Apply Now for Spring Bear and Turkey Hunts

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Hunters who aim to participate in controlled hunts for black bear and turkey this spring have less than 30 days left to apply for permits. The application period for both turkey and black bear is from January 15 through February 15.

Once again, the competition for the limited number of permits is expected to be stiff. Last year more than 1,800 applicants put in for 330 turkey permits, and more than 860 applied for 150 spring bear permits. This spring, 540 turkey permits will be available in 14 hunts, and 150 bear permits will be allotted for two hunts.

Most of the controlled turkey hunts are in the Southeast and Upper Snake Regions, with a limited number of permits available in Unit 38 and a portion of Unit 32 in the Southwest Region. Five permits will be issued in the Salmon Region, but access in Units 36b, 37 and 38 is limited, and hunters may not want to apply unless they have access to private property in those units.

In addition, more opportunities will be available this year for young hunters, with 148 turkey permits set aside for youth hunts. To qualify, youth hunters must be 15 years old or younger on April 15.

Hunters must have a valid hunting license, tag and controlled hunt permit. Controlled spring hunts for black bear will focus on Units 22, 31, 32 and 32A in the Southwest Region. Baiting and dogs are prohibited. For specific information on the controlled hunt regulations check the Fish and Game website under "2005 Fall and 2006 Spring Black Bear Hunting Seasons" or pick up a copy of the regulations at your nearest Fish and Game vendor.