Scouting Around
Wyoming — Outdoor Mentor Program

As not all parents or guardians coach their kid’s baseball team or teach piano, the same is true of hunting, fishing and wildlife watching.

That’s why the Game and Fish Department is surveying the Wyoming public’s interest in volunteering time and loaning equipment to help youngsters get a start in the outdoors.

"More kids these days, for a variety of reasons including single-parent families, don’t have the people in their lives to take them hunting and fishing as kids did just 20 years ago," said Dave Lockman, G&F education supervisor. "The Game and Fish is wondering if there are folks willing to volunteer and help fill that void."

He adds the G&F is just in the "testing the water" stage to see if there is enough interest from individuals and groups to launch an outdoor skills mentor program.

He urges anyone interested volunteering time or equipment to help introduce a kid to the outdoors to call (800) 842-1934 to receive an interest survey or to ask questions about the potential program.

Idaho — Nonresident 10 Percent Rule

Fish and Game Commissioners will decide at their May meeting how to recalibrate trophy species controlled hunts to conform to a 10 percent rule for nonresident participation.

At issue are trophy species hunts where nonresidents have been given at least one permit even in hunts with fewer than 10 permits, resulting in nonresidents often having more than 10 percent overall. Also to be decided in May is how to handle nonresident moose hunting. Nonresidents have been excluded from moose hunts.

The Commission, at its March meeting in Boise, directed Fish and Game staff to come up with a plan to configure the drawing process in controlled hunts for the three trophy species so that the number of successful nonresident applicants will not exceed 10 percent. The new rule would take effect in 2001.

At the May meeting, the Commission expects to have a report from the Attorney General's office that will address some of the Commissioners' concerns about allowing nonresident moose hunting. Commissioner Roy Moulton has asked if nonresidents could be limited to hunting moose only where the animals spend most or all of their lives on public lands.

Commissioner Alex Irby expressed concern that resident hunters not lose hunting opportunity when nonresidents are allowed to hunt moose.

Moose hunting in Idaho has grown steadily with 112 permits offered in 1970, 140 in 1980, 503 in 1990 and 888 in 1999 and 2000. The Commission has been advised that it would be unlikely to prevail in court if the nonresident moose exclusion is challenged.

Idaho — Four, Not Five, Fatalities

The number of fatalities during the most recent hunting seasons in Idaho was four, not five, as reported in a February 18 news release.

Hunter Education Coordinator Dan Papp said one of the incident reports submitted to him contained an error, marking that incident as a fatality when, in fact, the shooting victim survived. That means during the most recent hunting seasons there were four fatalities and five nonfatal shooting incidents, still far above the average for the last 20 years and the worst since 1982.

Idaho — Hybrid Hunt Report System Considered

Most big game hunters in Idaho could soon be out from under the mandatory harvest report system established two years ago.

In the last two big game hunting seasons, all deer and elk hunters were required to fill out a harvest report card and return it to Fish and Game. While the Fish and Game Commission was evaluating the mandatory report system against the long-established telephone survey method of estimating big game harvest, both systems were in effect.

The Commission decided in its March meeting in Boise to ask Fish and Game staff to come up with a plan by April that will use a mandatory report system for all controlled hunts (already required for moose, goat and sheep) and a telephone survey for elk and deer general hunts.

Hunters who participate in controlled hunts will be required to file their report within 10 days of harvest or end of the season. Those who fail to report will not be able to apply for another controlled hunt for two years.

The Commission was told that 83 percent of last fall's hunter report cards have been returned so far.

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