|The fall big game drawing is completed. The 229,800 applicants can access the Arizona Game and Fish Department's Interactive Phone System (602-942-3000, press 2 and follow the prompts) to find out if they have been drawn.
To avoid the typical delays caused by thousands of people calling at once, you may also call 1-900-896-1010 for more speedy results. Please be aware that a $5 fee will be charged to you for using 1-900 number. When calling, be sure to have available your social security number and date of birth.
Game and Fish officials said the number of applications this year was down slightly from last year's record of 144,096. This year, the department received 142,908 applications representing 229,800 applicants.
"The big news this year is we do have four leftover elk permits. I can't remember the last time that happened," said drawing supervisor Marvel Meadows.
There are four archery-only elk tags remaining for Hunt No. 3128, which is a September hunt in Unit 27 South. "This is a new hunt and probably went under-subscribed because archers aren't familiar with it," said Assistant Director Jim Burton.
Applications for first-come, first-served tags will be accepted by mail only on or after Aug. 14 for any remaining permits. A full list of remaining permits for all species will be available next week.
The bad news this year was the total number of applicants rejected it reached a new high of 10,325. Last year there were 7,000 rejects.
"Right now it looks like a lot of applicants failed to provide sufficient funds. With the tag fee increases implemented this year, it is not unusual to have such a spike in rejects, but this is far more than we anticipated," Burton said.
Information branch chief Joe Janisch said the department made a concerted effort to get the word out about the fee increases through the state's media, the department's Internet site (www.azgfd.com), and other publications.
Besides having the increased fees listed in the hunting regulations, they were also placed on the back of all hunt-permit application forms, along with detailed instructions on how to fill out the form, so that people could have an easy and quick place to reference.
"The fee increases made headlines across the state when the Game and Fish Commission was considering them. There were headlines again when the increased fees were adopted. There have been lots of articles since that time reminding people about the increases," Janisch said.
Despite all that, somehow a lot of people didn't get the word, or just forgot. "Maybe that's what happens when you go 10 years or more without a fee increase people take the fee schedule for granted. It's just unfortunate to see so many people disappointed," he said.
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