May 13, 2012 in Idaho

Idaho to set rules for tag auction

Associated Press

LEWISTON – Despite frustration and misgivings, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission voted Thursday to give the department staff permission to set up rules for administering a series of new and exclusive big-game auction tags.

The law was approved by lawmakers this year over objections from the commission and other critics who complained the program would create elitist trophy hunts that run contrary to Idaho’s equal-opportunity legacy.

Bitterness over the new law resurfaced Thursday during the commission’s meeting in Riggins.

Commissioner Kenny Anderson, of Rigby, said he is still angry with lawmakers and led debate for stalling the rulemaking process required for implementing the law.

In the final days of the 2012 Legislature, the House and Senate narrowly approved a bill giving the commission the authority to issue up to three Governor’s Big Game Auction Tags for elk, deer and antelope and one each for moose, mountain goat and bighorn sheep.

Anderson argued Thursday that hunters ought to have a chance to weigh in on it before commissioners take any action. Instead of starting a process that would establish rules governing how the tags will be sold, Anderson said they should wait up to a year and collect public comments.

“I didn’t like anything about this bill from the minute it came out,” he said.

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