|A lot of folks who hunted big game in Idaho last fall are still a little late in filing their mandatory hunter harvest reports. But 30 years?
Shortly after Fish and Game issued a reminder letter in December to hunters whose 2002 harvest reports had not been recorded, the Department received a response in a form no one there had seen in quite a while. The self-addressed red business reply card came from a hunter from Kootenai County, who didn't include any usable information on the "Resident Hunter's Report Card, Regular Deer" for 1972.
Wildlife biologist Lou Nelson said it "is nice this hunter hadn't lost his report form" since the fall of 1972 but wondered why he would file it in this particular year. "It just showed up," Nelson said, "with no explanation." Last year Nelson received one from the year 1975.
Biologists need information on last fall's hunt to evaluate the harvest and help make recommendations for this year's seasons. "It's going to be very difficult to make use of this 1972 report to set the 1973 seasons," Nelson said.
Compliance Down From Last Year
If hunters want to help set the 2003 seasons, they should report on last season immediately. At the end of last year, 55 percent of reports had been filed. On December 31, 2002, only 42 percent have been received. Fish and Game biologists need to finish compiling the information from tens of thousands of hunters before the Fish and Game Commission sets big game seasons for next fall when it meets in March. The information is also supplied to the public so that interested hunters can use it to make a choice about where they want to hunt this fall.
A second reminder letter will be mailed January 20 to the hunters whose reports are not yet in the database.
Several methods are provided for filing the harvest reports:
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