Smith River Montana Resident Preference? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #1
 
Ashland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 128
Smith River Montana Resident Preference?

Hey Buzzards, wondering if anybody can confirm that Montana residents get preferential points or something in the Smith River lottery? I've heard this from a friend, but the Montana FWP webpage on Smith lottery doesn't say anything about it. Thanks!

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #2
 
Hamilton, Montana
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 21
I would venture to say no, but I could be wrong. I know plenty of MT residents who apply every year and miss out. I think it's a true lottery system, no preferential treatment to resident over non-resident. On a side note I know many Montanan's that believe the system is rigged for out of staters to pull before in staters. (more tourism d$$$)

edited to add:
I have never gotten any "points" when I don't pull a Smith permit like I might with a game (deer, elk, sheep) tag.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #3
 
Missoula, Montana
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Everything I've read, heard, experienced, and been told first/second/third hand from official and nonofficial sources points to no preference based on residency.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #4
 
bozeman, Montana
Join Date: Jul 2017
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Just asked a friend at FWP and it's a true lottery. No preference for residents. I've pulled one once and been skunked every other year
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #5
Never enough free time
 
Red Lodge, Montana
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I know of a guy who just shows up and waits for cancellations and has never NOT gotten on in 40+ tries...FWIW. I wouldn't hang my hat on that method personally and I am less than 3 hours from the put in
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #6
 
GOTY2011's Avatar
 
Ellensburg, Washington
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 103
I recall the stats being 6% of permits over time have been awarded to non-residents, on the first time I floated it in 2012. The permit holder was a life-long MT resident who had a high number of ALS points. It would be interesting to get the actual data from FWP, and given that my daughter is a Game Warden, I'll look into it. Might not want to hear the truth though, right?

I applied for an "off-peak" permit for 10/2 this year and got it, and when I arrived at Camp Baker it was self-reservations, no Ranger there. I could have saved the $10 but it goes to Parks year-round so it's worth it whether I get a permit or not IMHO.

In 2019, the number of total applications was down about 4.4% from previous years.

https://billingsgazette.com/outdoors...ae78f48e7.html
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #7
 
bighorn1478@msn.com's Avatar
 
lafayette or Grand Lake, CO., Colorado
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I have been down Smith 5 years out of the last 8. Never won a permit just lucky to have friends that invite me. That said, one of the guys in line with me to sign up for camp sites was going on his 24th trip, all on his own permit, all picked up as a cancelation. He was a local and could show up in 3 hours. Being a local sure has its advantages for cancelations.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #8
 
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Ellensburg, Washington
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I did find some data on success rate, for 2014. 8000 +/- permit applications, 24% went to non-residents.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #9
 
Denver, Colorado
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That is surprisingly low from what I would have guessed. Had you asked me without knowing, I would say 85% of applicants would be from out of state just because of the population of MT compared to surrounding states and the country as a whole.

I grew up in western MT and never did float the Smith. I'm starting to consider circling back and doing it with my dad. Just so many places to go when I was younger, I never wanted to deal with someone telling me when I could or couldn't go. Everyone raves about the trip, maybe this is the year...
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #10
 
Ashland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Interesting stuff, thanks everybody for sharing. I'm going to try a call to Montana FWP to see if I can get a clear answer. Wish me luck, that call could be interesting!
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