(a) A drawing shall be held annually for available sage grouse hunting permits.
(1) It shall be unlawful to hunt sage grouse without a valid sage grouse permit issued for a zone defined in Section 300, subsection (a)(1)(D)3.
(b) Application Process
(1) Applications for the number of permits specified in Section 300, subsection 300(a)(1)(D)4, shall be made available each year by July 10 through the department's Automated License Data System at department license sales offices, on the department's internet sales site and at department license agents.
(2) Applicants shall apply by August 10 of each year.
(3) All applicants shall possess a current hunting license validation, and adult applicants shall possess an upland game bird stamp validation.
(4) Applicants shall submit a nonrefundable Upland Game Bird Special Hunt Drawing Application Fee in the amount specified in Section 702.
(5) Applicants shall not submit more than one drawing application for the same license year.
(6) Applicants desiring to use a sage grouse permit during the falconry-only season must declare upon the application that the permit is for falconry only.
(7) Applicants for sage grouse hunting permits may be residents or nonresidents.
(8) Party Applications
(A) No more than four persons shall apply together as a party.
(B) Applicants shall specify if applying as an individual, a party leader or joining an existing party.
(C) Applicants applying as an individual or as a party leader shall be assigned a Party Identification Number (PIN), which will be printed on their drawing receipt.
(D) To apply as a party, the party leader shall apply first and then provide his/her assigned PIN to the other party members.
(E) Applicants joining an existing party shall provide the PIN of the party leader to join the party.
(F) Applicants joining a party shall be assigned the same zone choice as the party leader.
(G) When drawn, all party members shall be awarded permits for the zone choice selected by the party leader.
(c) Drawings for Permits
(1) The department shall award available permits using a modified-preference point drawing system.
(2) The modified-preference point drawing system shall award proportions of permit quotas using the following drawing methods:
(A) Preference Point Drawing: Permits in the preference quota are awarded based on the following order of priority: accumulated point totals (highest to lowest), and computer-generated random numbers (lowest to highest).
(B) Random Drawing: Permits in the random quota are awarded according to computer-generated random numbers (lowest to highest), without consideration of accumulated points.
(3) The available permit quantity for each zone shall be split into separate quotas as follows:
(A) Fifty percent (50%) of the individual zone permit quota shall be awarded using a preference point drawing. Permit quota splits resulting in decimal fractions shall be rounded to the next higher whole number.
(B) Fifty percent (50%) of the individual zone permit quota shall be awarded using a random drawing. Permit quota splits resulting in decimal fractions shall be rounded to the next lower whole number.
(C) For zones with quotas of one (1) permit, that permit shall be awarded using a random drawing.
(4) For party applications, the department shall use the average preference point value of all party members (total preference points for the party divided by number of party members) as the basis for consideration in the drawing. Point averages shall not be rounded.
(5) The department shall not exceed the sage grouse permit quotas established in subsection (a)(1)(D)4 of Section 300. When a party application is processed in the drawing and the available permit quota is less than the total number of party members, the application shall be unsuccessful.
(6) Successful applicants shall be determined by drawing within 10 business days following the application deadline date. If the drawing is delayed due to circumstances beyond the department's control, the department shall conduct the drawing at the earliest date possible.
(7) Notification to successful applicants will be made within 10 business days of drawing completion.
(8) Unsuccessful applicants shall earn one (1) preference point annually for participating in the sage grouse permit drawing.
(9) Successful applicants issued a sage grouse permit shall have their sage grouse drawing preference point value reduced to zero (0).
(10) Preference points shall not be transferred to another person.
(11) The department shall maintain records of preference points earned by individual applicants based on their Get Outdoors ID (GO ID) customer identification number assigned by the department's Automated License Data System.
(A) The GO ID number shall be printed on each drawing receipt issued by the Automated License Data System.
(B) Applicants shall notify the department's License and Revenue Branch in Sacramento of any changes or corrections to information required by Sections 700.3 and 700.4.
(12) Any person not applying for a sage grouse permit for ten (10) consecutive years shall have their preference points for the sage grouse drawing reduced to zero (0).
(13) For the purposes of this section, any person whose application is disqualified from the drawing shall be considered the same as a person not applying.
Note: Authority cited: Sections 200, 203 and 1050, Fish and Game Code. Reference: Sections 702, 1050, 1055.1, 3500, 3682.1 and 3683, Fish and Game Code.