Fish and Game Commissioners will decide at their May meeting how to recalibrate trophy species controlled hunts to conform to a 10 percent rule for nonresident participation.
At issue are trophy species hunts where nonresidents have been given at least one permit even in hunts with fewer than 10 permits, resulting in nonresidents often having more than 10 percent overall. Also to be decided in May is how to handle nonresident moose hunting. Nonresidents have been excluded from moose hunts.
The Commission, at its March meeting in Boise, directed Fish and Game staff to come up with a plan to configure the drawing process in controlled hunts for the three trophy species so that the number of successful nonresident applicants will not exceed 10 percent. The new rule would take effect in 2001.
At the May meeting, the Commission expects to have a report from the Attorney General's office that will address some of the Commissioners' concerns about allowing nonresident moose hunting. Commissioner Roy Moulton has asked if nonresidents could be limited to hunting moose only where the animals spend most or all of their lives on public lands.
Commissioner Alex Irby expressed concern that resident hunters not lose hunting opportunity when nonresidents are allowed to hunt moose.
Moose hunting in Idaho has grown steadily with 112 permits offered in 1970, 140 in 1980, 503 in 1990 and 888 in 1999 and 2000. The Commission has been advised that it would be unlikely to prevail in court if the nonresident moose exclusion is challenged.