Will You Support Or Oppose A Small Application Fee For WMA Quota Hunts?
Recently I received an e-mail from WRD with the header “DNR Quota Hunt Assessment.” The first four questions asked about my WMA quota-hunt application and hunting experiences over the last three years. The fifth and last question asked: “Would you support or oppose a small application fee for quota hunts administered by the DNR Wildlife Resources Division?”
“It’s (a fee) been something that has been tossed around and discussed for several years,” said WRD Game Management Chief John Bowers. “When we first went to the computer system, it was a kind of in-house thing.”
As the years have ticked by, service to the system has become a challenge. Funds are needed to continue upkeep on the current system, but WRD does have another option on the table.
“We have some opportunities through our licensing vendor to incorporate operating that quota hunt system,” said Bowers.
This idea of charging a small fee for applying for online WMA quota hunts is not a new concept to Georgia hunters.
“We’ve been asking the question now for a couple of years,” said Bowers. “We’ve asked it on our annual Harvest of Wildlife Survey that we do every spring. We periodically do a similar telephone survey of WMA hunters, and we’ve asked them.”
The online Survey Monkey questionnaire that I received from WRD was sent out to folks who applied for quota hunts over the last couple of years, at least for those with e-mail addresses. Although it’s not a scientific survey, it’s still a good tool to gather hunter input.
“This (fee) is going to be something we’re going to put out there in January for our public meetings,” said Bowers.
If the idea of a fee for applying for online quota hunts is something that goes into motion, the question then becomes what exactly does that look like to hunters.
“There are a lot of options,” said Bowers. “You could charge for every single application, but I can tell you internally we are not real comfortable with that. It seems burdensome, overcomplicated.”
Bowers spoke more highly of a single price that would allow each hunter to apply for as many quota hunts that are offered in a year. With this route, the fee would likely fall in the $5/year ballpark, but it shouldn’t go higher than $10.
“That’s the type of idea or concept that we feel has the most appeal because it’s just a simple concept, and it’s simple from a programming standpoint, and we think it’s simple for the user,” said Bowers.
Fill out your cover ballot, and have it back to GON by Jan. 19. Instructions are on page 12.
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