Fish and Game Calls For Public Comments

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Fish and Game wants to hear from you.

Should unclaimed controlled hunt tags go on sale again after a certain date? Should the one-year waiting period related to antlered deer and elk go away?

These and other questions will soon be discussed by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission. In the meantime, the Fish and Game Department wants to hear your opinion.

"We're up against a tight deadline," Fish and Game regional conservation educator Evin Oneale noted. "Public comments need to be summarized by January 10, so we're asking folks to stop by a Fish and Game office, comment on our website (www2.state.id.us/fishgame), or give us a call (465-8465) with their opinions. Of course, written comments are also welcome, but those will have to reach us by early January. My advice is to use one of the other comment options."

So what are the issues? "There are three, actually," Oneale said. "The possible resale of unclaimed tags, the waiver of the one-year waiting period/once-in-a-lifetime rule for certain tags and a blanket rule regarding that fun topic of discussion, the requirement to leave evidence of sex attached to a carcass."

Resale of unclaimed controlled hunt tags -- "Each year, approximately six to eight percent of all deer, elk and antelope controlled hunt tags remain unclaimed. There is a move afoot to establish a cutoff date by which all controlled hunt tags must be claimed," Oneale explained. "After that date, the unclaimed tags would be made available on a first-come, first-served basis at license vendors."

Waiting period/lifetime rules waiver -- There is no process in place to block the sale of leftover antlered deer, antlered elk or antelope tags to persons who don't qualify under the one-year waiting period rule currently in place. The same goes for leftover moose tags. For example, a person having already harvested a moose under Idaho's once-in-a-lifetime rule can currently obtain a second tag during the leftover moose tag sales event. "We're considering eliminating the one year waiting period/once in a lifetime stipulations associated with these hunts IF the tags are acquired as leftovers," Oneale said. "Obviously, if adopted, this rule would make it possible for a hunter to participate in an antlered-only deer and/or elk controlled hunt in consecutive years or harvest more than one moose in their lifetime."

Evidence of sex -- Department rules require evidence of sex to remain naturally attached to the carcass in most hunts. In either-sex hunts however, this requirement is waived. "The requirement, or lack thereof, has left a number of people confused, and - in some cases - hindered enforcement efforts," Oneale said. "So, the Department is considering a blanket rule requiring hunters to leave evidence of sex naturally attached to all harvested big game animals until the animals reach the place of final storage."