Several proposed rules recently adopted by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission was published on Oct. 4 in the Idaho Administrative Bulletin. Publication of the proposed rules provides for additional public comment; public comments were previously presented to the commission prior to rule adoption. Submitted comments will be considered by the Commission at their Nov. 17 meeting in Twin Falls.
IDFG summarized the rules in a news release as follows:
Nonresident Tag Limit and Outfitter Allocation in Unlimited Control Hunts: Creates authority for non-outfitted nonresident tag limits in unlimited controlled hunts and to provide for outfitter allocation in unlimited controlled hunts.
Bighorn sheep Auction and Lottery Tags: Modifies wording that restricts auction tag and lottery tag holders from hunting in Unit 11 during alternate years to “Controlled Hunt Area 11” to avoid having multiple tag holders from hunting in those portions of Hunt Area 11 that fall outside Unit 11 (i.e., Unit 13 and Unit 18).
Revise provisions for Special Needs Big Game Hunt and Disabled Veteran Special Big Game Hunt tags: Developes rules to establish an application period and process for awarding tags if applications exceed number of tags available.
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.
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 is not modified by the proposed rule.
Additional information, including complete text of the proposed rules and how to submit comments, is available in each docket’s Notice of Rulemaking in the Administrative Bulletin at https://adminrules.idaho.gov/bulletin/index.html.
The 21-day comment period is from Oct. 4 through Oct. 25.
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will consider whether to send the proposed rules for legislative review and finalization at its November meeting. Any administrative rule would have to be upheld by the Idaho Legislature to become a final rule.
The Commission suspended rulemaking on the proposals concerning the use of bait to hunt wolves, and restrictions for trail cameras and/or electronic two-way communication as aids to hunting.