Press Release

Public Input Sought on 2002 Big Game Hunting Proposals

Elk and deer seasons in hunt unit 39 are the primary focus for discussion during a series of upcoming Fish and Game-hosted open houses. The public is invited to attend the get together nearest them to help shape this fall's hunting seasons in Idaho's Southwest region.

The open house format allows visitors to come and go during a three-hour period and visit one-on-one with Fish and Game personnel about any wildlife management issue.

Open houses will be held at these locations from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the dates indicated:

Boise, Monday, Jan. 28

Fish and Game Headquarters

600 S. Walnut

Weiser, Tuesday, Jan. 29

Weiser High School Library

690 Indianhead Road

Mtn. Home, Wed., Jan. 30

Mtn. Home Bingo Parlor

3285 Airbase Road

McCall, Monday, Feb. 4

Best Western Hotel

415 N. Third

Nampa, Tuesday, Feb. 5

F&G Regional Office

3101 S. Powerline Road

Contact Fish and Game's Nampa office at 465-8465 or the McCall office at 634-8137 for more information. "We'd like to invite everyone to attend one of our open houses and share their input with us," Fish and Game wildlife manager Jon Rachael said. "That input will be important in shaping final fall hunting seasons."

One thorny issue to be addressed is the harvest level of bull elk in the Boise River zone (unit 39). In 2001 the Fish and Game Commission instituted a cap on the number of B elk tags sold for the zone to address the problem. However, a rush on the 3,300 available tags by eager prospective hunters overwhelmed Fish and Game's computer license system, causing it to crash. An emergency order rescinded the cap. "We've put together several season structure proposals for the Boise River zone that we believe will help reduce bull harvest without resorting to another tag cap," Rachael noted. "Now we'd like the public to take a look at the proposals and give us their opinion."

Mule deer seasons in unit 39 are another primary issue of the open houses. "We're also looking at some different options related to archery seasons for deer," Rachael explained. "For that reason, archers who regularly hunt in unit 39 should make plans to attend an open house."

Written comments collected from open house attendees will be summarized and presented to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission for review and consideration. The Commission will take final action on these and other big game issues from across the state at their March meeting in Boise.