|The starting gun has sounded, the whistle has blown, the flood gate is opened no matter what saying you favor, you can now apply any time for Arizona's fall big game hunts by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department's Internet Home Page at www.azgfd.com.
Although the Arizona Game and Fish Commission adopted the 2000-2001 hunt package on April 21, it will take time to print and then distribute the regulations (they will be shipped to license dealers May 18). Anyone wanting to get ahead of the power curve can visit the Game and Fish Home Page, read or download a copy of the regulations, and even download an application. You can even buy a hunting and fishing license on-line.
Keep in mind that there is a grace period for those who apply prior to June 1. if you apply before that time and make a mistake on your application, the Department will attempt to contact you and give you a chance to correct the error.
The deadline for submitting applications is 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 12. Postmarks don't count. All seven Game and Fish offices in the state will be open until 7 p.m. that day to accept hand-delivered applications.
Applicants should also keep in mind that getting a "pink slip" from the drawing is now a thing of the past. However, big game hunt applicants will now be able to visit the Internet to find out if they have been drawn once the drawing is completed sometime in July.
Richard Rico, assistant director for the Special Services Division, explained that the vast majority of people find out whether they have been drawn through the Department's interactive phone service.
"Starting with the spring draw, we upgraded the interactive phone system so it can handle a lot more calls than in the past," Rico said.
In addition, the Commission approved a project so that applicants can access the drawing results through the department's Internet Home Page at www.azgfd.com. There is also a 1-900 number that applicants can call to find out if they have been drawn.
The process has evolved over the years and currently there are only a few weeks between the time the drawing occurs and applicants either have a tag in their hand or a refund.
"The postcards don't really accomplish anything any more. Yet discontinuing the postcards will save the Department almost $40,000 annually, based on last year's mailing costs," Rico advised.
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