Commission Considering Draft Hunt Guidelines for 2005

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The Arizona Game and Fish Commission is considering the draft guidelines and recommendations for the 2005-2006 hunting and trapping seasons during the Saturday, Dec. 11 segment of its two-day meeting at the Peoria City Council Chambers, 8401 W. Monroe Street, Peoria.

The commission meeting on Dec. 11 starts at 8 a.m. The commission also meets on Friday, Dec. 10 starting at 7 a.m. for an executive session, with the public session immediately following. There is a start time of no later than 9 a.m. for the public session.

The draft hunt guidelines, once approved by the commission in December, will be the subject of a series of public meetings in January and February. Department biologists will ultimately use the finalized guidelines to formulate their unit-by-unit big game hunting recommendations. Those recommendations will be brought before the Game and Fish Commission to consider at its April 15-16, 2006 meeting when it sets the hunt structures and seasons for 2005-2006.

The commission is also considering notices of final rulemaking on the following subjects:

* Creating a loyalty bonus point.

* Increasing the bonus point pass percentage for the big game draw from 10 percent to 20 percent.

* Creating a conservation bonus point.

* Requiring all big game permit applicants to purchase a hunting license to apply for the draw.

* Creating a set-aside percentage of bighorn hunt permit-tags for nonresidents.

The commission will also be considering the applications by organizations for the special big game license tags for mule deer, white-tailed deer, antelope, elk, turkey, javelina, bighorn sheep, buffalo and black bear for 2005-2006. The special tags are used to raise money for wildlife management efforts for the specific species.