The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is asking people to comment on a number of proposed hunting rule changes, including reducing big game tags available to nonresi-dent hunters.

Other changes could allow some 8- and 9-year-olds to hunt turkeys, expand a pheasant stocking program and the required permits to hunt areas with stocked pheasants, restrict the importation of live deer and elk into the state, implement a waiting period on control hunt tag purchases in capped elk zones and eliminate requirements for devices intended to keep nontarget species like deer and elk from being caught in wolf snares.

The department is taking comments on the proposed rules through June 26, and eventually the changes will be considered by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission.

Limiting nonresident hunters

The rule would give the commission authority to limit the number of nonresident deer and elk tags issued in general season hunts to no less than 10 percent of the number of resident tags without necessarily limiting tags available to resident hunters.

Waiting period for capped elk zone tag sales

The state has several general season elk zones for which it places a cap on the number of tags sold. Some of the capped zones sell out quickly when the tags become available. The proposed rule would make hunters who also unsuccessfully applied for controlled hunt tags wait five days after capped-zone tags go on sale before attempting to purchase capped-zone tags. The idea is to make hunters choose if they want to apply for a controlled hunt or have a better shot at purchasing a general season tag in a capped hunting zone. The rule is designed to reduce the rush of tag purchases for popular capped zones.

Turkey hunting age

The proposed rule would allow 8- and 9-year-olds who hold an Idaho Hunting Passport to participate in some turkey hunts. Rules allow 8-and 9-year-olds to purchase hunting passports, a document that allows people to purchase a discounted hunting license and try hunting before taking a hunter education class. However, passport holders are not permitted to purchase tags until they are 10 years old. The rule change would allow the young hunters to buy turkey tags and participate in mentored hunting.

Expand pheasant stocking

The proposed rule would allow the state to require people who hunt at pheasant stocking areas outside of its wildlife management areas to purchase a $20 permit. In southern Idaho, the department stocks pheasants on several of its wildlife management areas and requires hunters 18 and older to purchase a WMA permit to pursue pheasants. The proposed rule would allow the state to charge the same fee of adults who hunt pheasants in places other than WMAs that are stocked by the department. The revenue from the permits would help offset the cost of stocking pheasants.

Ban importation of most live deer, elk and moose

This proposed rule change would ban the importation and possession of live deer, wild elk or moose. The purpose of the rule is to help prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease into the state.

Eliminate or change the snare diverter rule

People who snare wolves now are required to use devices that are intended to keep deer, elk and other species from inadvertently being caught in the snares. However, many wolf trappers contend the diverters make it more difficult to catch wolves and are ineffective at reducing the snaring of unintended animals. The proposed rule would allow the commission to craft new rules or eliminate the rule.

More information on the proposed rule changes and comment opportunities are available at http://bit.ly/2XGN98G.

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