Scouting Around
Idaho — Fees Changed for Trophy Species Drawing

Due to the recent Legislative approval of a Fish and Game fee increase package, prices for the upcoming application period for moose, goat, and sheep hunts will increase to the new fee levels. The change comes because the legislation goes into effect May 1, and the tags and permits will be issued and sold after the drawing in late May. Because the tags and permits are not actually issued and sold until after the new fees are effective, the applicants must send in the amount that will be necessary to buy the tag and permit when the successful person is drawn. The application price for residents is $164.50, up from $69.50; and for nonresidents $1514.50, up from $909.50. Hunters who submit applications based on the previous fees will receive a letter asking them to submit the remainder in order to stay in the drawing. Unsuccessful applicants will receive a refund of all but the $6.50 application fee. A news release dated March 31 used the old fees.

Utah — Antlerless Hunting Proposals

The growth of some elk herds and the likelihood that cow elk hunting success in 1999 was lower than the Division had anticipated, are reasons the Division will probably propose an increase in antlerless elk permits this year, said Steve Flinders, big game coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources.

Flinders said a warmer than normal fall, and a lack of snow in some areas last winter, probably led to decreased cow elk harvest success last season.

The Division is in the process of compiling antlerless harvest data from the 1999 hunts, Flinders said. Once the data is compiled, the Division will have all the information it needs to present specific permit proposals to the public at the RAC meetings.

The only other significant permit increase Flinders anticipates is more doe deer permits for deer herds in some of Utah's agricultural areas. Some of these deer herds are increasing to the point that additional does need to be taken, Flinders said.

For more information about the meetings, call the nearest Division office, or the Division's Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.

Utah —Deer Applications Available By May 1st

May 1 - 22 will be an important time for Utah's general buck deer hunters, as applications for permits to hunt this fall must be completed and received through the mail during that time.

Utah residents who purchased a general buck deer permit in 1998 or 1999, and nonresident hunters who applied for a permit those two years, should receive a preprinted application in the mail the last week in April, said Judi Tutorow, wildlife licensing coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources.

Hunters who don't receive an application in the mail by May 1 may obtain one from hunting and fishing license agents statewide; Division offices in Ogden, Salt Lake City, Springville, Vernal, Price and Cedar City; the Lee Kay Center for Hunter Education, 6000 W. 2100 S. in Salt Lake City; or the Cache Valley Hunter Education Center, 2851 W. 200 N. in Logan.

Applications also will be available at the Division's Internet web site

To be included in the draw for hunting permits, applications must be received through the mail, or an overnight mail service, no later than 5 p.m., May 22.

Applications must be mailed to the correct address listed on the application.

The Utah Wildlife Board approved a draw for this fall's hunts to prevent the overselling of buck deer permits, which has been a factor in some deer herds not having the number of buck deer called for in management plans. 2000 is the first year since 1994 that hunters will be required to draw a permit to participate in Utah's general buck deer hunts.

For more information call the nearest Division office or Hunt Application Office, the private contractor handling the draw, at 1-800-221-0659.

Washington — Sets 2000-2002 Hunting Seasons

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission has set 2000-2002 hunting seasons and scheduled to adopt rules in late summer for hound-hunting of cougars.

Hound-hunting of cougars to address public safety concerns was authorized as an emergency through legislation signed by the governor last week. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) staff told the Commission they will work with hound hunters, the Humane Society, and other interested groups to develop rules by late summer for the use of hounds to remove cougars that pose safety threats.

The Commission rejected recommendations to reduce late-season hunting for northeast whitetail buck deer and to allow crossbows for disabled big game hunters. A three-antler-point minimum restriction was retained for mule deer hunting. Simplification of elk tag areas from five to just two — western and eastern — now means that already-printed tags for the former Colockum, Yakima, Blue Mountains, and Northeast areas are valid for elk hunting anywhere in eastern Washington.

All of the hunting season rule changes that the Commission adopted will be available in pamphlet form next month. They include:
• restrictions on southwest blacktail deer hunting, elimination of modern firearm and muzzleloader antlerless deer permits in some parts of western Washington, restriction to buck-only archery hunting in southwest areas, and expanded muzzleloader deer hunting in 20 game management units statewide;
• addition of 100 muzzleloader antlerless elk permits in the Cowiche unit (368), reduction of southwest antlerless elk hunting, increase of Yakima branch-antlered bull elk permits in some areas and reductions in another, and elimination of Colockum branch-antlered bull elk hunting;
• increase of moose hunting permits from 49 to 67, decrease of sheep hunting permits from 16 to 14, and decrease of goat hunting permits from 41 to 38;
• close of hunting for jackrabbits; and addition of non-toxic shot requirements at about a dozen game bird hunting areas.
• re-authorized landowner damage hunts to control deer and elk;
• approved regulations to support implementation of an automated licensing system;

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