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Commission Sets Sandhill Crane Hunts

Meeting at Kelly Creek Ranger Station May 17, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission set seasons for early Canada goose hunts and sandhill crane controlled hunts for 2001. The commission voted to continue a general Canada goose hunt in the Clearwater Region from September 8-14, including all of Nez Perce County instead of just a portion. No early goose proposal for the Upper Snake or Southeast regions was approved, since goose pair counts are below objectives in those areas. For cranes, the 2001 flyway harvest allocation for Idaho is 273 birds. The Commission voted to continue the 550 permit level from 2000, but increase to a two-bird daily bag limit and nine-bird season bag limit in 2001. This year, hunters may purchase as many as nine permits and tags to hunt cranes. The first tag must be obtained through the standard drawing process and the other eight from any vendor as a leftover tag. The cost per permit will be $14.50. Five consecutive hunts will run in the Southeast Region from Sept. 1-15. Hunt 9501 and 9502 will increase from 50 to 100 permits each, and the hunts known as 9506 and 9507 in year 2000 in the same area, at 50 permits each, will be eliminated. Hunts will be structured so that more permits are offered in the early hunts and all hunts include at least one weekend day or Labor Day. In the Upper Snake Region a crane hunt will be expanded in the Ashton area to include a new depredation problem.