Press Release

March 2000

Idaho Falls Site of this years Annual Fur Sale by Idaho Department of Fish & Game

IDAHO FALLS- Fur Sale? Has Fish & Game resorted to selling fur coats to make ends meet? No, It's time for the annual fur sale of raw furs confiscated from poachers or removed from abandoned animals. Also on sale will be bundles of deer, elk, and moose antlers confiscated throughout the state during the previous year. Each year the Fur Sale rotates from region to region around the state, this year the sale will be held on Saturday April 8 at the IDFG Regional Office in Idaho Falls.

The IDFG Regional Office is located at 1515 Lincoln Road in Idaho Falls. The sale will be held outside in the compound behind the regional office. While limited shelter from the elements will be available, the sale is definitely an outdoor event so participants should dress for the weather.

The sale is held in an auction format, with a private auctioneer conducting the sale. Items will be sold both separately and in batch lots. Items may be previewed starting at 9:00 AM and the auction will start at 11:00 AM. Sales are on a cash or check only basis, no credit cards will be accepted.

Each year in addition to animal parts, a small quantity of sporting equipment such as abandoned traps and fishing poles are also put up for auction. No guns or vehicles are sold at the auction.

For further information concerning the auction contact the Idaho Falls IDFG Regional Office at 525-7290.

Mountain Lion Season Closed in Hunt Unit 25

As of Monday, March 27 the mountain lion hunting season in hunt unit 25 has been closed by order of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG).

"Lion hunting in this unit was scheduled to remain open until March 31, or until five female lions were harvested, whichever came first," IDFG regional wildlife manager Jeff Rohlman stated. "This unit has reached the five female lion quota." The dog training season for lions in the unit remains open through March 31.

Mountain lion hunting rules require successful hunters to bring the skull and hide with evidence of sex attached to any IDFG Conservation Officer or IDFG regional office within five days of the kill for tagging. A leaflet describing techniques for sexing lions in the field is available from the IDFG Southwest Region offices in Nampa or McCall.

Summer Host(s) Sought for Horsethief Reservoir

Wanted: a person or persons to spend the entire summer in a beautifully scenic location. Occupy shaded campsite on lakeshore. Meet and greet new people each day. Trout fishing available just a few feet from front door. Sounds like tough duty doesn't it? Yet this volunteer position is available for the 2000 summer season at Horsethief Reservoir. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) is currently accepting applications for the position of camp host at the popular recreation site.

Owned and operated by the IDFG, Horsethief Reservoir is located just east of Cascade. The 260-acre site is situated within a forested area, giving it a high mountain lake appearance. Horsethief is managed as a rainbow trout fishery and is a popular summer destination for anglers and other recreationists.

For more information or to apply for the volunteer host position, contact Dennis Hardy at the IDFG Southwest Region office in Nampa, 208-465-8470, ext. 348 or by e-mail at dhardy@idfg.state.id.us.

Don't Get Fooled on April 1 Opening of Southern Portion of Egin-Hamer Closure Area

IDAHO FALLS- Everyone knows that April 1 is "April Fools Day," but local resource management agencies want to make sure that no one gets fooled by new management guidelines regarding the Egin-Hamer Closure Area. In 1997, Fremont and Jefferson County Commissioners approached the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Idaho Department of Fish & Game (IDFG) about revisiting the Egin-Hamer Road winter road closure issue. An agreement was arranged that allowed for opening the road to winter travel in return for closing off important winter range adjacent to the road. In order to be responsive to both wildlife and human needs portions of the management area created had different opening dates. One of those dates is now upon us.

The Egin-Hamer Road divides the closures area into two uneven segments. The smaller southern segment will open to human traffic on April 1, 2000. The larger northern segment will remain closed to human traffic until May 1, 2000. The agreement also included access allowances for private landowners with business concerns requiring entry into the closure area. The segment that opens on April 1 is bordered by the Egin-Hamer Road on the north and Highway 33 on the south. The western boundary is Interstate 15 and the eastern boundary runs from where the Henrys Fork crosses Highway 33 and heads north through Plano and then toward Egin. Exact boundary descriptions and specific information regarding the agreement are available at the Idaho Falls BLM at 208-524-7445 and the Idaho Falls IDFG Office at 208-525-7290.

It is important to note that even though the southern segment is open to human traffic, the restriction regarding the collection of shed antlers remains in effect through the end of April. May 1 marks the date that antler gathering can resume in those portions of the region covered by the restriction.

Peregrines Ready to Nest

Rumors of a remarkable bird's demise proved premature this spring.

The best-known and most prolific father figure in the story of the peregrine falcon's recovery in Idaho was thought last winter to be dead. Falcon fanciers were delighted when recently he turned up at his old home atop an Amalgamated Sugar plant silo in Nampa. Prospects appear promising for a new hatch of peregrines there again this year.

The 12-year-old male peregrine falcon believed to have died last winter has turned up right on time to court his long-time mate. They have been observed flying together, chasing pigeons and engaging in courtship displays. Last year the male falcon was discovered in a parking lot with a severely broken wing and dislocated leg. Few people thought he would survive, let alone fly again. Over the next four months two veterinarians, a raptor rehabilitation center, and several falconers oversaw his recovery. He was re-released last fall and falconers monitored him using a radio transmitter and visual searches until they lost track of him in November. This male peregrine astonished everyone when he showed up to take his place alongside his mate for another season.

