Hunters Urged to File Harvest Reports Early

IdahoFish-Game

Many general deer seasons ended October 31, and hunters can save themselves some hassle and save Fish and Game expenses by filing mandatory harvest reports early.

All deer, elk and antelope hunters must complete and submit a report for each tag issued within 10 days of harvest or within 10 days of the close of the season for which their tag was valid.

The easiest way is to submit the harvest report card online at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov, and click on the red “Harvest Reports” logo below the photo. Or go to https://www.idaho-hunt.com and use your hunting license or tag number and the first four letters of your last name.

Submitting online is the surest way to have hunt information included and the only way to get confirmation that the report was received.

Reports also may be mailed to: Idaho Fish and Game, Hunter Harvest Reports, P.O. Box 70007, Boise, ID 83707-0107 or called in toll-free at 1-877-268-9365 or faxed to 775-423-0799.

Super Hunt Fees, Drawing Simplified

IdahoFish-Game

Idaho Fish and Game is changing 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 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.

The change has allowed electronic sales, instant processing and eliminated the need for filling out tickets by hand. Entries are no longer sold in packages. The simplified pricing allows the purchase of any number and combination of Super Hunt and Super Hunt Combo entries.

The first Super Hunt entry will cost $6. Additional entries purchased at the same time will cost $4 each. The Super Hunt Combo entries work the same way. The first one costs $20, and each additional entry purchased at the same time will cost $16.

The drawings will be done by a computer, similar to the way controlled hunts are drawn.

The first Super Hunt drawing is in June when entries are drawn for eight elk, eight deer and eight antelope hunts as well as one moose hunt. One Super Hunt Combo entry also will be drawn that will entitle the winner to hunts for one each elk, deer, antelope and moose.

The second drawing is in August with two winners for elk, two for deer, two for antelope and one for a moose along with another Super Hunt Combo winner.

Winners can participate in any open hunt in the state for deer, elk, pronghorn or moose, including general and controlled hunts.

Entries can be bought online at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/superhunt/, at license vendors and Fish and Game offices, by phone at 800-554-8685 or 800-824-3729, or by mail at: IDFG License Section, P.O. Box 25, Boise, ID 83707.

Money from the drawings supports the Access Yes! program, which compensates landowners who provide hunter, angler and trapper access to or across private land.

For information about this program contact local Fish and Game officials or visit the Website at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/huntplanner/accessyesguide.aspx.

Hunters Can File Harvest Reports Electronically

IdahoFish-Game

Big game hunters must file mandatory harvest reports.

All deer, elk and antelope hunters must complete and submit a report for each tag issued within 10 days of harvest or within 10 days of the close of the season for which their tag was valid.

The easiest way is to submit the harvest report card online at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov, and click on the logo below the photo. Or go to https://www.idaho-hunt.com and use your hunting license number or tag number and the first four letters of your last name.

Submitting online is the surest way to have hunt information included and the only way to get confirmation that the report was received.

Reports also may be mailed to: Idaho Fish and Game, Hunter Harvest Reports, P.O. Box 70007, Boise, ID 83707-0107 or called in toll-free at 1-877-268-9365 or faxed to 775-423-0799.

2009 Nonresident Deer and Elk Tag Quotas – Updated

The number of tags available may have increased due to return of unsold outfitter allocated tags.

You can get all the information here!

CSF Offers Off Site Bidding On Idaho Wolf Tags

Copy of Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus

October 5, 2009 (Washington, DC) – The Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSF) was recently awarded Idaho Wolf Conservation Tag Number One, and the Idaho Sportsmen’s Caucus Advisory Council (ISCAC) was awarded tag number six for use during the 2009 inaugural gray wolf hunting season.

The commemorative wolf tags, series one through 10, are being released in the inaugural season to recognize wildlife management success and to help promote gray wolf management in Idaho. CSF and ISCAC will auction both tags with the proceeds from the auctions going to Idaho to help offset much of the cost associated with wolf management including population monitoring, law enforcement, public education, enhanced deer/elk/moose monitoring, and research, Idaho’s management of wolves including regulated hunting, to ensure that gray wolves remain a lasting legacy on Idaho’s landscape for future generations.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt a gray wolf in the beautiful state of Idaho,” said CSF President Jeff Crane. “These tags are invaluable to the Idaho wolf population and Idaho wildlife management programs and so it imperative that supporters of CSF step to the plate.”

The #1 tag is for sale during a live auction at the Richard Childress Whine Wheels and Wildlife event on October 14, 2009.

The #6 tag is for sale during the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses Annual meeting on October 29, 2009.

Registration for both events is filling up fast and both wolf tags are sure to be hot items for bidding during both live auctions, however, CSF is offering these once in a lifetime wolf hunts via off-sit bidding by contacting CSF Vice President of Development Gary Guinn at 202-543-6907 extension 24.


Idaho Southeast Region Hunting Forecast

IdahoFish-Game

By Toby Boudreau – Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Deer:

The forecast for mule deer hunting in the Southeast Region is a mixture of good and bad news.

