Montana Raises Record Funds for a Coveted Mule Deer Tag — Through a Public Raffle

Montana’s chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers today announced that it raised a record $56,620 for mule deer conservation by raffling a single statewide deer tag. The winner is a Washington State hunter who bought five chances at $20 apiece.

The total raised in the two-month campaign, which was heavily promoted on BHA’s content channels, is 38 percent higher than the previous record of $41,000 raised at auction for Montana’s statewide mule deer tag.

The fundraising mechanism is an important point of divergence here. Montana is one of many Western states whose wildlife commissions donate highly coveted statewide big-game hunting tags to conservation groups to sell. Money from the transaction is plowed back into habitat and management efforts to benefit the respective species. Traditionally, these tags have been auctioned to the highest bidders, but the idea that opportunities to pursue public wildlife are being sold to wealthy hunters and highest bidders conflicts with an expectation that wildlife is available to all.

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