply as a NR. Our $90 NR general hunting license is more than competitively priced when compared to Arizona’s $151.25 NR general hunting license.
3) It lowers resident tag costs by a few dollars.
The UBNM was willing and eager to discuss possible compromises with members of “The Coalition”, namely the NM Cattlegrowers and the NM Council for Guides and Outfitters. Apparently, some discussions regarding compromise occured, but the UBNM was not invited. Perhaps these groups didn’t feel the UBNM was significant enough to pose a threat???
In any case, the bill was written without the UBNM having the ability to help design it. We’re fine with that. In it’s current form the bill will improve the system when compared to how the system is designed today. The UBNM was founded on the idea of continual improvement.
As expected, this bill will be met with major opposition from “Coalition” forces including the NM Council for Guides and Outfitters, the NM Cattlegrower’s Association, the NM Houndsmen, The NM Woolgrowers and others. I want to make it clear that the UBNM has nothing against any of these groups. They are fighting to protect their position as we will fight to advance ours. In the future I hope to work with these groups to accomplish other changes and bring forth further improvements.