The Idaho Fish and Game Commission is considering some changes to the state’s current hunting rules that could impact big game hunting across Idaho. The proposed rule changes do not include using bait to hunt wolves or trail camera/two-way communication restrictions; both of those items have been dropped from the current discussion. Instead, these changes will affect nonresident tag allocation and bighorn sheep units and tags as well as red squirrel classification.
According to an Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) press release, the rules recently adopted by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission were published on October 4 in the Idaho Administrative Bulletin and the Commission is accepting public comment through Oct. 25. They plan to send the proposed rules for legislative review and finalization during their November meeting; however, the Idaho Legislature will still need to approve these proposed rules in order for them to become final rules.
IDFG has summarized the proposed rules as the following:
Nonresident Tag Limit and Outfitter Allocation in Unlimited Control Hunts
Create authority for non-outfitted nonresident tag limits in unlimited controlled hunts and to provide for outfitter allocation in unlimited controlled hunts. Docket #’s 13-0104-1703 and 13-0108-1704.
Bighorn Sheep Auction and Lottery Tags
Revise Provisions for Special Needs Big Game Hunt and Disabled Veteran Special Big Game Hunt Tags
Developed rules to establish an application period and process for awarding tags if applications exceed the number of tags available. Docket #13-0104-1701.
Red Squirrel Reclassification
Reclassifies Red Squirrel from a Protected Nongame Species to an Upland Game Animal which will allow the Fish and Game Commission to set a harvest season. Docket # 13-0106-1701.
Revise Procedures for Moose, Bighorn Sheep, and Mountain Goat Controlled Hunt Application
Rescinds the requirement for tag prepayment at the time of application for a moose, bighorn sheep or mountain goat controlled hunt tag because hunters will pay an increased nonrefundable controlled hunt application fee beginning with the 2018 applications. This is a temporary and proposed rule so it is effective in time to notify hunters applying for moose, bighorn sheep, and mountain goat controlled hunts in spring, 2018. It must still be upheld by the Legislature to be effective long-term. Docket # 13-0108-1705.
Changes to Rules Governing the Taking of Big Game
Deletes reference to Super Hunt tag drawing for hunters that comply with Mandatory Report requirements because this has not increased compliance and makes other modifications to reflect existing procedures; streamlines the mandatory hunter orientation for a controlled archery-only hunt to reflect existing procedures; and rescinds the mandatory telephone report for successful wolf hunters, which no longer has management application. The mandatory harvest report and animal check for successful wolf hunters are not modified by the proposed rule. Docket # 13-0108-1706.
To comment on the proposed rules, please go HERE and follow instructions on how to submit comments available in each docket’s Notice of Rulemaking in the Administrative Bulletin.