February 4, 2023

Idaho Allows Destruction of Game Herds, Then Discounts Tags

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IDFGLogoIt is said that insanity is repeating the same process over and over and each time hoping for a different outcome. I think the Idaho Department of Fish and Game(IDFG) has gone insane.

IDFG has decided to offer discounted tag prices for second or surplus elk and deer tags. From the IDFG website, this is the reason they give for discounting the tags:

Q. Why the discount?

A. The Commission wanted to encourage more hunters to take advantage of additional hunting options that second tags provide. The sale of nonresident deer and elk tags provide significant revenue to fund the field operations of the Fish and Game Department. Reductions in nonresident tag sales since 2008 have resulted in less revenue to fund important management activities. Discounting these second tags will provide a mechanism for hunters who wish to increase their hunting options to also help recover necessary funding for important Fish and Game programs and operation.(emphasis added)

The real question of course should be why aren’t hunters buying tags? Another question would be; if IDFG has destroyed game herds by allowing for the protection and perpetuity of gray wolves, then why isn’t IDFG taking responsibility and reducing their department in numbers and size to stay in line with their failures to provide game for hunting as Idaho statute requires? Is there even ANY thought that their own department policies is what has driven hunters away and that is why they can’t sell tags?

With a seriously reduced game population and IDFG scrambling to find ways to fund their ineptitude, they have the audacity to claim that selling “unused” tags will have no affect on game herds(kind of reminds me of when these same fools claimed that 100 wolves and 10 breeding pairs would have no affect on game herds):

Q. How will this affect game populations?

A. The level of harvest resulting from the issuance of unsold nonresident tags as second tags would be very similar to harvest occurring if the nonresident tag quotas were sold out to hunters prior to being made available as second tags.

In areas where population estimates or harvest rates fall below management objectives, seasons are adjusted accordingly. For example, hunting opportunity may be limited by shorter seasons, controlled hunts, or zone level tag quotas sold over the counter. These second tags cannot be used in controlled hunts and must fit within the nonresident portion of the existing tag cap levels.

Second tags may be used in hunts where there are currently no restrictions on the number of general deer or elk tags sold to Idaho residents in any given year or where their use would be included in previously established nonresident zone caps for elk. There are currently about 143,000 deer and 86,000 elk tags sold in Idaho each year.

Second tags will represent a very small proportion of the total tags available to hunters statewide and Fish and Game does not anticipate any negative effects to game populations as a result of a small level of overall increased harvest resulting from second tags.

So now it is official. IDFG manages their game populations according to the need to make payroll and fund their environmentally empowered programs of continued destruction of game herd against surplus harvest as required by law.

And where is the outrage?