Sales of bull elk tags (B-tags) in the Boise River, Lolo, Selway, and Middle Fork (A & B) elk hunting zones were suspended Wednesday morning when the sudden flood of buying choked the licensing system computers used by Fish and Game offices and private vendors.
In an effort to prevent another overload the sales have been rescheduled to two days. Lolo, Selway, and Middle Fork zone tags will go on sale August 8 at 7:00 p.m. Mountain Time and 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Boise River Zone sales were reset for August 11 at 10:00 a.m. Mountain Time and 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time. THIS SPLIT DATE WAS NOT MENTIONED IN A PREVIOUS RELEASE. The evening and Saturday times were picked to accommodate buyers who would otherwise be forced to take another day off work. Sales will be at Fish and Game offices and license vendors. Those who were issued numbers for place in line at Fish and Game headquarters will retain their priority in the line when sales begin again.
The point of sales machines (POSM) failed systemwide when as many as 900 transactions per minutes were attempted at 10 a.m. August 1. Higher than capacity volume was cited as the reason for the shutdown by the company that provides licensing system services to Fish and Game. Fish and Game and the contractor are taking steps to ensure the system will work on the new dates. Projections are that the system may take a bit more time to make sure transactions go through, but will be able to complete the sales.
This is the first year that a limit has been placed on the number of bull tags sold in the Boise River Zone (Unit 39), an extremely popular elk hunting zone located close to Boise. Caps on sales in the other zones have not caused system failure in previous years but lines were long at several major Treasure Valley vendors as well as Fish and Game offices in the area.