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Commission Approves Nonresident Moose Hunting

Meeting in Boise January 18, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission voted unanimously to allow nonresidents to apply for moose permits in the controlled hunt drawings. They will be able to draw up to 10 percent of available permits. This year antlered permits will total 1003, up from 888 last year. Antlerless permits will total 147, up from 123. Up to 115 of the total could go to nonresidents. This is the first time nonresidents have been eligible to apply. Although some nonresidents have threatened a lawsuit if not allowed to apply, Commissioner Roy Moulton of Driggs made it clear that it was "not fear of litigation, but an issue of fairness" that prompted him to support the proposal. Commissioners Mark Gibbs of Grace and John Burns of Carmen agreed. Nonresidents will pay $1514.50 in tag, permit and application fees to apply for the moose permits, including the application fee and permit fee, in addition to the $128.50 hunting license. The tag and permit fees are refunded to unsuccessful applicants, but the hunting license fee is nonrefundable. The application period for moose and other trophy species runs from April 1 - 30. The rules brochure should be available at license vendors and on line in the first week of March. 10 Percent Rule Clarified The Commission also addressed the "10 percent rule" which limits issuance of controlled hunt permits to nonresidents. In all controlled hunt drawings, nonresidents will be eligible for up to 10 percent of permits by species. In the past, nonresidents were eligible for 10 percent of permits in each hunt, or one in hunts with 10 or fewer permits. In the case of a species having many hunts with few permits in each, nonresidents have drawn up to 25 percent of permits because of the "one, if fewer than 10" rule. In the future, they will not be eligible for more than 10 percent of permits for any species. For bighorn sheep the rule will be phased in over three years. Under a proposal offered by Commissioner John Burns of Carmen, bighorn permits this year will be allocated as in the past. Since the number of permits for California bighorns has been reduced from 43 to 13, there will still be a reduced number of nonresident permits. In 2002, the quota will be half of full implementation of the 10 percent per species rule and in 2003 and after it will be fully implemented. California and Rocky Mountain bighorns will be regarded as one species for the purpose of this rule. The lottery and auction sheep tags, which by law must be from the nonresident pool of tags, will be extra tags added after the numbers for each hunt have been determined.