During its meeting in Nampa on Jan. 28, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission modified the number of elk tags available to outfitted nonresident hunters in newly limited, over-the-counter elk hunts by increasing the allocation of outfitter tags in some elk zones in order to match documented outfitter use.
The modification to the outfitter allocation is part of a transitional process as Fish and Game heads into its first year with newly established limits on nonresident participation in over-the-counter elk and deer hunts.
The Commission used temporary rulemaking in December to approve increasing the outfitter set-aside for nonresident elk tags from 2,400 to 2,800. That was after approving a rulemaking petition seeking to increase the outfitter set-aside up to 25 percent of the nonresident quota for general nonresident deer and elk tags, which is the statutory ceiling. Without this action, documented outfitter use of tags in certain over-the-counter elk hunts would not be met.
At the Jan. 28 meeting, the Commission approved the allocation of most of those tags to specific zones where there was a demonstrated need among outfitters. While the modification may result in nonresident participation in some elk zones slightly exceeding the 10 or 15 percent limits for one year (during the 2021 hunting season) the total number of nonresident tags sold will not exceed either the statewide nonresident quota of 12,815 elk tags or the updated outfitter set-aside of 2,800 tags.
The proportion of outfitted and non-outfitted nonresident tags in specific elk zones will be adjusted for 2022 and beyond, assuring that outfitters have tags for their documented use and that nonresident tags remain within the 10 or 15 percent limit for each elk zone.