By Hilary Corrigan

Triplicate staff writer

A local group aims to help hunters take more elk in Del Norte County.

The Del Norte County Fish and Game Advisory Commission has backed a proposal from the California Department of Fish and Game for changes to elk hunting in the region.

The advisory group wants to create new zones in Del Norte and Humboldt counties and increase the number of tags allocated to kill more elk.

In 2004, Fish and Game issued five hunting tags for anterless elk and hunters killed five of them. The department issued 10 tags for bull that year and 9 were killed.

andquot;The number of tags to be allocated should be well above the five tags currently being proposed,andquot; John Pritchett, chairman of the Del Norte County Fish and Game Advisory Commission, wrote in a letter to the California Fish and Game Commission that sets hunting rules.

The advisory group suggests at least 10 tags in each of the two proposed zones, predicting that six or seven elk would be killed in each new area.

The advisory group will present the idea to the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors during a Tuesday meeting. The group aims to garner the board's support with a letter to the department urging the changes.

The extra hunting could help drive the herds up into the hills, cut back on their collisions with vehicles and keep the animals from damaging private gardens and yards, Pritchett said.

andquot;The herds in that area have lost their fear of pretty much everything,andquot; he said. andquot;They are not afraid of anything.andquot;

andquot;The taking of a few will help the many. Nobody wants to see these beautiful animals get plowed over by a car.andquot;

The supervisors' meeting will start at 10 a.m. at the Flynn Administration Center.