Press Release

August 2000

Hunting Clinics Planned for Youth and Women

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) and the Coeur d'Alene Trap and Skeet Club have scheduled two hunting clinics to assist women and youth new to hunting, and those who wish to hone their hunting skills. The seventh annual Panhandle Region "Women in Hunting" clinic, and a third "Youth Shotgun Skills" clinic will both be held on Saturday, September 16. Space is limited and reservations are required for each event. To register, call the IDFG at 769-1414. The "Women in Hunting" clinic has become a popular annual event, with much of the popularity attributed to the fact that all instructors are women hunters. They are volunteering their time to teach other women about the sport. The instructors have developed an effective team approach with each instructor researching and specializing in a subject area. According to Nancy Hadley, one of the instructors and a member of the Idaho Fish and Game Commission, "Participants have really enjoyed past clinics. They've greatly appreciated the fact the instructors are all women who are experienced hunters." Topics the instructor team cover in the "Women in Hunting" clinic include firearm safety, hunting regulations (how and why they were developed), preparation for the field and hunting ethics. Participants in past classes identified the shooting range activities as a highlight of the workshop. All attending will have the opportunity to shoot shotguns at clay targets, and centerfire rifles at paper targets. The clinic is $5 including a lunch barbeque. The "Youth Shotgun Skills" clinic will be offered by the Coeur d'Alene Trap and Skeet Club and the North Idaho Retriever Club. The intent is to provide expert instruction in proper shotgun mounting, swinging and shooting so the participants increase proficiency and hence enjoyment of shotgun shooting. I have been told that hitting your target increases enjoyment of clay pigeon shooting! I'll let you know how it feels when I find out.

Commission Sets Process for Refunds, Exchanges for Deer, Elk Tags

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission has established a process for hunting license and tag rain checks, refunds or exchanges for areas closed due to fire. Hunters who have purchased tags and who can show in good faith that they intended to hunt in an area closed by the land managing agency to all recreational activity will be eligible for a refund or exchange. Requests need to be submitted by October 1, 2000. (see the basic rules for the application process after species information.) In the upcoming weeks, the Commission will consider season extensions or alterations, such as allowing Middle Fork B tag hunters to hunt the A tag elk season, which runs to the end of October. Exchange: A deer or elk tag may be exchanged for one in another area or zone, as long as tags for that zone are available. Exchanges will only be done at Fish and Game offices, or by mail. Refund: Refunds will be processed at the Fish and Game headquarters office, Licenses Section, P.O. Box 25, Boise, ID 83707. Requests for refunds should be made on a form which Fish and Game will make available at offices an on the agency website, or in a personal letter. Rain Check: Hunters who want to come back in the same hunt next year should mail their license and/or tag in with a letter to that effect. If the license will be used for another hunt such as upland birds, or if the hunter will hunt deer this year but is closed out of his elk zone, only the elk tag may be refunded or held for next year.

Commission Sets Process for Refunds, Exchanges for Trophy Species and Other Species

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission has established a process for hunting license and tag rain checks, refunds or exchanges for areas closed due to fire. For hunters with trophy species, bear and lion tags and permits, the following process applies. (see the basic rules for the application process after species information.) In the upcoming weeks, the Commission will consider season extensions or alterations for these species. Bighorn sheep, moose or mountain goat hunters with controlled hunt permits in an area closed to all recreational activity will be eligible for a refund or rain check for a hunting license and tag/permit for the 2001 hunting season. If the Commission does not authorize the same hunt for the 2001 hunting season, then a refund will be made after the seasons are set in January. Hunters who want to come back in the same hunt next year should mail their license and/or tag in with a letter to that effect. Antelope: Antelope hunters with controlled hunt permits where all recreation access has been closed may either exchange the permit for a general season archery antelope tag (seasons end Sept. 15) or apply for a refund of the permit and tag fee. Black bear and mountain lion: Nonresidents with a black bear or mountain lion tag may apply for a refund of the hunting license and tag fee, or rain check for license and tag in the 2001 season. Resident bear and lion hunters are encouraged to hunt in other areas. Some basic rules apply to all applications: Requests need to be submitted by October 1, 2000. Tag exchanges may be applied for at any Fish and Game office, rain checks and refunds will be processed at the Fish and Game headquarters office, Licenses Section, P.O. Box 25, Boise, ID 83707. Requests for refunds should be made on a form which Fish and Game will make available at offices and on the agency website, or in a personal letter.

Commission Sets Waterfowl Seasons, Aprroves Limited Turkey Outfitting

At their recent meeting in Boise, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission set waterfowl seasons for 2000 - 01, and established a two day Youth Waterfowl Hunt for September 23 and 24. This season's arrangement will maximize the number of weekend days for hunting, and extend the closing date to the latest possible allowed under the federal framework. Duck season will open on October 7 and run through October 18; there will then be a two-day split (closed season) to accommodate the youth hunting days. Seasons will reopen on October 21 and run through January 21, 2001. This gives waterfowlers a 93-day season after the 2-day break in October. Goose season will run from October 7 through the 18th with ducks, but then does not reopen until October 28. The final day of goose hunting will also be January 21, 2001. There will be no change this season in the Mini-Cassia goose closure area. The Commission decided to allow outfitted turkey hunts in a limited fashion. Outfitters will be permitted to outfit and guide for wild turkeys (an upland game bird) on deeded ground owned by them. This will be for an experimental period, but no set length was established. On other upland game bird notes, hunters are preparing to go into the field on Friday, September 1, for the opener of forest grouse and dove season across the state. Dove season dates, bag and possession limits, and all other pertinent information about doves are included in the Idaho 2000 and 2001 Upland Game Seasons brochure this year.

