Archery pronghorn and big game season proposals

 

Idaho Fish and Game is seeking public comments on proposed changes in big game seasons for 2009.

The only statewide proposal covers archery pronghorn hunting. Historically, few hunters participated in archery-only pronghorn hunting, so hunting seasons had few restrictions, including the current opportunity for general season permits.

But the numbers participating in archery pronghorn hunting have more than doubled in the past 10 years, with a concurrent increase in harvest. Rifle hunter numbers and harvest have remained fairly constant during this time.

More hunters during the archery season have led to increased complaints about hunter congestion. And in some areas of Idaho, pronghorn populations are not meeting state management objectives. Fish and Game is considering four options to address both issues:

  • Unlimited controlled hunts. Hunters who want to hunt pronghorn during the archery-only season would have to apply during the May controlled hunt application process. Hunters who apply would receive a permit to hunt. There would be no over-the-counter permits. 
  • Limited controlled hunts. Hunters who want to hunt pronghorn during the archery-only season would have to apply during the May controlled hunt application period and be drawn for a limited number of permits. 
  • Statewide quota on general tags. Hunters who want to hunt pronghorn during the archery-only season would have to purchase a general permit before the quota is reached. 
  • Shift archery pronghorn season to August 30 – September 14. This option would allow unrestricted access to permits; it would probably result in a reduction in hunters because some would choose to pursue archery deer or elk during the same period.

The pronghorn proposal and a list of other, regional proposals for the 2009 season are available for review and comment on the Fish and Game website at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/public.

Comments and proposals will be presented to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission March 24.

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