Magic Valley Big Game Season Proposals 2019-2020


These proposals and comment forms are split into sections by animals in each region: Deer, Elk, Pronghorn, Mountain Lion, Black Bear, Gray Wolf. 

For each section, please leave comments relative to the information on that page. There is a comment box for "General Comments" on the contact page.

Only changes to hunts (including hunts that are removed or added) are shown on this proposal. All other hunts are proposed to remain unchanged from 2017-18.

To complete the survey, press "submit" on the final page. 
Comment Period Closes 2/24/2019
1 Start 2 Deer 3 Elk 4 Pronghorn 5 Black Bear 6 Mountain Lion 7 Wolf 8 Contact
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Magic Valley Region

Proposed Changes for the 2019-2020 Big Game Seasons


  • Proposed changes focus on stabilizing the growing Smoky-Bennett Population Management Unit (PMU) deer population to a level commensurate with sub-optimal winter range through expanded antlerless hunting opportunities. Proposed changes in other PMUs are intended to 1) maintain current mule deer populations, season structures, and opportunities and 2) address depredation concerns on private agricultural land.


  • Proposed changes to elk seasons in the Magic Valley Region, including over-the-counter antlerless opportunity, are intended to bring elk populations into compliance with management direction and objectives outlined in the elk management plan. Elk populations in the Pioneer and Smoky-Bennett zones are above numerical objectives despite continued attempts to increase harvest rates. While no numerical population objectives have been established for the South Hills Zone, aerial survey information from Nevada (which includes portions of Idaho) and anecdotal observations indicate a growing elk herd. Management direction for all elk zones in the region includes implementing proactive measures to reduce and minimize depredations. Private property depredations on standing crops are widespread throughout the region. Efforts to reduce and minimize depredation, including targeted early and late controlled hunts, X-tag hunts, landowner permission hunts, depredation hunts, and kills permits, have not achieved desired results. Elk depredation complaints and claim payments have continued to increase over the last 5 years. In 2018 the region experienced an unprecedented number of depredation complaints and projected claim payments from elk damage are expected to exceed previous expenditures by several orders of magnitude. The proposals for over-the-counter antlerless elk hunting opportunity are intended to reduce the region’s overall elk population. Proposed changes will also simplify regulations, standardize season dates, and provide hunters with a family and friends general season hunting opportunity in multiple elk management zones. In summary, elk populations we are over numerical objectives and our capacity to manage elk depredation is being outstripped by growing elk herds in the agricultural interface. The over-the-counter framework we are proposing is consistent with Idaho elk management across the state and provides more equitable access to tags.


  • Proposed changes focus primarily on reducing doe/fawn tags in Units 44 & 45 in response to reduced numbers of summering pronghorn on the Camas Prairie. Other changes are intended address depredation concerns on private agricultural land in the southern half of the region.


  • No changes are proposed at this time.


  • Proposed changes focus on removing or increasing female quotas in all Magic Valley Region Data Analysis Units (DAUs). Changes are intended to provide consistency in DAUs across southern Idaho.
    • Remove female quotas in Units 43, 44, 48, and 49 have only been met two times in the last 10 years.
    • Remove female quota in Units 46 and 47 because the quotas have never been met.
    • Increasing quotas in Units 54 and 55 will provide additional opportunity.


  • Proposed changes focus on expanding trapping season region wide to provide consistency across southern Idaho.