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A letter from Steve Huffaker, Idaho Director of Fish and Game

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I'm sorry. That's all I can say.

Many of you were greatly inconvenienced this weekend when you tried to buy a fishing license or put in for a controlled hunt. As you probably know, last week, the licensing system was, to put it kindly, a mess. For a variety of reasons, some of which are not yet clear, the license system failed. Several times.

Throughout the week, folks standing in line at Fish and Game offices or sporting good shops faced delays as the system, seemingly at random, decided to work ... and then not. As a result, many of you left frustrated. The lucky ones left with a license. The others left without a license and greatly frustrated.

Believe me, I share your frustration. Last year, we faced a similar problem with the licensing system. When that happened, I called the contractor and was assured that the problem would not occur again. The service provider assured me they had the problem fixed and that never again would hunters and anglers be left standing in line when the system failed. They were wrong. While I'm upset about it, my frustration is nothing compared to what you must feel.

Here in Idaho, hunting and fishing is part of our way of life. Holiday weekends are a chance to share our love of the outdoors with our family. Many planned to go fishing, but, because of the system failure, weren't able to get a fishing license. Hunters spent hours studying draw odds, success rates and calendars, planning their fall hunting trips. Unfortunately, all that planning ... all that fun ... can and was frustrated by a computer malfunction.

There is nothing I can do to give you back the precious hours you spent in line or fix the plans you had for the weekend. All I can do is say I'm sorry and, in some small way, try to make amends.

Also, I can assure you that I share your frustration and will do what I can to make sure the system does not fail again.

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