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KEEP ELK PUBLIC! The United Property Owners of Montana (UPOM) - a group representing wealthy, out-of-state interests and some resident landowners - filed suit in May 2022 against the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks and the Fish and Wildlife Commission to try to dismantle public elk hunting opportunities throughout the Big Sky State. DONATE TODAY to help maintain the voice of public hunters in decisions on elk management and prevent the privatization of elk hunting in Montana.

The Equipment Non-Issue

What’s become known as “the equipment issue” has caused a lot of divisiveness in the bowhunting community over the last decade. Some of us hunt with modern bows while others prefer traditional. We’re all entitled to our opinions on the subject and I have mine, but as far as the MBA is concerned, it just doesn’t matter.

Which is interesting, because apropos of my comments about declining membership in the last newsletter, I not infrequently hear the following comments from disgruntled former members:

  • “The MBA is all high-tech. I don’t have anything in common with them anymore.” (This from traditional shooters.)
  • “The MBA has been hijacked by radical traditionalists who want to take away my hunting opportunities.” (This from those who hunt with modern compounds.)

Now it’s theoretically possible for one of those two statements to be true (although neither is), but it’s obviously impossible for them both to be!

Fact is, after three years on the Board, except for those members with whom I have hunted personally I have no idea what equipment other Board members choose. Not once have I heard “the equipment issue” in any of its various incarnations raised at a Board meeting. There are just too many important issues involving season structure, habitat and game management to get bogged down in that.

The bottom line is that whatever excuses former members have for not rejoining the MBA, the “equipment issue” can’t be one of them. As far as the MBA is concerned, it doesn’t exist. There are other forums to argue such matters but the MBA isn’t one of them.

So get the word out. There are too many ex-members of the MBA, and there is too much work to be done on behalf of bowhunting in Montana.

— Don Thomas (excerpted from Montana Bowhunter, Fall 2006)

The Montana Bowhunter is a quarterly publication of the MBA and is intended to inform, entertain and educate its members on happenings within the organization and bowhunting in general. Don’t miss out, join today!