IDFG Seeks Public Comments on 2004 Big Game Season

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Proposed changes to all big game hunting seasons will be the focus of a series of public meetings hosted by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) in the next two weeks.

Interested individuals can discuss the proposals and provide written comment at any of four open house meetings scheduled from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., at the following locations.

Orofino: March 3
VFW Hall, 330 Michigan Ave.

Grangeville: March 4
Senior Center, Hwy. 3 County Road

Lewiston: March 8
Community Center, 1424 Main Street

Moscow: March 10
Fairground Exhibit Bld, 1021 Harold

Proposed changes to regional deer seasons include increased controlled hunt opportunity for mule deer and reduction in extra antlerless whitetail tags. Elk season proposals include increased controlled hunt opportunity for both antlered and antlerless elk in many units, and incorporating a "green-field" hunt to address depredation problems in the Palouse Zone. Black bear and mountain lion season proposals include increasing the season length in many units, allowing any weapon in unit's 8A and 10A and opening up a portion of unit 15 to coincide with rest of the unit.

"We hope to hear from as many hunters as we can," IDFG wildlife manager Jay Crenshaw said. "There are some major changes being proposed, so we hope that hunters attend to learn more about the various options and then provide their comments."

The open house format allows participants to come and go during a three-hour period and visit with IDFG personnel about wildlife issues. Written comments collected will be presented to the Fish and Game Commission at their March meeting, where final action will be taken.