Game and Fish Commission to Consider Draft Hunt Guidelines

Send by email Printer-friendly version Share this

The Arizona Game and Fish Commission is meeting on Dec. 9 and 10 in Casa Grande to consider a range of agenda items, including the draft hunt guidelines for 2006-2007, a report on an extensive effort by the department to study hunter recruitment and retention, and the rule-making process to possibly increase fees for licenses, tags, stamps and permits.

The commission meeting starts at 8 a.m. both days at the Francisco Grande Resort in Casa Grande, which is located at 26000 W. Gila Bend Highway. The hunt guidelines and the hunter retention items are scheduled for the Friday, Dec. 9 portion of the meeting. The proposed rulemaking on the fee increases will be considered during the Saturday, Dec. 10 portion of the meeting.

The hunting and trapping guidelines the commission is considering will be the basis for the public hunt-set meetings across the state in January and February. "This is the leading edge of an exhaustive public process that ultimately results in the commission setting the hunt regulations in April. Some interesting changes are possible this year and next," says Game Branch Chief Leonard Ordway.

Ordway says the department is looking at three major strategies with the hunt structures for this coming season. One is to increase hunter opportunities as much as possible. Another is to simplify the season structures where practical. The third is to increase consistency across the state as to when some hunt seasons are offered.

Once the guidelines are finalized through the public process, wildlife managers across the state will use those in determining their unit-by-unit hunt recommendations. Those recommendations ultimately come before the commission in April and August when it sets the hunt seasons.

"Throughout the whole public hunt-set process, you can achieve the most influence at the beginning of the process when the guidelines are being formulated, rather than at the end once the guidelines are implemented. In other words, don't wait until April to be heard," Ordway says.

To view the complete commission agenda, click here.