The male is one of the first five peregrines released in downtown Boise 12 years ago in an effort to restore the raptors and move them off the Endangered Species List. He and another female established a nest on top of one of the sugar plant's silos. His first mate did not survive, and he paired up with his current mate 10 years ago. Since then they have produced 35 young and are considered to be the most productive pair of peregrines in Idaho.

The pair is expected to begin nesting by the end of March, based on the birds'activities in previous years. They are the earliest to nest among Idaho peregrines.

Ask Fish and Game

Q. An Idaho landowner I know told me I don't need a hunting license to hunt on their private land. Is that true?

A. No. Residents or nonresidents must have a hunting license to hunt anywhere in Idaho, even if it is in a depredation hunt, landowner appreciation hunt, or landowner permission hunt. If you are hunting something that requires a tag, you must have that, also.

Commission to Meet in Pocatello April 5-7

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will meet at 8:00 a.m. April 6 at Cavanaughs Pocatello Hotel, 1555 Pocatello Creek Road in Pocatello. A public hearing will be held the previous evening, April 5, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the same location.

New Fish and Game director Rod Sando will make some comments early in the meeting. It will be his first formal address to the Commission as director.

Much of the meeting will involve financial business such as the fiscal year 2001 budget which will be decided in the current session of the Legislature. The outcome of proposed fee-increase legislation will impact budget discussions.

The Commission will have a briefing on the possibility of a season this year on hatchery salmon. Good water conditions two years ago helped outmigrating smolts which may come back this year in sufficient numbers for a season.

The Commission will review possibilities for a big game harvest reporting system, and a report on how the 1998 increase of $6 on deer and elk tags was spent.

Friday's meeting will convene at 9:30 a.m. after a breakfast with the Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Business Council.

Harvest, Draw Figures Available

Statistics on last year's deer, elk, and antelope controlled hunts, as well as harvest information on general and controlled hunts, will be available to hunters next week.

A special edition of the Fish and Game News tabloid containing the statistics will be distributed to Fish and Game offices and license vendors. Copies are available free of charge.

Regular quarterly publication of Fish and Game News has been suspended because of the continuing department budget squeeze. The hunt statistics edition, however, has proven popular with hunters who use the information to choose fall big game hunts and so has been continued. One of the most important uses of the statistics is for hunters who want to calculate their chances of drawing a controlled hunt permit before applying for controlled hunts in May.

Hunters will find the new deer, elk, and antelope proclamation booklet at Fish and Game offices and license vendors later in April. Publication was delayed while legislation to adjust license and tag fees was debated in the Idaho legislature. The fee schedule is a required part of the proclamation booklet.

Bear Baiting Rules Changed

At the recent Fish and Game Commission meeting in Boise, there was a unanimous decision to reduce the distance required between bear bait and water. In the past, it was set by rule at 200 yards. The commission reduced that distance to 200 feet.

The reason for the change is that in many parts of the state, Fish and Game is encouraging increased harvest of black bears. Commissioner Alex Irby pointed out that in Northern Idaho during the spring hunt, it is often nearly impossible to be 200 yards from water, especially when the definition could include snow runoff or temporary streams. The amended rule reads "No bait site may be located within 200 feet of any water (lake, pond, reservoir, year-round springs and year-round streams) or within 200 yards of any maintained trail or road." The trail and road section did not change. The change is effectively immediately.

Discounted Bear, Lion Tags Available for Fall Hunts Only

When the Fish and Game Commission approved new rules for big game seasons, it changed the limits in some areas on bears and mountain lions, and discounted tag prices. The changes are effective July first. "There are a bunch of folks out there that think it was effective immediately, but that's not the case," said acting assistant director Steve Huffaker. Last year the Commission reduced the price of bear and lion tags and made second tags available in a "predator management zone" in the north half of Unit 12.

At their last meeting the Commission expanded opportunities further by allowing hunters to take two bears and two lions in all of Unit 12, 19, 20, 20A, 26, 27 and the north part of Units 10 and 16, but these changes do not go into effect until July 1.

The "second" bear and lion tags sold before July are only good in the half of Unit 12 for the remainder of the spring bear hunt. Extra bear and lion tags will be good in more areas beginning this fall.

Correction to Report System Story

In a Fish and Game news release dated March10, 2000, it was stated that the Fish and Game Commission had asked Fish and Game to design a plan to use a mandatory report system for all controlled hunts and a telephone survey for elk and deer general season hunts.

The instructions were not actually that binding. The Commission discussed this possibility but the instructions were to develop a plan for a hybrid system which would allow collecting the best data at a reasonable price. The big game rules brochure will contain the following text: The mandatory reporting requirements for deer and elk hunters are under review by the Commission. Information regarding mandatory report requirements will be available at all vendors prior to year 2000 hunting seasons. Please check with a vendor in your area prior to hunting deer or elk.