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lichen fox

DNR Threatens ELS agents-lcornice?

44 posts in this topic

I was just into my local hardware store and purchased my Archery Deer License...They asked me if I would like to donate to the "venison" program and I declined...the owner then went on to show me a letter thier store had gotten from the DNR...The letter stated that the state-wide "average" for Liscense purchasers who donated money to the Venison program was 17%...the letter went on to state that thier store...(my local hardware store), only had an average of 5% for donations and the letter went on to accuse them and thier staff of not asking for the donations at the point of license purchase...it further stated that "if" they do not get thier donations up considerably that the DNR would terminate thier ELS "privilages"...let me see...isn't the venison "donation" program a "voluntary" thing?...Doesn't my local hardware store do a "service" for the DNR by bringing in thousands of dollars each year in license sales? Does the DNR pay for the equipment? So, if my local hardware store and maybe "your" local ELS agent as well, get thier ELS "privlages" taken away, myself and thousands of other people in our area that purchase thier license from this store will have to drive 5, 10, maybe 20 more miles to get a liscense...So, not only is the "agent" being penalized...so is everyone else in our small town!!

The letter also stated thae the "legislature" is watching the donations to the venison program "very closely"....Write, phone or email your state representatives and let them know what kind of injustice the DNR is threatening to thier ELS agents...The "donation" is VOLUNTARY and no business should be penalized because they can't get enough donations to satisfy the DNR!!

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thats crazy, personally i would rather donate the deer then the money, at least i know the deer will probably go to someone who needs it, the money you never know they say its for the venison program but maybe not.

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How much are they asking for? If it's voluntary, they should gladly accept any amount. Personally, if I didn't feel like donating, I would still have donated $1, just to help bring up the % for the store.

I really don't see how the DNR can legally do this.

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Quote:
So, if my local hardware store and maybe "your" local ELS agent as well, get thier ELS "privlages" taken away, myself and thousands of other people in our area that purchase thier license from this store will have to drive 5, 10, maybe 20 more miles to get a liscense...So, not only is the "agent" being penalized...so is everyone else in our small town!!

Are you sure about that? I'd be more inclined to write back to the DNR and tell them that they can have my license. They will be on the losing end. Yes, my business may drop just a little because hunters won't come in to buy their license but my guess is the drop would be minimal. Correct me if I'm wrong but having the ability to sell licenses is not a money making thing is it?

Also, by selling the license, the agent is doing a service for the DNR, not the other way around especially when they don't really get paid to do it.

Bob

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Thats outrageous! What are they going to do with lead shot deer this year anyway? Throw it away again! Wantin Waste? there is a law that was ignored there last year. killing a deer then tossing it I would think its wantin Waste.

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I would bet donations to the venison program are down. I always supported them in the past, but after throwing all that meat they won't get another nickle from me.

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but the government said it was ok. that makes it fine. i agree sparce do away with the program i say. you eat what you shoot or find someone thats more than willing to enjoy it.

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I was told that when you purchase a bonus or "management" tag that the "voluntary" donation went away and you had to pay an automatic "donation fee" on that tag. That is why the "half price" bonus tag that should be 13.50 costs 15.00. It has a $1.50 donation attached to it.

Weak. If they want people to donate they should be making it easier to do so. All I can say is the system is broken.

Now they are only going to donate steaks to the food shelf, so people who dont know how to properly prepare a Venison steak can attempt to cook then is terrible too. We all know there is nothing worse than a poorly cooked Venison steak. If people dont want the food because it tastes bad, then what are they going to do with it?

Sorry to go off on a tangent.....

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I'll go ahead and chime in. Suffice to say I was told to look at last year's data and send a letter to all agents. The people who created the donation program have an interest in making sure we are doing as much as possible to make it succeed. Last year, it was clear that a majority of agents weren't even asking the question. That's the issue. It's not how much they bring in or what percentage they are relative to anyone else. They flat weren't asking. It's the same thing we have with HIP numbers, fishing questions, and everything else. So, I do apologize to any agent out there who viewed the letter as threatening. That was most certainly not the intent. It was intended to show where that agent was regarding percentages and to remind them the legislature is taking a close look at the program and how it is implemented. Unfortunately, they will be looking at agent performance on a variety of issues, not just this one. I had hoped the letter would serve as a reminder that people upstairs are watching. Heck, it was never intended to be a threat! As for your agent, 5% is pretty good. The 17% was the license center in St. Paul (they asked everyone). Most agents were at 0% - 1% (aka didn't ask).

Again, the last thing I need in my life is more controversy. I really don't have a lot of interest in upsetting the agents, they do wonderful work and I am most appreciative. As for the program, it is continuing and there should be a news release soon.

Finally, the first poster didn't get it quite right. Here's the entire letter:

As you likely know, a venison program was implemented last year that allows hunters to donate money at the time they buy a license. During the sales transaction, agents are required to ask if the hunter wants to donate $1, $3, or $5 to the program and last year nearly $51,000 in revenue was generated. Like most new programs we observed some obvious issues that we need to address. Given DNR license agents sell nearly 500,000, yet only 5% of hunters participated, we can conclude there is low compliance among agents.

In looking at eligible transactions (the number of adult deer licenses sold) divided by the number of venison donation transactions, we are able to construct a statewide and agent average. What we found was the DNR license center had a venison donation transaction in 17% of cases. The license center does not push the program; rather, they ask every hunter if they want to participate and answer any questions. Last year, your store averaged X%. Based on the data, we would ask that you ensure your staff asks the question during every license transaction.

