Let me throw out a little food for thought here as a non-resident. Every one of us is a NR just as soon as we leave home, and try to hunt another place. We would all like to be treated fairly, and not discriminated against but it just doesn't happen that way. Every state is different, and fees seem totally random sometimes. Residents tend to want cheap fees, and want NR's to pay for running the F&G Dept in general. The powers-that-be make whatever rules they want, and I can't begin to explain them. I do know that if you want to play the hunting game, you are gonna have to pay and it is only going to go up and up. I'd like to see better odds of drawing again, just like all of you, but that isn't happening either.
Here in Idaho I have to have a hunting license in order to apply for a special hunt and each application costs me $6; you have to buy a $152 NR license and your apps are $14 each. Trophy species you have to send in the $2100 too!!! WOW. The difference here is, if you don't draw any of those hunts, you can buy a deer/elk/antelope tag over the counter and still come hunt the public land that makes up 70% of our state, and have pretty long seasons too. Our ACCESS YES program allows you to walk in and hunt enrolled private land
in some of the best areas for free (some are 20,000 acres or more). I want to see you do that in Webb, Dimmit, or LaSalle counties!
In Utah, I have to buy a $65 license and pay $15 for every application. You can only have one tag there, so if I draw a hunt, they automatically throw out all my other apps and they don't even get considered after I paid for them!
Wyoming doesn't require a separate license but they charge me $300 for deer, $300 for antelope, and $500 for elk upfront and keep my money for months before refunding it if unsuccessful.
Montana now requires a hunting license, a Sportsman's Conservation stamp, a hefty application fee, and even more money if you want points.
Arizona requires a $152 license and $15 for every application. The odds are so steep you will draw a Chaparral or Matador Gun Deer tag before you get a deer, elk, or antelope there.
Texas has a weird license structure for us; there are 5-day, Turkey, Special, or General NR ones. What do you buy, if you know you'll never come down if you don't draw a hunt??? I don't have an answer that everyone would like and accept for which one to have. I do think we should pay more to apply, and probably even the permit price should be higher than the $80 or $130 we pay now as a NR. Like I've said before, charge me a fixed fee tied to my Customer# to apply, raise the costs of the permits, and put a 10% limit on the number of drawn tags for non-residents, and we will all still come to Texas, support your local businesses and economies, and hopefully play well together.