Game and Fish Commission Sets Spring Hunts

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The Arizona Game and Fish Commission on Aug. 14 set the spring hunts for 2005 with no major changes from this past season.

There is a slight increase this year in javelina permits, with juniors-only and archery-only seasons experiencing an increase in permit levels and the general and handgun, archery and muzzleloader (HAM) seasons seeing slight decreases in permits.

"Most permit adjustments are to achieve a balance of opportunity across the hunt types, taking into account application pressure and hunter success this past season," Big Game Supervisor Brian Wakeling told the Game and Fish Commission.

Wakeling added that hunt units 21, 22, and 32 experienced permit-level decreases this coming year in response to continuing poor population trends and declining hunter success.

General firearms javelina permits were decreased this year by 210 to 11,070, archery permits were increased by 250 to 9,665, and HAM permits were decreased by 50 to 6,500. The commission increased the juniors-only permits 535 permits, an increase of 50 over last year. The season dates are Feb. 4-10. Juniors permits comprise 2 percent of the total javelina permits available.

There is also good news for would-be spring turkey hunters. There is an increase of 150 permits this year for a total of 5,292 in the limited weapon - shotgun shooting shot - season. This overall increase is a result of adding turkey permits this year in units 1, 3B, 3C and 5A.

Once again, Arizona is the only state in the union offering hunting opportunities for Gould's turkey. The Game and Fish Commission set a two-permit hunt for unit 35A. Two additional permits under the special license-tag category will be recommended at the October commission meeting. Those special permits will be used to raise money for Gould's turkey management, including ongoing restoration efforts.

The application deadline for the spring hunts is Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. MST.