Idaho Wolf Management Update

Wolves were removed from the endangered species list on May 4, 2009. Idaho Fish and Game has taken over management under 2008 state law, the 2002 wolf management plan and the 2008 Wolf Population Management Plan. Wolves will be managed as big game animals, similar to black bears and mountain lions. Hunting seasons will be set by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission.

The May progress report now available.

Idaho Wolf Management Update

Wolves were removed from the endangered species list on May 4, 2009. Idaho Fish and Game has taken over management under 2008 state law, the 2002 wolf management plan and the 2008 Wolf Population Management Plan. Wolves will be managed as big game animals, similar to black bears and mountain lions. Hunting seasons will be set by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission.

Get the full report here!

Super Hunt Drawing Simplified

Idaho Fish and Game has changed the way it conducts the Super Hunt – starting with the first drawing this year, it will be done electronically.

Entries in this year’s first Super Hunt and Super Hunt Combo drawing must be received at the Fish and Game headquarters by May 31 with the drawing set for June 15.

The Super Hunt is a fund-raising drawing for 40 big game tags. The tags are handed out to winners in two drawings. Entries are drawn for elk, deer, pronghorn and moose tags. Winners can participate in any open hunt in the state for deer, elk, pronghorn or moose. That includes general hunts and controlled hunts.

Hunters may purchase any number and combination of Super Hunt and Super Hunt Combo entries. [Read more…]

ID Commission Adopts Big Game Seasons

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission Thursday morning adopted big game seasons for 2010 with few changes.

New this year were caps on some elk tags, allowing youth hunters to hunt in both A and B tag elk hunts and easing black bear and mountain lion hunts in some units to include electronic calls and increased bag limits. [Read more…]

Idaho Projects Secure Habitat, Access—and More Projects

 

MISSOULA, Mont.—Two land transfers underway in Idaho are securing public hunting on over 1,500 acres of managed elk habitat—and helping build a special fund earmarked for more similar projects by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

RMEF’s Strategic Land Protection Fund, which began in 2009 with $1.5 million, is now over $3 million. The fund is used for acquiring vital but eminently threatened tracts, holding them until partnering state and federal agencies can accumulate funding, and then conveying them for permanent habitat protection and public access.

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission in late December authorized the Idaho Fish and Game Department to purchase two tracts offered by RMEF at about half of their appraised values. The agency will make four installments of $137,550 each.

“These monies, along with previous imbursements from other states as well as private donations, are building our Strategic Land Protection Fund to a level that makes RMEF well positioned for even broader conservation successes in 2010,” said Jack Blackwell, vice president of lands and conservation for RMEF.

On the Idaho projects, specifically, Blackwell explained, “Most often, while we’re holding land for future conveyance, our agency partners begin managing the habitat and opening the lands for public access. That’s how it worked with the Idaho Fish and Game Department and these latest projects in Idaho. Many public-land hunters in Idaho are already familiar with the quality of habitat and the amount of wildlife on these tracts.”

The first parcel borders the Tex Creek Wildlife Management Area in the Upper Snake River region. This tract is 700 acres, 380 in native habitat and 320 in dry cropland. The second parcel is 895 acres, all in native vegetation, bordering the Georgetown Summit Wildlife Management Area in the southeast region. Both areas include critical mule deer and elk winter range, as well as upland habitat.

The counties were notified in advance of the state’s intent to purchase, and Idaho Fish and Game Department will pay fees in lieu of taxes on both tracts.

Annual On-line Trip Auction Begins February 19

Searching for breathtaking nature experiences in Idaho’s back country? Looking for a rare opportunity to count white-faced ibis and Franklin gulls or help survey songbirds and raptors? Want to learn more about “behind the scenes” wildlife research?

Or maybe you’ve wanted to assist an Idaho Department of Fish and Game biologist in managing Idaho’s fish, wildlife and habitat? Then make a date to bid on 40 trips during this year’s online auction.

Join the Idaho Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s 20th annual trip auction beginning at 9 a.m. Mountain time, Friday, February 19. The auction ends at 9 p.m. Mountain Time, Sunday, February 28.

You’ll see lots of new trips as well as encore trips offering opportunities to get outside and learn more about Idaho’s fish, birds and wildlife and also experience beautiful parts of Idaho! Full trip descriptions and step-by-step instructions for bidding are available at www.ifwfauction.cmarket.com.

The 2010 trip auction benefits Idaho’s “Watchable Wildlife” programs, designed to promote wildlife viewing, photography, education and to instill a greater appreciation for all wildlife.

The auction, co-sponsored by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, is the foundation’s largest fundraiser, attracting anglers, hunters, hikers and wildlife enthusiasts. The auction’s major sponsor is Active Outdoors, offering integrated technology and marketing solutions for conservation and park agencies.

The Idaho Fish and Wildlife Foundation is a nonprofit organization celebrating twenty years of helping to protect and sustain Idaho’s fishing, hunting and wildlife heritage. Board members represent each region of the state.

It’s Not Too Soon To Enter Super Hunt

IdahoFish-Game

Now it’s even easier to enter for a chance to win the hunt of a lifetime.

Idaho Fish and Game has changed the way it conducts the Super Hunt – starting with the first drawing next year, it will all be done electronically.

The Super Hunt is a fund-raising drawing for 40 big game tags. The tags are handed out to winners in two drawings. Entries are drawn for elk, deer, pronghorn and moose tags. Winners can participate in any open hunt in the state for deer, elk, pronghorn or moose. That includes general hunts and controlled hunts.

Last year, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission changed the price of Super Hunt and Super Hunt Combo entries in an effort to simplify sales for the fundraising drawings.

