As a result of the pandemic, sales of hunting and fishing permits are soaring across the nation, and Idaho is no exception.
More than 62,000 more hunting and fishing permits have been sold in Idaho this year than in the same period last year. Daily permits and all other types of permits make up the remaining 640,000 licences and tags.
An important contributor to this development was the number of fishing licences, both annual and day pass. As of Oct. 31, 376,464 fishing licences had been purchased in the state. That’s approximately 50,000 more units than were sold in the entire year of 2019!
The number of combined hunting and fishing licences increased by about 12,000 over the previous year.
According to an Idaho Fish and Game representative, the epidemic hasn’t been directly linked to the increase in sales.
In light of the dramatic rise in popularity of outdoor pursuits, Phillips believes “two and two” can be drawn together.
Some issues have already occurred. In southwest Idaho, poachers recently murdered five moose. Two of them were accidentally killed by novice hunters who mistakenly believed they were elk. They promptly alerted wildlife authorities. A third inexperienced hunter mistakenly shot a moose for an elk.
Phillips said he won’t pass judgement on the circumstances surrounding the incidents.
Nonetheless, “anyone should be able to tell the difference between a moose and an elk with the help of their tag,” the man stated.
According to Phillips, sales figures aren’t available right now because the state is shifting licence providers and the deer season is still in full force.
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission recently took action to limit the amount of deer and elk tags issued to non-residents in specific hunting zones, despite considerable demand from both Idahoans and visitors. On Nov. 20, the Idaho Fish and Wildlife Commission voted to limit the amount of non-resident tags given to between 10 and 15 per cent in specific zones where Idaho hunters have claimed that there has been severe congestion.
According to Idaho Fish and Game Director Ed Schriever, the zone limits on nonresident elk tags will not only assure a fair distribution of nonresident elk hunters but will also result in a reduction of roughly 600 elk tags sold to nonresidents in general elk hunts.
For the first time since 2009, state lawmakers raised non-resident tag rates earlier this year to close the budget shortfall created by the decline in sales of out-of-state tags.
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