What logical and fair reason is there to require annual archery permit to hunt archery-only? How is the archery permit money used?
Hunters have been required to purchase an archery permit/validation to participate in hunts designated as "archery only" seasons for more than 35 years. Although some hunters may choose to hunt only in an archery-only hunts and don't participate in any other hunts, many hunters who participate in archery hunts also hunt in other "any weapon" hunts. For most hunters, the ability to participate in an archery-only hunt represents an extra hunting opportunity--and that is the rationale for the extra charge for the permit that is required to participate in that opportunity. The archery validation is required only for those hunts designated as "archery only," -- it is not required to participate in those hunts designated as "any weapon" or "short range weapons only." Historically, archers have supported the permit requirement because it allowed IDFG to identify archery hunters and determine how many hunters were participating in archery hunts.
Although the funding from the archery validation goes into the Fish and Game's general account and is not ear-marked for anything specifically, the Department of Fish and Game does administer bow hunter education program. In 2013, IDFG conducted 178 bow hunter education classes for 1,315 students. Direct annual costs for the program supplies and administration (excluding IDFG staffing costs) are about $25,000 (student fees of $8 do not cover the program costs).
The Department will be reviewing its permitting requirements and fees when we develop our next revenue package proposal.