Fall Hunt Recommendations and Application Schedule
The final recommendations for the fall 2006 big game hunts, along with a proposed schedule for the hunt application process, will be presented to the Arizona Game and Fish Commission for approval at the commission's public meeting on Saturday, April 22 in Phoenix. The meeting begins at 8 a.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn/Phoenix Midtown, 4000 N. Central Ave.
The hunt recommendations have been through an extensive public input process over the past several months, including a series of public meetings and the opportunity to provide written comment. Part of the recommendation package includes some proposed hunt structure changes:
* The fall big game draw would be split beginning in 2007, with the draw for elk and antelope occurring in early spring, and the draw for deer, turkey and bighorn sheep occurring during the typical time period in July. The intent is to provide greater lead time to successful applicants for planning their hunts.
* A fall javelina season would be created beginning in 2006. This would allow the department to more effectively issue tags during a draw, given the history of spring leftover tags from southeastern Arizona hunt areas. It would also provide more opportunities for multi-species hunts.
The commission will also be asked to approve the proposed application schedule for this year's fall big game draw. The application deadline traditionally has been 7 p.m. the second Tuesday in June, which would be June 13 this year if approved by the commission. Any changes or updates after the April 22 commission meeting will be included in future editions of Wildlife News and posted on the department's Web site.
Applications will be accepted online again this year after a one-year hiatus. The new hunt regulations and application form should be available online at the Arizona Game and Fish Department's Web site, azgfd.gov, no later than the first week of May. Printed regulations and applications should be available at department offices and license dealers statewide no later than mid-May.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department does its best to help hunters navigate the draw odds by publishing statistics from previous years in the regulations. The department also offers a book called "Hunt Arizona" that provides historical survey, harvest and hunt data to assist people in selecting their hunts. The 2006 edition of the publication should be out by late April and can be purchased at department offices for $6 or by downloading an order form and mailing it with payment to the address on the form.