Arizona Going Back to Paper Applications for Spring Hunt Draw

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In order to provide the best possible customer service, the Arizona Game and Fish Department is going to offer only paper applications for its upcoming spring 2007 big game hunts.

The department contracted with an outside vendor to process computerized applications during its last draw, and the department is unhappy about the quality of the vendor's performance.

"We want to exceed our customers' expectations," says Richard Rico, the assistant director of the department's special services division, which runs hunt draws. "Even though we had draw results to applicants in a timely fashion, we still don't feel that things ran smoothly enough. We don't want our customers to be disappointed again."

During the Arizona Game and Fish Commission's August meeting in Flagstaff, commissioners voted to use a paper-only application process for the spring 2007 big game hunts. This will eliminate the problems experienced with the recent online applications. Hunters can begin applying for the spring hunts by using the regulation information that's posted at the department's Web site at

The deadline for submitting spring hunt applications is Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m. At that time, all applications must have been received at department offices; postmarks don't count. Big game hunt applications are available at hunting license dealers. They can also be printed out from the department's Web site at and then mailed in or brought to any Arizona Game and Fish office.

"Applicants might also want to take advantage of our application grace period," says Rico. "If you apply by Sept. 22, and we find any errors in your application, then the department will try to contact you three times within a 24-hour period to notify you, so you can fix the problem in time."

Also, spring hunt applicants can look forward to a record number of much-desired spring turkey tags. The commission approved an increase in the number of turkey tags to provide more hunter opportunities, while still maintaining a biologically sound turkey population.

The commission also set the spring hunt seasons for turkey, buffalo, javelina and bear at its August meeting.