The good news is that a fair number of deer made it into the three-year-old age class, and even some have made it into the four-year-old age class. These bucks should be more than 24 inches; antler growth appears to be better than average due to our wet spring this year that produced abundant forage early. People who are already seeing some of these deer are optimistic for the hunting season.

The bad news is that we again suffered low fawn survival, 32 to 38 percent, despite the relatively mild winter. This lower survival of fawns is because mule deer does came through the harsh winter of 2007-2008 with lower body fat reserves. This lead to lighter fawns being born during spring 2008, fawns which then grew at slower rates because of lower plant production from that summer’s drought. During the summer of 2008, no measurable rainfall fell between early June and Labor Day weekend in much of the Southeast Region. Hard winters combined with dry summers are the conditions that really suppress mule deer populations.

This lower fawn survival translates into fewer two-point bucks on the hill, since most yearling bucks are two points. Our two-year-old age class – small four-points and three-points – will also be weak from the low survival during the 2007-2008 winter.

There is no doubt that people will go out and see harvestable deer this fall and some nice deer will be taken. The overall numbers should be about equal to last year, with a slightly higher number of mature bucks.

Hunters should also be aware that there are a few bucks wearing radio collars in the region. It is legal to take these animals, but we would like to get collars back so we can re-use them in our on-going mule deer research projects.

Anyone who has questions, wants more information, or possibly wants to volunteer, please call Fish and Game at 208-232-4703.

Elk:

Elk hunting should be about what it was last year. Winter does not affect elk populations nearly as much as it does mule deer populations. Elk numbers have grown in areas within the Bannock Zone herd.

Biologists will be surveying the Bear River Zone elk this winter to and will compare that to the 2006 survey results. This population appears to be stable, based on harvest and hunter information. This winters survey will give Fish and Game a better chance to measure any changes.

The Diamond Creek Zone numbers from the January survey showed a decrease of nearly one-third of the population since 2005. Therefore, Fish and Game reduced this fall’s harvest. Cow elk tags were cut by one-third and bull tags by one-fourth, and extra-tag hunt permit numbers were reduced. During this reduction, archery hunter numbers also were reduced by capping the A-Tag at 1,837 permits – or about 350 fewer permits available.

Since the Diamond Creek elk herd is so productive at 33 calves per 100 cows, positive changes in that zone should be seen in the next couple years.

Upland Birds:

Upland bird hunting has started well, with good numbers of forest grouse being reported in some areas. It is still unclear whether the late spring rains were a positive or negative effect on pheasants, sharp-tailed grouse, gray partridge (Hungarian), and sage grouse. It appears from observations that populations appear to be good in some places and poor in others. Weather can have a positive or negative effect based on whether it rains when chicks are at the critical stage. Overall, upland bird hunting should be worthwhile throughout the region.

Waterfowl:

Waterfowl production was likely very good this spring. Waterfowl numbers suffered a setback with the recent duck die-off that has been blamed on botulism poisoning.

Biologists picked up 16,000-18,000 waterfowl and shorebirds from September 16 through 25on the north end of American Falls Reservoir. This may cause a reduction in the numbers of regional waterfowl in the early season before migrants from Northern Idaho, Montana and the prairie provinces of Canada show up late in the season.

However, even after that many dead ducks being picked up, large flocks of ducks were still observed in the area. So, it will still be worth heading to the duck blind this fall.

Hunters should not shoot waterfowl that look sick, cannot fly, or are having trouble holding their heads up. These birds might have botulism. They would be safe to eat if properly cooked, but hunting dogs may be at risk if they pick one up and ingest any of the toxin. Please call Fish and Game at 232-4703 to report any waterfowl that may be affected.

Please consult the regulations for current information on seasons and bag limits. And, don’t forget to use Fish and Game’s Hunt Planner when planning your hunting excursions this year. The Hunt Planner can be found online at fishandgame.idaho.gov.

Toby Boudreau is the regional wildlife manager for the Southeast Region.

Idaho’s Salmon Region Big Game Forecast

IdahoFish-Game

Hunting seasons are coming up fast, and deer and elk in the Salmon Region should be in good condition as hunters head out this fall.

A long spring and wetter than normal summer provided ample moisture for grasses and shrubs. Plants are still green at higher elevations, which means deer and elk will be able to find forage without having to move around a lot.

Regular deer tag, general, any-weapon season opens October 10 in most units. General B tag, any-weapon elk season for most zones opens October 15. Check rules brochure for specific areas before heading out.

Mule deer fawns fared better in the Central Mountain area (Units 21A, 30, 30A, 29, 37, 37A) this past winter and spring with 55 percent survival compared to the Mountain Valley area (Units 21, 28, 36B, 36A), which had 37 percent survival. In the Central Mountain area, hunters should see a fair number of spikes, which usually make up the majority of the harvest.

[Read more…]

Avoid Bear Conflicts: Store Food, Garbage Properly

IdahoFish-Game

As hunters venture into the woods this fall, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game is asking them to be mindful of their food and garbage.

The same cautions apply to homeowners in bear country.

The past two weeks, local Fish and Game officials have relocated several young bears that have become accustomed to living off garbage and scraps left by campers and even homeowners.   Most bear complaints happen in later summer and early fall when bears are traveling in search of food.

