Meeting by telephone conference call September 12, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission voted to set October 1 as the deadline to apply for a refund, rain check for next season, or exchange a big game tag for one in another area. The deadline, previously November 15, was changed because weather conditions have allowed hunters to get afield much sooner than anticipated. The Commission created the refund policy in late August, when large areas of the state were closed to all access because of wildfires. As of September 11, $41,356 in refund requests, and 60 requests for a "rain check" or tag good for the same hunt next year have been received. Most requests have been from nonresidents. Some basic rules apply to all applications: Requests need to be submitted by October 1, 2000. Tag exchanges may be applied for at any Fish and Game office, rain checks and refunds will be processed at the Fish and Game headquarters office, Licenses Section, P.O. Box 25, Boise, ID 83707. Requests for refunds should be made on a form which Fish and Game will make available at offices and on the agency website, or in a personal letter. Requests for refunds or rain checks must include the 2000 license/tag. These must be returned prior to hunting with them. This program applies only to permits and tags in areas closed by the land managing agency to all recreational activity. Road closures which leave an area accessible by boat, trail or secondary road do not qualify. If the license will be used to hunt another species this year, only the controlled hunt permit and/or tag may be refunded or held for next year. If the hunter hunts with the license, permit, and tag, it is not eligible for later refund or exchange, or holding for the 2001 season. Refunds will be for the amount paid (purchases before a May, 2000 fee increase were for smaller amounts.) Convenience fees and credit card charges will not be refunded. Exchanges must be for the same species. You cannot trade a deer tag for a moose tag. Controlled hunt waiting periods will not apply for hunters exchanging for a general-season tag in 2000 or a refund.