Why is it that the controlled hunt drawing is not done until June and hunter not notified until July? This does not leave a lot of time to make plans or alternate plans if you plan on doing an earlier season hunt. It is hard for the people working to know when to take off work or other similar obligations. I guess my question is: Why do we do the controlled hunts so late in the year? If it is a good reason, I can live with that. Is it to help with identify numbers of Big Game and if so, couldn't the count be identified earlier and the application period moved to April and find out by the first of May. Also, if it is just a random drawing, Why does it take over a month to get the results?
Back in the 1990’s the application period for deer, elk, and pronghorn hunts began June 1 and ended June 30. That date has been moved up to May 1 through June 5. The Department’s big game biologists need the months of January, February, and March to determine the health and size of our deer and elk herds. During those months, Department biologists are gathering data on harvest from the prior year and working to get counts of existing animals through a variety of methods such as aerial flights. They also spend time putting together recommendations for the next fall’s hunting seasons. Our biologists spend time discussing these plans with hunters around the state and taking hunters comments and suggestions into consideration. These plans are then brought together and presented to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission in late March for approval. After the Department receives approval on seasons and hunts, it takes us some time to get the big game proclamations published, printed and distributed to our license vendors and hunters. We need to give hunters ample time to research hunting opportunities before making their application for a controlled hunt.
The drawing is a random draw process. However, we do accept mailed in applications as long as they are post-marked by the end of the application period, June 5. It takes us some time with our limited staff to enter these applications. We then must conduct several audit checks to make sure all applications are valid. There are several checks we make such as ensuring only those eligible for a youth hunts are in the drawing. We do have occasions when an adult will submit an application on a youth hunt. We have to then make that application ineligible during the draw process. We also perform other edit checks such as ensuring anyone who drew an antlered deer hunt in the first drawing last year has not submitted an application for an antlered only deer hunt this year. Some years due to the volume of applications it does take us a little longer to complete the drawing but we work very hard to complete the drawings as quickly as possible to let hunters know the results of their application.