“Anyone who leaves food out are actually baiting in hungry bears,” said Barry Cummings, Fish and Game conservation officer based in Deary. “Bears have a tremendous sense of smell, and once they get used to finding an easy food source, they’ll keep coming back and problems will occur.”

Tips around camp:

  • Keep a clean camp. Pick up garbage and store it in a closed vehicle, bear- resistant container, or in a bag tied high between two trees. Store all food the same way. Coolers are not bear-resistant and never keep food in a tent.
  • Don’t cook near tents or sleeping areas, and never wear the clothes you cook in to bed.
  • Don’t bury food scraps, pour out cooking grease, or leave anything that might be tasty on the ground or in the fire pit. Also, store barbecue grills or other smelly cooking gear inside your vehicle or within a sealed bear resistant container.
  • Make game meat unavailable by hanging it at least 10 feet high and 4 feet from the nearest tree.
  • If you see a bear, watch it from a distance and leave it alone. Black bears are not usually aggressive, but the danger may increase if a bear loses its fear of humans.

Tips around home:

  • Keep garbage in bear-resistant containers or in a closed building.
  • Empty and remove bird feeders during the summer months when songbirds are able to forage on food provided by nature.
  • Clean up fruit that has fallen in your yard. Rotting fruit will attract bears as well as raccoons and skunks.
  • Feed pets inside or during daylight hours; don’t leave pet food or food scraps outside of your home or camp, as it can attract bears, raccoons and skunks.
  • Store horse and livestock grains inside closed barns.
  • Keep barbeque grills stored in closed buildings.

CSF and Idaho Sportsmen’s Caucus Advisory Council Awarded Idaho Wolf Tags

Copy of Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus

September 25, 2009 (Washington, DC) – The Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSF) was recently awarded Idaho Wolf Conservation Tag Number One, and the Idaho Sportsmen’s Caucus Advisory Council (ISCAC) was awarded tag number six for use during the 2009 inaugural gray wolf hunting season.

The commemorative wolf tags, series one through 10, are being released in the inaugural season to recognize wildlife management success and to help promote gray wolf management in Idaho.

“We are grateful to the Idaho Department of Fish & Wildlife for this honor, and CSF is dedicated to optimizing the return on these tags and doing our part to help raise awareness and generate revenue to continue the work of the department in management of the Idaho gray wolf population,” said CSF President Jeff Crane.

The tags were awarded to CSF and ISCAC based on a detailed evaluation of proposals submitted by various sportsmen’s and wildlife conservation groups by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, including potential to maximize revenues for wolf conservation and management on behalf of the Department.

“CSF and the Idaho Sportsmen’s Caucus Advisory Council will play in important role in this commemorative event in state history,” said Cal Groen, Director of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. “Fund raising efforts provided by both organizations will help Idaho generate proceeds for wolf management and raise awareness of another example of how hunters have been the foundation for wildlife conservation and management in North America.”

CSF and ISCAC will auction both tags with the proceeds from the auctions going to Idaho to help offset much of the cost associated with wolf management including population monitoring, law enforcement, public education, enhanced deer/elk/moose monitoring, and research, Idaho’s management of wolves including regulated hunting, to ensure that gray wolves remain a lasting legacy on Idaho’s landscape for future generations.

“We know the wild game hunters who support CSF will push each other out of the way to get this once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt a gray wolf in the beautiful state of Idaho,” said Crane.

The #1 tag is for sale during a live auction at the Richard Childress Wine Wheels and Wildlife event on October 14, 2009. The #6 tag is for sale during the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses Annual meeting on October 29, 2009. Phone lines will be available for off-site bidders at both events. For more information about bids towards the wolf tags, please contact Gary Guinn at 202-543-6907 ext. 24.

2009 Nonresident Deer and Elk Tag Quotas

Here is the updated information on the Nonresident Deer & Elk Tag Availability for Idaho Fish and Game.

Note: The number of tags available may have increased due to return of unsold outfitter allocated tags.

DEER TAGS
TYPE QUOTA # OF TAGS AVAILABLE
Regular/White-tailed Deer 12,015 6,029
White-tailed Deer 1,500 1,500
ZONE ELK TAGS
QUOTA # OF TAGS AVAILABLE
Zone Elk A & B Tag 10,415 3,103
ELK TAGS
These tag allotments are taken out of the “Zone Elk A & B” quota and are not additional.
TYPE QUOTA # OF TAGS AVAILABLE
Lolo Zone – B Tag 356 161
Selway Zone – A Tag 254 211
Selway Zone – B Tag 284 9
Middle Fork Zone – A Tag 174 127
Middle Fork Zone – B Tag 267 86
Dworshak Zone – B Tag 215 SOLD OUT
Elk City Zone – B Tag 326 SOLD OUT
Diamond Creek Zone – A Tag* 772 SOLD OUT
Sawtooth Zone – A Tag* 106 28
Sawtooth Zone – B Tag* 265 72
* Added as per commission rules passed at the March 23-24, 2009 Commission Meeting.