After careful review and consideration, Fish and Game Director Virgil Moore has chosen to allow all tags drawn on June 23rd for controlled hunts in Idaho to be awarded to those whose license numbers were chosen. To compensate for the tags that went to youth hunters under the age of twelve, the Director will release 283 additional tags to be drawn for those deer, elk and pronghorn hunts which have a limited number of tags. All existing applicants who were eligible prior to July 1 will be included in that draw.
The additional tags are being released in response to hunters who felt their chances of drawing a tag were diminished by the entries of 9 to 11 year olds. Hunts where these additional tags apply will be posted on the Fish and Game website July 2. That drawing will take place as soon as possible, and the results will be available by July 10 on Fish and Game's website.
Those who were successful in the original drawing and those who are selected in the additional drawing will have until August 1 to pick up their tags.
The new law allowing ten and eleven year olds to hunt big game in Idaho went into effect July 1, 2014. Director Moore says there was no Commission rule that established the guidelines which excluded 9 to 11 year olds who would not be 12 this fall from the June 23rd drawing. It was an administrative decision based on Fish and Game's interpretation of the law. He believes approximately 1,000 youth and their parents who did not understand that interpretation entered the drawing. 316 of those youth hunters were drawn.
"I stand by these kids, their parents and their excitement, in allowing them to proceed with their first hunting opportunity for big game using these permits." said Director Moore. "I simply cannot bring myself to disappoint them given the confusion about this issue."
The 1,500 youth hunters who understood the guidelines and did not enter the first drawing will receive an apology letter from Director Moore and a gift certificate equivalent to the control hunt application fee which they can use toward the second drawing in August. Because the law is now in effect, any hunter who will be at least ten years old by the time of the hunts will be eligible to apply. Applications for the second drawing will be accepted August 5th though August 15th.
Director Moore's open letter to Idaho hunters is posted on the front page of Fish and Game's website: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/