Lake Cascade's Clinging Crustaceans

They're back, and on Cascade's trout. Small, whitish copepods less than one-quarter inch in length are once again being found on fish taken from Lake Cascade. The worm-like organisms are the reproductive stage of Lernaea cyprinacea, a crustacean related to freshwater shrimp. "Many Idaho waters contain these copepods," Fish and Game fisheries manager Don Anderson explained. "Lake Cascade simply has a higher concentration, making them more noticeable to anglers." The parasitic stage eventually drops away from the fish, growing into the free-swimming "shrimp-like" adult. At this life stage, the copepods find the tables turned; they are a favorite fish food. The parasites are rarely lethal to their host fish. "They must reach concentrations of dozens on the gills of a half-pound fish to cause any damage," Anderson noted. "And we usually see fewer than ten copepods per fish." Anglers may also notice a reddish tint around the site where the copepods are attached, the result of skin irritation. The crustaceans are as common as "fleas on a dog" according to Anderson and pose no threat to humans. Because only their small mouthparts actually penetrate a fish's skin, simply skinning and/or filleting the fish will effectively remove the parasites from the edible portion of the fish. Adapted to cold water, the copepods die quickly if cooked; human body temperatures are also lethal, providing peace of mind to those who accidentally ingest the organism. There are no plans to attempt eradication of the copepods from Lake Cascade. "In fact, we wouldn't want to," Anderson said. "The non-reproductive stage is a critically important food item for all of Lake Cascade's fish, particularly young trout and perch."

Wolf Plan Comment Deadline Near

The public comment period for the draft plan for managing wolves in Idaho once they come off the federal list of endangered species will end September 1. The plan, which was written by a committee established by the Idaho legislature, can be found on the Fish and Game web site at in the "What's New" section or copies may be obtained through the Fish and Game information and education bureau at 208-334-3746. Copies are also available at most local libraries. Written comment to the Idaho Wolf Oversight Committee will be accepted until September 1. Comments can be sent to the committee at Idaho Legislative Wolf Oversight Committee, P.O. Box 70029, Boise, ID 83707. The Wolf Oversight Committee was established by the Idaho legislature in 1998 to develop a plan for managing Idaho's wolf population after wolves are no longer listed under the Endangered Species Act. Approved wolf management plans must be in effect in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming before populations are delisted. These plans must include measures to ensure that wolf populations will be maintained so they do not decline to the point that they must be protected by the Endangered Species Act. If 30 litters of pups are not produced annually in the three-state area after delisting, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will probably place wolves back on the endangered species list in the northern Rockies and reassume authority for management and recovery. Since the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reintroduced wolves in 1995, the Idaho population has grown to about 200, including litters of pups born this spring. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has said it intends to begin the delisting process after a total of at least 30 breeding pairs of wolves have produced litters each year for three consecutive years in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, but state management plans must be approved and placed in effect before the process can begin.

Ask Fish and Game

Q. What stamps do I need to hunt birds? A. For upland birds, you only need a hunting license, unless you hunt sage or sharptail grouse, which have a special $1.50 permit to gather information on hunter numbers and harvest. For waterfowl, you need a license, a federal duck stamp, and federal harvest information permit. The state upland and waterfowl permits have gone away, and those programs will be funded from the increase in hunting license fees approved by the 2000 Legislature.

Sixth Annual Wildfowl Fair Slated for September 9

The sixth annual Wildfowl Fair will be held at the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge Visitors' Center on Saturday, September 9. There is no cost to attend and lunch will be served. The Wildfowl Fair targets young hunters and is designed to foster a greater appreciation of waterfowl and improve hunting and outdoor skills among fair participants. "Regardless of whether you elect to head home after lunch or take in the afternoon shotgun clinic, everyone who attends will come away from the Fair with a new appreciation of waterfowl and some additional hunting skills for their toolbox," Fish and Game wildlife educator Dan Papp noted. Presented by Ducks Unlimited, with assistance from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Wildfowl Fair will be jam-packed with seminars and activities. "We've invited experts from a variety of disciplines to conduct hands-on seminars for each Fair participant," Papp commented. "Waterfowl identification, shooting skills, water safety, dog training, decoy setting and waterfowl calling are just some of the subjects to be covered during the morning session." Lunchtime will provide more learning opportunities. While munching on hotdogs, participants will get a short course in waterfowl preparation and cooking, including the opportunity to sample a variety of waterfowl dishes. The afternoon session consists of a shotgun clinic, available to the first 30 persons 12 years of age and older who pre-register for this clinic. A $10 fee will cover the cost of shells; shotgun clinic participants are requested to bring their own firearm for this portion of the fair. For more information or to register for the shotgun skills clinic, contact Papp at Fish and Game's Southwest Region office in Nampa, 465-8465.

