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IDFG puts new waiting period in effect for controlled elk hunt applicants

Posted at 3:40 PM, Jul 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-08 16:20:31-04

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Idaho Fish and Game has established a new waiting period this year for controlled elk hunt applicants.

Fish and Game says if you apply for a controlled elk hunt this year, you can't buy a capped elk zone tag until five days after they go on sale, even if you didn't draw a controlled hunt tag. Tags will be available starting July 10 at 11 a.m. MT.

"There is quite a bit of competition for tags. The commission made this new rule to try to level the playing field if you will," explained Terry Thompson, Idaho Fish and Game Magic Valley Communication Director.

The waiting period will also apply to Sawtooth tags. Half of the Sawtooth tags will be available at vendors starting at 10 a.m. MT on July 13. The other half will be available online starting at 1:00 p.m. MT on July 13.

Fish and Game expects the Sawtooth tags to sell out in minutes, based on previous years.

The Fish and Game website says "Establishing a waiting period for elk controlled hunt applicants is designed to reduce the initial demand for first-come, first-served capped zone elk tags when they go on sale. Sales history shows many elk hunters who bought capped elk zone tags had previously applied for controlled hunts.

Fish and Game staff and the Commission have grappled with how to fairly distribute capped elk zone tags where demand far exceeds supply. The most notable example is the Sawtooth Elk Zone tags, which sell out within minutes and leave many hunters without those coveted tags.

While the Sawtooth Elk Zone has the highest demand, four other capped elk zones also sold out within five days in 2019."

There are some exceptions to the waiting period. Controlled hunts exempt from the waiting period include super hunts, extra antlerless hunts, and depredation hunts.

Fish and Game clarifies the waiting period does not apply to nonresidents in 2020 because most nonresident elk tags have been on sale since December 1, 2019.