Idaho Fish and Game commissioners on Nov. 17 rescinded a proposed rule that would allow hunters to forego prepaying moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat tags when applying for those controlled hunts in the spring.
Those hunts will remain under the existing rules, which means residents and nonresidents must pay the application fee and tag fee to apply, as well as have a valid hunting license.
Application fees for moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goats will increase in 2018 to $16.75 for residents and $41.75 for nonresidents, which was part of the legislation passed in 2017 that included hikes for nearly all resident hunting, fishing and trapping licenses, tags and permits.
Fish and Game has seen the number of applicants for moose, bighorn sheep and goat tags steadily increase in recent years, and commissioners have grappled with how to keep drawing odds from getting slimmer for those coveted tags.
Commissioners were concerned if hunters could forgo paying up front for a tag when they apply, it would give them more incentive to apply. For nonresidents that would mean not having to put up $2,101, which does not including the license or application fee. Nonresidents are eligible for up to 10 percent of the tags, but the tag fee is refunded after if they’re not drawn, but not the license or the application fee.
Residents also have to pay for the tag up front when they apply, along with the application fee and have a hunting license, but residents pay $166.75 for a moose, sheep or mountain goat tag.
The application period for those tags is April 1 through April 30.
Other decisions made by the commission on Nov. 17 include:
• Postponed the sale of nonresident Sawtooth Zone elk tags. Nonresident deer and elk tags typically go on sale Dec. 1 for the upcoming year, however, the commission has not decided how to allocate those limited tags, which sold out in minutes earlier this year for both residents and nonresidents.
• Commission retained the same pricing for turkey tags for 2018 for resident hunters who are price locked, which will be $19.75 for a resident general tag, $12.25 for an extra tag, and $5 for a special unit discounted tag.
• 2018 prices for residents not in Price Lock will be $22.75 for general turkey tags, $12.25 for extra tags, and $5 for special unit discounted tags.
• Nonresident turkey tag prices will be $80 for nonresident general tags, $80 for nonresident extra tags, and $5 for special unit discounted tags.
• Discontinued discount for sandhill crane tags beginning with the 2018 license sale.