Big Game Hunt Structure

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The Arizona Game and Fish Department continues to hold public meetings and solicit public comment on the proposed 2006-2007 hunt guidelines, which include several changes to the hunt structure.

The Arizona Game and Fish Commission gave initial approval to the department's proposals in December. Some proposed changes include:

* Splitting the fall big game draw in 2007, with the drawing for elk and antelope occurring in March and the drawing for deer, turkey, buffalo and bighorn sheep happening in the traditional July draw period. This would give applicants drawn for elk and antelope greater lead-time in planning their hunts. The spring draw would continue to occur in November.

* Shifting some archery elk tags from the rut to a later fall season and shifting some general season white-tailed deer tags from the December rut to earlier in the season, to increase hunter participation while achieving harvest levels.

* Creating a fall javelina season starting in 2006.

* Approving seasons for small game and trapping for a two-year period beginning in April 2006.

The department is now in the next phase of the process, conducting public meetings and soliciting public comment. The input will be taken into consideration in preparing the final hunt recommendation package. The remaining public meetings are taking place today through Feb. 9.

For the full article on the proposal, including a list of meeting times and locations, click here.