Residents Can Buy Nonresident Tags

Beginning September 1, resident hunters can buy nonresident deer and elk tags. The tags will be sold at nonresident prices, $235 for deer and $338.50 for elk, and can be used as a second tag. The new program is expected to be especially popular with hunters who enjoy going to different areas of Idaho. Fish and Game Commissioner Don Clower said he looks forward to taking a mule deer early in the fall in southern Idaho, then using a nonresident tag to bag a whitetail in the Clearwater Region in the late hunt. Tags will not be available for areas where a quota has sold out. This includes the southeast Idaho deer tag and elk B tags in the Lolo and Selway zones and A and B tags in the Middle Fork Zone. Tags are available at all Fish and Game offices and at the selected vendors listed at in theWhat's New section. The location of vendors for these tags in any area is also available at regional offices or the licenses section at headquarters, 334-3717. The tags can be ordered through the Fish and Game telephone contract sales service at 1-800-554-8685. As of August 25, there were 6,714 nonresident deer tags available, 760 Panhandle elk tags and 814 elk tags which could be designated to other zones.

Youth Hunt to Start Duck Season

The popular youth waterfowl hunt has been expanded to two days before the regular duck season begins. This year's youth waterfowl hunt will be held September 23-24. In previous years, the youth hunts were held on one day only. The regular duck and goose seasons in most of Idaho will begin October 7. Youth hunts have been held for the last several years in Idaho to give hunters aged 12 through 15 the chance to learn the skills and traditions of waterfowl hunting with mentoring, rather than competition from, older hunters. Each youth must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years old who is licensed but not allowed to hunt. The hunt was approved by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission at its August meeting in Boise. The Commission also approved recommendations for the upcoming waterfowl hunting season. This season, for the first time in several years, includes a split. The duck season will begin October 7 through October 18, halt for two days, then run from October 21 through January 21, 2001. The goose season begins October 7, runs through October 18, resumes October 28 and runs through January 21, 2001. States are allowed only a certain number of days for duck and goose hunting by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. A split season can allow for early season hunting on locally-reared birds and still last through the peak of the northern flights. Commissioners agreed it was important to arrange the split to maximize the number of weekend hunting days. The season is otherwise unchanged from last year with rules and limits remaining the same. The estimate for total numbers of North American ducks is the third highest on record. Record numbers of waterfowl have meant little to Idaho duck hunters in the last two years, however, when fall and winter weather has not been helpful in bringing flights to Idaho.

Limited Outfitting for Turkeys Approved

For a three-year trial period, Idaho outfitters may use their own deeded property to take clients turkey hunting. The Idaho Fish and Game Commission decided during its August meeting in Boise to recommend the experiment to the Outfitters and Guides Licensing Board. The Licensing Board has the final say in the matter. Several outfitters supported outfitted turkey hunting at the meeting. Sportsmen including some members of the Idaho chapter of the National Turkey Federation argued against allowing any outfitted turkey hunting, noting that turkey hunters lost access to large portions of Montana when outfitting was allowed there. Commissioners considered several alternatives ranging from no turkey outfitting to no restrictions on the business.

Poachers Pay $6,113, Draw Jail Time

A southeast Idaho judge has raised the ante for folks who want to gamble with poaching laws. Judge Lynn Brower of Bear Lake County sent a clear message to offenders of fish and game laws with fines and penalties totaling $6,113 and jail time handed out to two men who confessed to poaching two mule deer in Bear Lake County. Josh Christensen, 22, and Nathan Humphreys, 24, both of Montpelier, appeared August 16 in a Bear Lake County court to plead guilty and were sentenced for the illegal taking of two mule deer out of season. Fish and Game Officer Blake Phillips, acting on an anonymous tip, located the kill site of a doe deer and found other evidence to begin his investigation. Based on this information, Phillips obtained search warrants for two residences. Both Christensen and Humphreys gave full confessions. Humphreys killed a two-point buck while Christensen killed a doe. Both animals were shot with a .22 caliber magnum pistol equipped with a scope. The deer were field dressed, taken to town for processing and the remains were thrown into the Bear River. Court records showed that eight months earlier, Christensen was sentenced by Judge Brower for illegally taking a large trophy mule deer buck during the closed season. This, combined with Christensen's failure to comply with court ordered probation and fine payments, resulted in one of the stiffest sentences ever handed down in a Bear Lake County Court for poaching. In order to avoid felony charges, Christensen plead guilty to hunting while revoked, hunting with the aid of artificial light and taking a mule deer during the closed season. His sentence included fines, civil penalties, and court cost of $3,592, all hunting, trapping, and fishing privileges were suspended for nine years, 1 _ years of jail (one year suspended), forfeiture of yet another firearm (the Smith and Wesson pistol) and 7 1/2 years of probation, all to be served consecutively.