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IDFG Seeks Comments On Proposed 2001 Sandhill Crane Hunts

IDAHO FALLS - While controlled sandhill crane hunts are no longer a new thing to Eastern Idaho, IDFG has a number of new ideas that they would like public comment on regarding crane management. IDFG will be holding a daylong open house on Thursday, May 10 at the Idaho Falls Office, located at 1515 Lincoln Road. The Open House will start at noon and last until 7:00 P.M. Because sandhill cranes are a migratory species, harvest totals are based on allocations set by the multi-agency flyway committee. Idaho's harvest allocation for 2001 is 273 birds. IDFG is recommending issuing 550 permits, the same number as in 2000, but is looking at increasing the daily bag limit to two birds and a season limit of nine. While these numbers might sound dramatic, 346 crane hunters only harvested 193 birds statewide last year. Under this new plan hunters would obtain their first tag via the standard drawing method and would then be able to purchase additional eight tags from any vendor as leftover tags. The cost per crane permit would be $14.50. In the Upper Snake Region, the 2000 season framework would be continued in 2001, with the only change being an expansion in the Ashton hunt area to help address new depredation problems. Similar meetings in other portions of the State will be addressing early goose seasons, but below objective goose pair counts mean that no such hunts are being considered this year in the Upper Snake Region. Because not everyone can drop in, individuals interested in commenting can do so without actually attending the open house. They can either call Regional Wildlife Manager Brad Compton by telephone or send input via E-mail on the Internet. Compton can be reached at the 525-7290, or through the Idaho Relay Service at 1-800-377-3529(TDD); his E-mail address is bcompton@idfg.state.id.us. Persons with disabilities wishing to attend the open house or requiring special meeting accommodations should contact the Department through one of the previously listed options. The deadline for comments is 5:00 P.M. on Friday, May 11, 2001.