JEROME, Idaho (KLIX) – If you’re interested in participating in the controlled spring turkey hunt, you’re running out of time to apply.

The last day to apply for the controlled hunt tag is this Thursday, March 1.

It also is the same day, according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, that the department will launch its new license and tag system in an effort to streamline the process and make it more secure. It’s the first time in more than a decade that Fish and Game has upgraded the system.

“We’ve trained our staff and vendors on the new terminals and issuance process,” Michael Pearson, an administration bureau chief said in a prepared statement, “but it may take a little while before everyone becomes familiar with the new system.”

He said the department sells about 1.9 million licenses, tags and controlled hunt applications annually, all of which is done through the contracted licensing system.

Fish and Game first introduced wild turkeys to Idaho in the 1960s, and today there’s an estimated 30,000 wild turkeys – Merriam, Rio Grande and Eastern – in many of the state’s private and public lands.

“These birds are often concentrated in the relatively low elevation forests and along narrow riparian areas,” the department explains. “Add over-the-counter opportunities and multiple tags to these conditions, and you have some of the best turkey hunting in the nation.”