Big Game Winter Feeding
Fish and Game looks to natural forage to sustain big game populations. But when emergency conditions exist, winter feeding becomes an option. Three main conditions that can trigger winter feeding are:
Private Property Damage
To prevent damage to private property such as damage to stored agricultural crops like haystacks
Public Safety Concern
To prevent significant human safety issues such as elk congregating near a busy highway
Excessively harsh winter conditions
To prevent excessive mortality that would affect recovery of the herd such as those conditions where a high percentage of the adult females would be expected to die
The agency’s policy and actions have evolved through decades of experience with winter feeding and is done with the best interest of Idaho’s big game populations.
After the devastating winters in the late 1990’s, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission developed a policy and process to guide the agency’s decisions to feed or not to feed big game animals.
Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 5:21 PM MST
Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 1:54 PM MST
Winter Feeding: A Wildlife Dilemma
In 1999 Fish and Game produced a video to explore the challenges the agency and the public face with feeding wildlife in the winter. While the situations and voices are from the past, the complex nature of winter feeding hasn’t changed much in 20 years.