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Muzzleloader Rule Impacts Few Hunters

The Idaho Department of Lands led the way August 17 in announcing more stringent fire-prevention rules on state and private forest land. The rules include a ban on discharge of muzzle-loading weapons. The restrictions do not apply on land managed by the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service. The restriction will not affect too many hunters. There is some state and private land in a current short-range weapons elk hunt in Units 23 and 24. The rule will take the muzzleloader segment out of those areas, but the entire hunt is still open to hunting with a bow, crossbow, or shotgun. Other changes were also adopted by the federal land management agencies. The new restrictions prohibit fires, including campfires in developed campgrounds. Gas and propane stoves are allowed. Motor vehicles may not be used off of designated roads at any time. Previously this applied only to afternoon/evening hours. The restrictions are in place because of the tinder-dry condition of potential fuels. Hunters are encouraged to use extreme caution in the field.