Scouting Around
Wyoming — Question and Answer

How many preference points does it take to draw a moose or bighorn sheep license?

There are no set point totals needed to draw a license. It all depends on the area and species applied for. In general, drawing odds are more favorable for moose than sheep, but there are some sheep areas that are easier to draw than some moose areas. In addition, drawing odds may fluctuate from year to year due to demand and license quotas.

Nevada — Scopes for Muzzleloaders

A petition to allow the use of telscopic sights or "scopes" during big game muzzleloader hunts received a favorable vote by the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners on December 2 in Henderson.

In a 5-3 vote, commissioners accepted a petition brought by Clark County resident Ransom Spurlock to allow for the use of scopes of any power during the state's muzzleloader hunts. A temporary regulation to allow this change will be written by the Nevada Division of Wildlife and presented to the Commission for a vote during its February 2001 meeting in Reno.

Presently, muzzleloader rifles with scopes can only be used during hunts designated as "any legal weapon" seasons.

Spurlock told the Commission that an informal survey he conducted indicated that 88 percent of Nevada's muzzleloader hunters would use scopes, if permitted. He also said that the New Mexico Game and Fish Department has indicated that it has detected no significant change in hunter success since 1995 when that state began allowing scopes on muzzleloaders.

Acceptance of the petition does not guarantee that scopes will be allowed during the 2001 muzzleloader hunts. Commissioners will vote at their meeting whether or not to accept a temporary regulation that will allow for the use of scopes.

Arizona — Some Javelina Permits Still Available

Some javelina hunt-permits are still available for the General, Juniors-Only, and Handgun, Archery and Muzzleloader (HAM) seasons, advised Arizona Game and Fish Department officials.

As of January 29, javelina permits became available over the counter at Game and Fish offices or by mail on a first-come, first-served basis.

On Monday morning there were 43 permits remaining for the General Javelina Season, 42 for the Juniors-Only Season, and 126 for the HAM Season.

To find out what permits remain, look on the Game and Fish Internet Home Page at, call the Fax-On-Request Line at (602) 530-2210 and follow the prompts, or call (602) 789-3702 for the recorded information.

Arizona — Special Tag Trophy Buck

A special mule deer tag holder harvested a heavy antlered 28-inch buck on January 10 on the Arizona Strip in Unit 10 that was unofficially scored at around 218 by Arizona Game and Fish Department wildlife managers.

Two special hunt permit tags per big game species are allocated to nonprofit groups by the Arizona Game and Fish Commission to raise money for managing the species in question. The tags are either auctioned or raffled, and all the proceeds go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department for management efforts.

Robert Taylor Jr., of Sugarland, Texas, obtained the mule deer auction tag last season by bidding a record $105,000 at the Arizona Mule Deer Association banquet.

Idaho — Some Rule Changes

Meeting in Boise on January 18-19, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission approved several changes in the "nonbiological" rules for big game. Nonbiological rules are ones dealing with land boundaries, methods of take or other things which remain the same or similar year after year.

The Commission voted to require that a landowner can only use land within the boundaries of a hunt to qualify for a landowner appreciation permit. Landowners must have at least 640 acres to qualify for a landowner appreciation permit in a controlled hunt. Previously they could qualify based on land outside the hunt area.

Rules for bear baiting were changed to require only the person who establishes the bait site to have a permit. Previously anyone hunting over bait was required to have a permit.

Tags for black bear or mountain lion are now valid upon purchase, instead of after a two-day wait. The mandatory reporting deadline for lion harvest was set at ten days for all units. Previously, units with a harvest quota were under a five-day deadline.

The rule changes are effective immediately.

Utah — Bighorn Sheep Released in Northwest Desert

Sixteen California bighorn sheep were relocated from Nevada to the Newfoundland Mountains in Utah's northwest desert on January 27.

The Division of Wildlife Resources, in a cooperative effort with the Bureau of Land Management, the United States Air Force and the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep, transplanted the animals from Winnemucca, Nevada to the Newfoundland Mountains in western Box Elder County.

Representative Jim Hansen was among those who attended the release.

The Newfoundland Mountain range is ideal bighorn habitat. It is predominated by steep rock faces, adequate grasses and free running water. There is also historical evidence that bighorn sheep once inhabited the area.

California's were the species of choice because they are intermediate in size between desert and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. They are well adapted to survive in both the cold winter and hot summer environments that are typical to the Newfoundland Mountains.

Funding for the transplant was raised by the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep (FNAWS), which has worked with the Division of Wildlife Resources to increase Utah's wild sheep population. The FNAWS helps promote the welfare of wild sheep in Utah and has traditionally raised upwards of $200,000 a year for wildlife projects in the state. Last year, it helped transplant 117 sheep; the goal for this year is 137.

This transplant will comprise Utah's second California bighorn population. In March 1997, 23 California bighorn sheep were moved from British Columbia to Antelope Island State Park. The Antelope Island population currently numbers about 90 sheep and there are plans to move approximately 10 of them to the Newfoundland's sometime this winter.

The Newfoundland Mountains project is another step in achieving the goal of putting wild sheep back into historical habitats in Utah.

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