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Early Goose, Sandhill Seasons Recommended

Seasons for early goose and sandhill crane hunts will be changed slightly from last year if Idaho Fish and Game Commissioners accept department recommendations. The Commission will meet May 17 at Kelly Creek in north Idaho. The department is recommending that a general early goose hunt in the Clearwater Region be continued and expanded to include all of Nez Perce County rather than just a portion of the county. Early seasons will not be recommended for the Upper Snake or Southeast Regions where goose pair numbers are not meeting objectives. Federal flyway authorities have allowed Idaho a harvest of 273 sandhill cranes this fall. As in the 2000 hunts, a total of 550 permits will be issued, but the daily bag limit will be increased to two birds, and a nine-bird season bag limit will be allowed. All hunters can purchase as many as nine tags with the first tag obtained as before in the standard drawing and the other eight would be available as left-over tags. The tag cost is $14.50 each. Crane hunts in the Southeast Region will be scheduled between September 1 and September 15 and structured so that more permits are offered early and all hunts include at least one weekend day or Labor Day. In the Upper Snake, the 2000 season structure will be continued with an expansion in the Ashton hunt to include a new depredation problem area. In 2000, statewide harvest records show 346 hunters took part, although 550 permits were available, and they took 193 cranes.