Interesting article, David. Having lived in MT, and hob knobbing with some Fish & Wildlife types, I got to see some interesting sides to Western game management and Rancher-relations.
Ranchers gets super cheap BLM etc grazing permits and their domestic critters eats off all the feed way up in the mountains. Come fall/winter, animals migrate to those areas to find no food…then migrate to the valley and eat rancher’s hay. Unfair? I dunno. Not smart enough, but am going to side-step my own opinion on that one.
Access to land to hunt vs.landowner damage control being allowed…meaning shooting unwanted animals at the haystack, surely raises some gnarly issues.
While considering relocation, to the Four Corners area, it appeared that NM, UT, AZ all required permit draw. Talked to one guy lived there 4 yrs in AZ and only ever drew a Kalbib Squirrel permit. Drawing for small game and large? Wow.
I decided to pass on all that muck…But even back East here, land access is the key. Public land is way over-hunted and success of even “aesthetic” appeal is lost amidst the madding crowds.