Idaho Hunter
Reminder Letter Sent
About 100,000 hunters recently received a reminder from Fish and Game intended to speed the gathering of big game harvest information. When the letter was sent, only about 33 percent of hunters had filed reports and that causes problems for setting next year's seasons. According to Deputy Director Al Van Vooren, the letter "has caused some confusion. Some hunters' reports probably crossed in the mail with the reminders or their reports hadn't been entered into the data base by the time the letters were sent on December 5," Van Vooren said. "In some cases, sportsmen who are still hunting in several late hunts also would have gotten the reminder letter, even though their reports aren't due until January."

The letter reminded hunters to send in their harvest reports soon because this critical information is used to set big game seasons for next year. The first step in setting hunts begins in January when potential big game rule changes are sent out for public comment. The Fish and Game Commission actually sets the seasons in early March. "The sooner we have harvest reports, the sooner we can compile harvest data and get potential rule changes out for public comment," Van Vooren said.

The letters contain a reminder that failure to comply could prevent hunters from being able to buy a license next year. "We didn't mean to make that sound threatening," said Van Vooren, "We apologize for the concern the letters have caused and want to stress that it is just a reminder. If your hunt is closed, please send the report. If not, please remember to do so."

Reports can be turned in four ways. Fax it to (775) 423-0799; phone it in to (877) 268-9365; mail it to Harvest Reports, P.O. Box 70007, Boise, ID 83707-0107; or use the internet.

In neighboring Nevada, where a successful mandatory mail-in report has been developed, a similar late-season reminder letter was found to be crucial to getting reports filed.

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