Migratory game bird proposals for the 2019-2020 seasons are available for review through March 27, 2019.
Included below are proposals and comment opportunities for:
- Youth seasons
- Canada Geese
- Light Geese (Snow and Ross's)
- White-fronted geese
- Sandhill Crane
Migratory Proposal Background
Each year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) meets with Flyway councils to set guidelines for migratory game bird seasons - Idaho is a member of the Pacific Flyway. Idaho's migratory game bird seasons must fit within these guidelines and may not exceed the federal framework for season length, timing, or bag limits.
Since 2016-2017, these guidelines have allowed the Commission to set seasons for all migratory game birds earlier, and at the same time. This give hunters more time to plan hunts and puts all the season information in the same brochure.
All migratory game bird seasons will be set by the Commission on April 11, 2019.
Since 1997, the USFWS has allowed liberal (107 days; 7-bird bag) duck seasons.
For ducks and Canada geese, those 107 days can only occur between September 21, 2019 and January 26, 2020. For white-fronted geese and white geese, those 107 days can only occur between September 21, 2018 and March 10, 2020.
In 2016, IDFG conducted a survey to assess hunter preferences on waterfowl seasons within this Federal Framework. This information will be used to guide Idaho waterfowl season proposals from 2016-2020.
Idaho sets waterfowl seasons by zones. These zones balance hunting seasons with biological opportunity, environmental conditions, and social desires. The number of zones Idaho can have is set within the federal framework. Currently, Idaho has four zones for ducks, five zones for Canada and white-fronted geese, and six zones for white geese (please see maps below).
- The 2016 waterfowl survey was used to restructure the zones to meet the desires of Idaho's waterfowl hunters.
Surveyed Hunter Preference
Important results from the 2016 waterfowl hunter preference survey are:
- Most Idaho waterfowl hunters said they prefer continuous seasons, rather than split seasons.
- Hunters in much of north and southwestern Idaho preferred seasons that start and end the waterfowl season later, to allow for hunting opportunities as close as possible to the end of the Federal Framework (as late in January as possible).
- Hunters in much of eastern Idaho preferred seasons that start the waterfowl season as early as possible in October to allow for hunting opportunities prior to wetlands freezing.
Comments were accepted through March 27, 2019.