I fully realize your staff wants to complete the license sales transaction as quickly as possible; however, the Minnesota State Legislature is paying close attention to how successful the program becomes. As we move forward and decide which agents should continue to sell licenses, there is the possibility that low-compliance agents will not get to sell licenses in the future. Therefore, I am asking that you convey to your staff the importance of taking a few seconds and asking the question. We are finding a willingness of hunters to contribute to the program if they are given the opportunity.

Ugh ... and I was looking forward to a nice quiet weekend.

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But this does sound abit threatining

As we move forward and decide which agents should continue to sell licenses, there is the possibility that low-compliance agents will not get to sell licenses in the future. Therefore, I am asking that you convey to your staff the importance of taking a few seconds and asking the question. We are finding a willingness of hunters to contribute to the program if they are given the opportunity.

In lower income areas it may be fewer license buyers donate.

What is low-compliance agents?

If I had to drive 10 miles to get a license I may pass on it,having to go out of the way. I drive 6 miles as of now,I also have to go out of my way to register a taken animal,6 miles back over there and home again.total 18 miles now if that license agent gets offed its further to drive times three trips!

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Quote:
Write, phone or email your state representatives and let them know what kind of injustice the DNR is threatening to thier ELS agents

Nothing threatening in that letter. Sounds like a compliance issue... I know there's a waiting list to be an ELS agent, follow the guidelines and you'll be fine. Injustice? Pleeaase.

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lcornice-

Thanks for accurate, right from the horses mouth info. It is good to read exactly what the letter said. I figured that this must have been blown out of proportion by a bit. For the record, I was not asked about the donation when I purchased my license either.

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Pretty Interesting. I was not asked for the donation either when I purchased my license from the big outdoor store by my house?

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Pretty Interesting. I was not asked for the donation either when I purchased my license from the big outdoor store by my house?

That's the problem. If they ask and everyone says 'no', so be it. The problem is not asking at all, not how much they bring in.

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That's what I meant, The problem was when I was in line trying to get my liscence they didn't ask any of the people that were getting liscences that day.

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I've never been asked. Not last year or this year and I bought the licenses at different places each time.

By the way, I don't read that letter as very threatening at all... Some people just look for excuses to bash the DNR and some also look to be victims a lot. I commend lcornice for the job he does and for coming here and fielding questions from us. Good job Lou!!!

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I always get asked! small bait shop HIP questions,Donation Questions,Kinda bugs me,but the owner laughs with me,He already knows my answers! But states he is required to ask.

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Interesting thread. Most interesting was all the DNR bashing early on when inaccurate information was floating about. Seems to me that some of those posters need to apologize and unbundle their undies. Not everyone that works for the government is a dolt but there sure are enough out there that think so.

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I find this interesting as well. I didnt really see the DNR "bashing" thing...just some gut reactions to something a little controversial. Please understand that I have a lot of respect for the DNR people. They do a darn good job and the department is loaded with great people. I know...Ive met several.

With that being said. The letter does make the percieved "threat" in these lines:

As we move forward and decide which agents should continue to sell licenses, there is the possibility that low-compliance agents will not get to sell licenses in the future.

The problem I see is that compliance is being judged by the bottom line and not what really happens at the counter. Maybe, the DNR could send out a few people and do spot checks to see who is asking and who isn't. Concentrate on the big box retailers.

I know the one where I bought my licenses had a young person at the counter who was more interested in discussing what the Packers were doing with her buddy than taking care of the business at hand. Packers!?!?!? thats bad enough but I didnt get asked either. smile

My point is that the hardware store up in Podunk, MN in a low income county may be asking but the revenue might not be there.

Lou, thanks for writing...that was extremely cool!!

(three weeks and counting...Im getting so pumped!!)

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It's amazing what happens when the whole story comes out.

The agents are only saving a couple of seconds, but costing a good program thousands. Being agents brings people in to there store that might not normally shop there. It's a benefit for them and they should do the WHOLE job. They are acting as licensing agents for the state of Minnesota (that’s you the tax payers) so they should be held accountable for there actions.

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The amount of time the e.l.s agents put in to selling licenses versus what they get out of the transactions is part of the reason people don't get asked.

Most e.l.s agents make $1 on a transaction and then people dam about not being able to pay with a credit card or that they get charged extra.

Don't kid yourself about licenses sales bringing in customers that wouldn't normally shop there. Most of those types of transactions, when the customer isn't local, are buy the license and walk out the door.

Being an e.l.s agent is a pain in the butt where most of the time and effort is worth exactly $1.

They still should ask the questions required of them though.

Just my thoughts seeing as most people are now ripping the agents even though they have no idea how much of a pain it is to sell licenses. You should try it sometime though. You get to give gun safety lessons, a thorough rundown of game and fish laws and you get to sell 3 different types of the same license to the same guy because he doesn't know what he wants or needs and tends to add on something else after it's already printed out.

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Thanks for responding Lou...I was gone for the weekend and didn't get back to this post until now...I make no apologies for my original post as I was simply conveying information as passed on to me by an ELS agent that actually stated to me that he felt he may lose his ELS privlages and it's true that myself and others that live in this area would have to drive considerable distance should that ever happen...this store is really our only local store...and it's good to know that it was not meant as a threat...I've printed off a copy of your response Lou and I'll give it to the owner and he can contact you directly if he has any further questions...Actually, I wasn't aware that you had sent out the letter, but as you know, us folks up north here can get riled up...as was evident by the turnout we had at the Gardens a few years back on the Beltrami Forest trail issues....Hope you got to relax a little this weekend and if not...hope your next weekend makes up for it!

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i dont understand how the dnr can take away an els agents right to sell license based on donations to the venny donation program? they set up this program then they say theres to much lead in the meat and make them throw it out. confusing to me.

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