Scouting Around
Montana — Game Damage Hunt Roster

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is developing rosters of individuals who are interested in being considered for game damage deer hunts later this year.

According to Don Childress, FWP's Wildlife Division administrator, in most years there are areas where unexpected game damage problems occur and, as a result, general hunting seasons do not adequately address the problem. "Damage to everything from row crops to haystacks occurs and for a variety of reasons. With the extremely dry conditions we are experiencing this spring, we may see more problems than normal," Childress said.

"In most areas, FWP uses lists of individuals who were unsuccessful in the special drawings for a deer or elk permit, but in some areas, we do not have special permit opportunities. It is in those areas in which we are developing rosters," Childress said.

For this fall, FWP is creating rosters for deer hunters in the following districts: 121, 132, 170, 200, 201, 202, 203, 283, 285, 301, 311, 312, 315, 322, 331, 333, 335, 339, 340, 350, 370 and 393.

Interested individuals need to send their name, address, phone number and the district number(s) in which they are applying to: FWP, Attention: Game Damage Roster, PO Box 200701, Helena MT 59620-0701. Applications need to be postmarked by June 30. There is no application fee.

Childress said individuals will be randomly selected and contacted only if there is an opportunity to participate in a damage hunt sometime later this year.

Idaho — Upland Bird, Dove, Furbearer Rules Available

The 2000 and 2001 proclamation covering upland game birds, mourning doves, furbearers, falconry, sandhill cranes and other species is now available. The proclamation booklet is available at Fish and Game offices and license vendors.

Dove hunters should note that, for the first time, dove hunting rules are included in this booklet rather than in a separate publication. The booklet covers all upland game birds hunted in Idaho, mourning doves, furbearers, including new rules on otter trapping, rabbits and hares, crows, predators, unprotected species and falconry. Also included are rules on controlled hunts for sandhill cranes and September Canada goose seasons.

Timing of rulemaking procedures and a change in printing contracts has allowed the combining of all these subjects into one booklet. This has saved sportsmen's money and allowed publication of the upland game bird rules much earlier than the late-August date of previous years.

Idaho — Hound Hunting Rules Changed

Meeting in Stanley on July 13, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission changed the rules for hound hunting, making it possible to accompany a hunter without having to have a hunting license. The change is effective immediately. Previously, anyone who accompanied a hunter using hounds was required to have a hunting license.

Commissioner Don Clower of Meridian proposed the change, saying the rule did not make sense because "if someone walks along with me while my two pointers hunt pheasants, they don't need a license. Why should someone walking along with me while my hounds hunt a bear need a license?"

The commission voted unanimously to approve the change. A hound hunter permit is required for the person controlling the hounds or anyone who harvests a bear or mountain lion that was pursued by hounds. Clients of licensed outfitters who have a hound hunting permit are not required to have a separate permit.

There is a quota on nonresident hound hunter permits and the year 2000 permits are already sold. There is no quota on resident permits.

Oregon — Wildlife Access and Habitat Board to hold August Meeting

The public is invited to attend the next meeting of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's Access and Habitat Board scheduled for Monday, August 7, at The Discovery Center, 5000 Discovery Center Drive, The Dalles. The meeting will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 5 p.m.

The agenda includes a review of the latest Access and Habitat grant proposals, as well as discussion of codes of conduct for A&H personnel, funding of damage projects and selection of organizations to participate in the 2001 A&H Auction and Raffle Program. An opportunity for public comment will be provided at 1 p.m.

Created by the Oregon Legislature in 1993, the Access and Habitat Program is funded by a $2 surcharge on hunting licenses. Funds raised by the program are distributed in the form of grants awarded to individual and corporate landowners, conservation organizations, and others, to cooperatively fund wildlife habitat improvement and hunter access projects throughout the state.

For more information on the Access and Habitat Program, contact Matt Buhler at (503) 872-5260, extension 5349.

Arizona — Open House for Hunting Guides and Outfitters

An Open House for hunting guides and outfitters is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday, August 9, at the Pinetop office of the Arizona Game & Fish Department. Game & Fish and the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest personnel will discuss a variety of new procedures and regulations, insurance needs, use permits, and applications.

"Several regulations and procedures that can affect guiding practices have changed over the last year or two. Because we want these changes to have a minimal impact on the guide business, and we want everyone to be compliant, we're providing this service to answer questions and assist with paperwork," said Game & Fish Law Enforcement Program manager, Ron Thompson.

Thompson said that the Arizona guide test will be administered for anyone needing to take it, and that new regulations would be clarified, such as the use of aircraft for hunting or scouting and the pursuit of bears and mountain lions. The program format is informal, and guides may come and go as they need.

A representative from a local insurer of guide businesses will also be present to answer questions and help with insurance applications. "People should be aware," noted Thompson, "that there are some significant changes to the guide insuring process, making it more complex, and that it is taking up to a month to get a policy in force."

An optional Dutch treat lunch will be offered at a local restaurant. Guest speaker Pete Cimellaro, owner of Yellowhorn Outfitters, will share his thoughts on the future of hunting and guiding in the Southwest. "Pete has been a leader in Arizona and across the country in protecting our hunting heritage," said Thompson.

Anyone wishing to attend this luncheon program, or having other questions, should RSVP to Thompson at (520) 367-4281 by 5 p.m. on Monday, August 7.

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