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IDFG Seeks Public Input on Proposed Big Game Regulations for Fall 2001 Seasons

IDAHO FALLS - Sportsmen in the Upper Snake Region will have a chance in the next few weeks to comment on proposed changes on the upcoming 2001 Big Game Season framework. A series of open houses is planned in Idaho Falls on Feb. 20, Arco on Feb. 21, and Rexburg on Feb. 22.

While not a great deal of changes are being proposed, there are some topics that sportsmen are sure to be interested in. According to Regional Wildlife Manager Bradley Compton, "Because of low buck-doe ratios for mule deer in some units west of Interstate 15, we are proposing to reduce the number of permits for some controlled hunts and limit antlered deer harvest in others." In many units across the region elk population numbers are beyond management objectives and biologists are recommending an increase in permits for a number of hunts. The Department is also asking sportsmen to comment on how mountain lion seasons should be managed. According to Compton, "We have three options to look at. The first is no change. The second is maintain quotas, but extend seasons. The third would be to remove quotas, but keep existing season dates."

The Commission has also instructed the Department to ask sportsmen to examine the question of just what should be considered a "traditional weapon." As human populations grow, habitat is lost, and the efficiency of other weapons continues it may not be possible to retain all current hunts. Establishment of these weapon types now could provide a way to maintain maximum hunting opportunity without exceeding the biological capability of the resource by decreasing the efficiency of the weapon.

Copies of specific proposed regulation changes will be available at all open houses. Meetings will follow an open house format, starting with a presentation and then opening up to the opportunity to discuss changes directly with IDFG personnel.

OPEN HOUSE SCHEDULE

ALL MEETINGS START AT 7:00 P.M.

IDAHO FALLS TUES., FEB. 20 EITC CAFETERIA

ARCO WED., FEB. 21 BUTTE HIGH SCHOOL / 120 S. WATER

REXBURG THURS., FEB.22 NATIONAL GUARD ARMORY

Comments can be made either verbally or in writing. Individuals interested in providing comment, but who are unable to attend can call the regional IDFG office at 525-7290 or through the Idaho Relay Service at 1-800-377-3529(TDD). E-mail comments may also be sent to bcompton@idfg.state.id.us. Requests for physical assistance to attend meetings should be directed to Brad Compton. Deadline for comments is 5:00 P.M. on Fri., Feb. 23, 2001.