By Roger Phillips, Idaho Fish and Game public information specialist
Fish and Game is getting opinions from hunters about possibly changing controlled hunt drawing odds and increasing the number of big game tags offered through auction.
For many years, some hunters have expressed interest in changing Idaho's controlled hunt drawing system to favor those who were unsuccessful in previous drawings. Others have suggested auctioning big game tags as a way to increase revenue for conservation and hunter access programs. Both issues have generated interest in the Idaho Legislature.
In early October, the department mailed 4,400 paper questionnaires to a random sample of hunters. About 1,050 have been returned, and are being entered into a database.
On Oct. 17, an email request was sent to a random sample of 27,000 hunters asking them to take the same survey online. They were selected from among hunters who had previously provided their email address to Fish and Game, and more than 3,000 responses were received in the first 48 hours.
The survey is available for anyone who wants to take it at https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/content/public-involvement.
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will use results from the surveys to consider whether changes to controlled hunt rules are warranted and also to consider whether additional tags should be auctioned. Currently, Fish and Game commissioners allow a single bighorn sheep tag to be auctioned annually. They have not implemented the additional tags for other big game animals authorized by the Legislature in 2012.
The surveys are intended only to gauge hunters' interest in those topics.