Second Zone option for Elk


I filled out the survey regarding a potential secondary tag for elk for about $30 it said on your website. I envouraged my friends and everyone I ran intoi to fill it out also. Now, I can't find any information regarding the option to purchase an additional zone or season as had been mentioned. Under this proposal, only one animal could be harvested, but it allowed you to buy for example a McCall zone tag at the regular price and a Pioneer zone tag for an additional fee or an arhchery McCall and a rifle McCall etc.
Every hunter I spoke to all winter was very excited about this and I've gone to meetings and read the minutes where it was discussed and seemed to have been generally accepted.
Now, there is nothing in the 2014 Regs. mentioning this at all, nothing on the website and everyone is confused.
Please give us the scoop on this grrrrreat idea!
-Cam in Boise



Thanks for the question on the 2-zone tag for elk and what is the plan for implementation for such a option? The Idaho Fish and Game Commission approved the Elk Management Plan in January. The next step is to begin to implement the plan. The 2 zone tag system was one of the concepts developed in the plan that we need to do further work on to develop something that will be acceptable to the elk hunting public, while trying to avoid adverse consequences to elk populations. The public gave mixed reviews on the concept with strong support from the first statewide survey and then less support from the second survey where we had more of the developed concept with details. Since reviews were mixed we don’t say that the 2 zone system will be implemented immediately, but that we are continuing to work on possible options to bring back to the public for review.

In order to implement a 2 Zone tag, we need to first develop a plan for how we will include and or exclude zones in relationship to whether they are meeting objectives or not. We don’t want to put extra harvest pressure in places that are already just meeting objective or below objective, which could be counterproductive. Currently about a 1/3 of our zones are above objective, 1/3 are meeting objectives and 1/3 are below objective on cows and bulls.

We want to try to expand hunting opportunity, but it is imperative that we don’t do more harm than good in regard to elk populations and hunter satisfaction. The concept on the cost of $30 was just a figure we threw out to start the discussion with the public. The way the system works is that the legislature actually sets the fees that we charge and thus that process will have to take place before any implementation of a 2 zone system as far as cost are concerned.

We will be working on possible options throughout the next few months and we will hopefully be asking the public their opinions about those options this year.  Stay tuned on our website information in the coming months.