Continuing subscribers know I wrote one of the first major stories about non-resident hunter discrimination out West, which is an issue that has now caught fire, as witness John J. Jackson III's Special Report ("Non-Resident Hunter Fight Is Intensifying") elsewhere in this issue. Let me just add a footnote to his report about what is going on in Arizona and give a nod of recognition to one of the people responsible for that action, George Taulman of United States Outfitters. I became familiar with Taulman's efforts in New Mexico last year when I was looking into some of the problems non-residents have been having in that state. Seems Taulman was actively discussing the problems with wildlife personnel and seeking to improve the situation. Clearly, he didn't succeed in these face-to-face meetings because he has now helped bankroll the lawsuit John J. Jackson, III mentions in his report. Before I go farther, there is a point that needs to be made. Yes, Taulman is an outfitter and application agent, so he stands to gain financially if non-residents are issued more Arizona permits. But, as Jackson says in his report, so do we as individual non-resident hunters. I have no problem supporting his effort, financially and otherwise, and I don't think you should either.
That said, let's talk about the issues that drive Taulman. One issue is the fairness (or lack of) with the bonus point system. Many non-resident applicants spend money to buy bonus points in Arizona by refusing a refund of their license cost if unsuccessful in certain drawings. Depending on how you look at it, that may or may not be a good investment. Consider that last year non-residents spent $750,000 for general season licenses to get bonus points. That amounted to 28 percent of the general license fees, but we only received about 6.5 percent of the bull elk tags! Another bonus point issue that sticks in Taulman's craw (and mine) revolves around the state's handling of its Hunter Safety Course. It awards a key bonus point to anyone who passes the course, which of course means residents tend to be among........(continued)