I saw a sheep article on this program and initially thought it was a neat idea. However, the more I think about it, I believe there are unintended consequences that will enable the point creep to become more of an issue. Sure, an elk, deer, or pronghorn is one thing but to be allowing a tag to be taken from the pool that many of us have been building for decades is kind of wrong. Hear me out, please.
As we get to the point where some people are getting drawn nowadays, they cannot physically do the hunt. They may start their training and realize they are in too deep physically. Instead of turning a tag in for the next applicant or possibly just leaving the points on the table and stopping the application process altogether, they may go this route out of the goodness of their hearts. Nothing wrong with that at all and good on them. However, that's one more tag taken from a very small pool and may push more hunts out of reach for the rest of the loyal applicants for years.
I think there are plenty of great hunts out there for our disabled veterans but I feel as though some of these once-in-a-lifetime permits need to be omitted from this otherwise great program.
This is not a debate free thread, so your thoughts?
Since you asked, my thought's are that your thoughts are pretty damned selfish and self-serving.
Modern helicopter rescue and some of the finest medical care in existence has allowed many more to survive with severe crippling.
It seems that a tag going out of the pool is a pretty damn small compensation from those, including me, who have not suffered life changing injury.
Larry Hardwig, LCDR USN Ret
X2 mathewshooter - thanks to all the vets who served so that we can have the life we do where recreational hunting is even a possibility.
I spent about 12 years working closely with an organization that caters to the disabled and handicapped sportsmen, vets and non-vets. Finally got burned out. Hard on the head and heart. I came away with one lasting thought which I still hold to today: If I were King, no hunter or fisherman would be allowed to buy a license till that guy/gal had spent at least one day doing what I had done, seeing what I had seen.
Dennis in Colorado, USMC 67-71 father to 2 Marines, grandfather to 5 Marines ( now 4, cause one died last Feb. by his own hand,) uncle to 2 more.
There are many worthy candidates for donation (wounded warriors, make-a-wish patients, etc.) and they are, unfortunately, and endless pool.
That said, I doubt that this is -- volume-wise -- a major issue in point creep. For every old crippled hunter who draws a tag and donates it to someone else, there are many more who draw it, realize they can't go, and just plain don't use it. The donation plan is not well-known enough to be a major issue.
The donation plan, on a limited basis, sure gives us all a good feeling, too, and somehow reassures us that we're good people and that the soldier or Marine with no legs has somehow been acknowledged.
What the OP is asking, I think, is how should we limit these acknowledgments? After all, we could just donate ALL of the tags to worthy hunters instead of regular applicants. There are, quite unfortunately, that many (and many more) soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who have "paid-up".
I don't think the OP was off-base to ask, but I also don't think it is a major issue in point creep.
It would be nice if those high-point applicants who can't personally use the tag could somehow find an exit from the point-creep trail before it got to this, perhaps by transferring points for one species to another, or by purchasing a lifetime permit for a grandchild or something. Donation is another noble choice for them, but if that is noble, how about some other choices for them? Let's provide them lots of different ways out of the pool.
Wyoming Statute 23-1-705 (k) authorizes the holder of any valid big game license may surrender said license to the department for reissuance to a veteran with disabilities or a permanently disabled person who uses a wheelchair as established by commission rule and regulation selected and sponsored by a nonprofit charitable organization providing hunting opportunities for disabled veterans or persons with permanent disabilities who use wheelchairs.
I cannot think of a better cause than having the option to get that tag in the hands of a wounded veteran. If you draw the tag and for what ever reason you can't use it (work, health, decide not to go, etc), it would be awesome to be able to get it to one of our wounded veterans!
Thank you to all the veterans and families of those who have served to keep our American way of life!
Nick, I read that statute before posting. The former soldier in the article hunted sheep with Colby Gines. I've met Colby and he's a solid guy. Wheelchairs and sheep hunts don't go hand-in-hand but they indeed did a sheep hunt through this program.
Treeline, what about the guy who is next in line who is also at 20 points and now gets pushed back a couple more years because the tag didn't get turned back in? During this time, he has his knees replaced and now he's screwed. As I said, these are the intended consequences of an otherwise great program.
Anyone that has a valid license can donate said license, regardless of species, and whether that license came from a special draw, regular draw, limited quota, preference point or random, general, or acquired through a lottery or auction, including Governor's and Commissioner's licenses.
"Treeline, what about the guy who is next in line who is also at 20 points and now gets pushed back a couple more years because the tag didn't get turned back in?"
It appears that you "support our troops" as long as that support doesn't include something that could even remotely benefit you.
This program actually encourages me to put in to draw in Wyoming. I have 18 sheep points, 11 elk, 11 antelope, and 10 deer points.
If something happens that I can not make the hunt (for me most likely work related), I would gladly get my tag to a disabled veteran and hope that he or she had a fabulous, once in a lifetime experience! Heck, I would be more excited for them to get a trophy animal than I would be for myself! It would be awesome to be able to give just a little bit back to those that have given so much for all of us!
This does not push anyone back in any way and has no impact on the mathematics of the draw.
Thanks from the bottom of my heart to those who have fought to preserve a lifestyle that some take for granted.