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Clearwater Bear Season Changes Take Effect Fall 2004

LEWISTON - - With Idaho's spring black bear hunting season opening in a few weeks, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game reminds hunters that several regulation changes recently adopted by the Fish and Game Commission will not be effective until the 2004 fall season.

The changes, designed to simplify the regulations and allow additional hunting opportunity, include:

á The season in the northern portion of unit 15 will coincide with the rest of the unit and open on August 30.

á The fall season in management units 11, 13, 14, 16 and 18 will open on August 30.

á Any weapon can be used from August 30 to September 14 in unit's 8A and 10A.

á The use of dogs will be prohibited in unit 8 from October 9 to October 31.

Because of the season setting process, all information concerning the 2004 spring season can be reviewed in the 2003 Big Game Rules Booklet. The 2004-2005 edition will be available in April.

Because bear hunting is a unique sport with its own set of specialized regulations, hunters are reminded that certain units in the Clearwater Region are open to use of bait and dogs, while others are not. Hunters who have obtained permits to hunt over bait must remove all bait containers, materials and any structure constructed at bait sites within seven days after the close of the season.

Successful bear hunters are required to present both the skull and hide to an IDFG regional office, conservation officer or official checkpoint for removal of a premolar and have the pelt tagged within 10 days of harvest. Successful hunters are also required to remove all bear meat from the field.

For more information of bear hunting in the Clearwater Region, contact the IDFG office at 208-799-5010 or visit the Department's website at www2.state.id.us/fishgame.