When you live in energy dependant area whether it be timber, coal, uranium, gas, oil, you are used to playing this game. It is their land and they can make changes in a heartbeat. Been used to dealing with that in this state for many years. Luckily for us, the outside landowner groups are much more cooperative with land management than they used to be. But I certainly have had my seasons changed when corporate lands were blocked for production or leases. Of course , helps to stay friends with the powers that be, as they sometimes can give you that key for access if you can keep your mouth closed.
The comments are ridiculous I don't think many of those people can read. Private property is just that. Just because a previous owner let people use the property does not mean the new owner must, at least not in my opinion.
So what is "controlled hunt" land? Apparently it's private land, but is it related to the state at all? Does the state control the hunting aspect or trails to an extent? Or was this 172,000 acres of private land that the owner didn't care if people were on it? I guess I'm confused on how this land became widely used by the public.
Controlled hunts are geographical units with special regs/seasons. Hunting the unit without the special tag constitutes poaching. This is a significant blow to those who drew the tags, particularly if they spent years waiting. I've traveled and fished much of it--it is a quality area. There was no requirement that Potlatch opened it to public hunting and no impediment to shutting it down....
I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding. Many of the mountain states are 60-70% public lands. Certain geographical units are managed as a block which is necessarily for historical reasons (land grant/rail road grants) includes private lands. Areas with particular trophy potential (frequently because of migrations) get special regs to preserve the resource. Large land owners in some states are given tags they can sell. This isn't new or really unique. Some of the most storied trophy mule deer areas fall into this category and it can have a significant impact on land values. There are some injustices but it usually flows the other way: small land owners have to compete with the public to draw a tag to hunt their own property. When buying hunting ground in the west, step 1 is understanding whether you're in a general season area or not. In a number of states, smaller landowners can band together and apply as a cooperative management unit to gain access to tags they can sell and even set there own seasons within limits prescribed by the state.