JEROME - General season mule deer hunters in southern Idaho enjoyed a 17 percent harvest success for the opening week of season according to Idaho Department of Fish and Game check station data.
In the Magic Valley Region, 572 hunters checked took 111 bucks from Unit 43, for 19.4 percent success; 182 hunters harvested 30 bucks in Unit 48, for 16.5 percent success; and 250 hunters harvested 30 bucks in Unit 49, for 12.0 percent success. In Magic Valley general hunts, 54 percent of the bucks taken were adults.
"Overall I felt the opening weekend of deer season was successful," said Randy Smith, Magic Valley Region Wildlife Manager. "The weather was not as hot and dry as we've had the last several years and hunters were seeing lots of deer. At the Mountain Home station we checked some really good bucks from Units 43 and 44."
For the controlled hunts in the Magic Valley Region, hunters enjoy a much higher success rate. Hunters checked in Units 44, 45, 52, 54, and 55, hunters had a 33.1 percent success rate and 80 percent of the bucks taken were adults.
Controlled antlerless hunters in 43, 48, and 49, were 40.9 percent successful, and either-sex youth hunters were at 40.2 percent successful.
Hunter success was up also in the Pocatello and Idaho Falls areas. Hunter's success in general seasons hunts hovered around 12 percent.
"During the past several years, fawn survival has been high, resulting in increased deer populations in most Magic Valley units, " said Smith. "With the good hunting conditions we're having this year; hunters are able to reap the benefits of the deer increase. Hunters are also taking a higher percentage of mature bucks than we've seen since the mid 1990s."