The Idaho Department of Fish & Game is holding a series of open houses across the state to collect public comment on proposed changes to the upland game hunting regulations for next fall.  In the Upper Snake Region the open house will be held at the regional office in Idaho Falls on Wednesday, January 4th and run from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM.

According to Regional Wildlife Manager Daryl Meints, “The most significant change being proposed involves moving the opening day for sage-grouse, sharp-tailed grouse, gray partridge, and chukar away from the opening day of waterfowl, like it was this year.”  This proposal would move the upland game opener to the third Saturday of September, giving bird hunters two weeks before the waterfowl opener.  The sharp-tailed season would still only run for 31 days and the sage-grouse season would be set to fit within the guidelines of the state sage-grouse conservation plan.

Another significant change being proposed that would benefit both resident and non-resident hunters would be the expansion of the possession limit for upland game birds statewide from the current two times the daily bag limit, to three times the daily bag limit.   “This lets non-residents who buy the new three –day game license be able to take home more, as well as those resident upland game hunters who might travel to other parts of the state.” said Meints.

Other smaller changes are being proposed for certain regions, information about all of these will be available at the open house. Individuals with disabilities may request meeting accommodations by contacting Daryl Meints at IDFG at 525-7290 or through the Idaho Relay Service at 1-800-377-3529(TDD).  Individuals not able to attend, but wishing to comment may do so by regular mail to IDFG / 4279 Commerce Circle in Idaho Falls, Idaho 83401 or via e-mail at daryl.meints@idfg.idaho.gov.  All comments must be received by 5:00 PM January 5, 2012

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