Fall presents itself in many different ways across the state of Idaho. Here in our corner of the state it presents itself in the form of chukars, grouse and quail hunting! Did you know that on Craig Mountain Wildlife Management Area (CMWMA) you have the ability to hunt Ruffed Grouse and Blue Grouse at 4,000’ elevation in dense timber and chukar, Hungarian Partridge and California Quail on the grassland slopes and drainages below?! Not to mention, that with the well planned hunt, you can hunt all of these in one day! Additionally, the WMA also has a boastful population of wild turkeys. They can be found anywhere along the Snake and Salmon Rivers all the way to the tallest point of the mountain. With the change in turkey season, hunters now have a fantastic opportunity to put that Thanksgiving meal on the table. We are truly blessed to have a great upland game population on the WMA and you the sportsmen have a unique opportunity to help the Department collect user and biological data. You may see these blue wing barrels out and about on the mountain and along the rivers. These barrels help us look at trends in upland game populations and sportsmen use. We use this information to track populations and the user information allows us to identify areas that we may need to improve.
We are excited for the start of this year’s hunting season and hope that everyone enjoys their time on Craig Mountain. Just a reminder, we have put out wing barrels again this year and ask that you please do the following:
- Remove one wing from each bird harvested
- Fill out the data card for your hunt
- Place wings and completed data card inside the barrel
We appreciate everyone who has been filling out these forms and turning in their wings the past two years. This year’s data will be important in determining hunting trends for each access area. Last year’s data shows that of the species of birds harvested, there were 66% chukars, 12% Gray Partridge, 10% Dusky Grouse, 6% California Quail, and 6% Ruffed Grouse. This has also allowed us to see that 39% of upland gamebird hunters utilize the Madden/Redbird area, 22% Billy Creek/Snake River area, 20% Wapshilla area, 9% Eagle Creek area, and 10% other areas.
We have placed 11 wing barrels throughout the WMA. The included map shows where those barrels can be found. Thank you again for your support in helping us maintain the legacy that is found on Craig Mountain. For more information on the WMA or to get a map similar to this please visit the Craig Mountain Wildlife Management Area webpage, stop by our office at 3316 16th St Lewiston, ID or give us a call at 208-799-5010.
Jessica Patterson – Sr. Wildlife Technician
Andrew Mackey – Wildlife Biologist