Why can't we apply at the end of the year like other states?
Department biologists spend many hours during the months of January, February and early March studying the health of deer and elk populations in the state through aerial surveys, hunter reports and other methods. During this same time frame the biologists also hold public meetings with hunters throughout the state to gather comments on recommended hunting seasons for the upcoming fall hunts. The Department then takes all of the information it has gathered and presents recommended hunts and season dates to the IDFG Commission at the end of March.
After seasons have been set by the IDFG Commission, it takes the Department a couple of weeks to complete the big game proclamation booklets, have them printed and delivered to license vendor outlets. This gives hunters a little bit of time to study the hunts available and make plans with hunting partners on which hunts they want to apply for.