[Read more…]

Commission Extends Wolf Seasons in Most Zones

IdahoFish-Game

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission on Thursday, November 19, extended wolf hunting seasons in all Idaho wolf zones not already closed to March 31.

Harvest limits and other restrictions were not changed.

The seasons would be extended to March 31 in the Panhandle, Palouse-Hells Canyon, Selway, Middle Fork, Salmon, Southern, and South Idaho zones, which had been set to close December 31. The seasons already were set to close March 31 in the Lolo and Sawtooth zones.

Hunters will need a 2010 wolf tag, in addition to a 2010 hunting license for hunts after December 31.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game set wolf harvest limits by 12 zones. The season closes in each zone when the limit for that zone is reached, or when the statewide limit of 220 wolves is reached.

As of Thursday, November 19, the statewide harvest was 110.

Wolf seasons already have closed in the Dworshak-Elk City wolf zone in north Idaho, the McCall-Weiser zone in west central Idaho, and the Upper Snake zone in eastern Idaho.

Three zones are nearing the harvest limit. The Palouse-Hells Canyon zone is two short of the limit of five; the Southern Mountains, where the limit is 10, is three short; and the Middle Fork zone, with a limit of 17, is four short.

Wolf hunters are reminded to check the harvest limit in the wolf hunting zones they intend to hunt. To find out whether a zone is open, call 877-872-3190. The Fish and Game wolf harvest Web page is updated less frequently, but provides a zone map and other useful information: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/hunt/wolf/quota.cfm.

Hunters are required by state law to report within 24 hours of harvesting a wolf, and they must present the hide and skull to a Fish and Game conservation officer or regional office within five days.

Bear Safety Education & Outreach Efforts Recognized

IdahoFish-Game

At the upcoming Yellowstone Grizzly Coordinating Committee in Jackson, Wyoming, the Idaho contingent will be recognizing the education and outreach efforts of local groups and media who have worked to promote a bear smart mentality through education campaigns, media outreach, and on the ground projects.

“These individuals, groups, and media outlets all understand that bears and humans can live safely together if the information about how to do so is made available in a manner that is clear and understandable,” said Gregg Losinski, regional conservation educator for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game in Idaho Falls.

The groups receiving a plaque with a grizzly bear track cast and recognition plate are:

  • The North Fork Club in Island Park.
  • Elizabeth Laden and The Island Park News.
  • Joyce Edlefsen and The Rexburg Standard Journal.
  • The Grizzly Bear and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone.

“Elizabeth Laden and the Island Park News have worked not only with Fish and Game and the U.S. Forest Service, but the Center for Wildlife Information and community groups to spread the word about bear safety,” Losinski said.

Recently, the Island Park News teamed up with bear spray producer Counter Assault to distribute free cans of bear spray and to teach how to use it properly. Materials provided free from CWI have served as the constant centerpiece for all programs in the area.

“Local newspaper writer Joyce Edlefsen has gone out of her way to help us reach the public about safely living and recreating in bear country through in-depth research in the writing of her bear-related stories,” Losinski said.

From a more practical standpoint, the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center has worked with the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee to develop a line of containers for trash and food that are bear resistant. The Center does not create the containers, but allows its resident grizzly bears to function as product testers to see whether the containers made by various companies can meet the criteria set by the Grizzly Bear Committee.

The North Fork Club in Island Park was recognized for its on-the-ground efforts to make it a reality that humans and bears can coexist.

“This association has tackled real life issues related to living in bear country and showed that it can be done if the commitment is there,” Losinski said.

While no formal recognition process exists, Losinski, who heads up the Information and Education Committee for the Grizzly Bear Committee, hopes that these awards in Idaho will stimulate similar recognition by other committee member organizations.

“Making it so humans and bears can coexist is not strictly a government thing; it takes hard work and cooperation from private individuals, businesses, and the media to be successful,” Losinski said.

For more information about bear safety, bear-resistant containers and ongoing efforts to recover grizzly bears in the Lower 48 go to: www.igbconline.org.

Wolf Hunt Closed in Eastern Idaho Zone

IdahoFish-Game

The wolf season has closed as of Monday, November 2, in the Upper Snake wolf zone in eastern Idaho, where the limit of five wolves has been reached.

The zone borders Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park where wolves are still protected under the Endangered Species Act. The closure affects only big game management units 60, 60A, 61, 62, 62A, 64, 65 and 67. Elsewhere in the state the wolf seasons remain open, including the portions of the Southern Mountains and the South Idaho wolf zones that fall within the Upper Snake Region.

Wolf seasons remain open in Upper Snake Region big game management units 50, 51, 58, 59, 59A, and in units 63, 63A, 66 and 69.

Wolf hunters are reminded to check the harvest limit in the wolf hunting zones they intend to hunt. Idaho Department of Fish and Game set wolf harvest limits by 12 zones. The season closes in each zone when the limit for that zone is reached, or when the statewide limit of 220 wolves is reached.

Two other zones also are approaching the limits as of November 2.

In the McCall-Weiser Zone, with a limit of 15 wolves, 14 wolves have been taken, leaving one.

In the Palouse-Hells Canyon Zone, with a limit of five, two have been taken, leaving three.

The statewide harvest as of November 2 is 86 wolves.

Some other zones are not yet approaching the limits. In the Lolo zone, with a limit of 27, hunters have taken five wolves; in the Salmon zone, with a limit of 16, hunters have taken two; and in the Panhandle zone, with a limit of 30, they have taken eight.

To find out whether a zone is open, call 877-872-3190. The Fish and Game wolf harvest Web page is updated less frequently, but provides a zone map and other useful information: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/hunt/wolf/quota.cfm.