By Dave Koehler - Idaho Department of Fish and Game
Although Idaho's big game hunting seasons remain months away, the telephones at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) are ringing off the hook with anxious hunters wanting to plan their fall hunting vacations.
In March, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission adopted the 2006 seasons. Hunters planning to hunt in the Clearwater Region will find relatively few changes made to the elk, deer, and bear seasons. No changes were made in the mountain lion season in the region.
The 2006 Seasons and Rules Booklet is currently at the printers and will be made available April 10 at all license vendors and IDFG regional offices. Hunters can also view the seasons and rules by visiting the department's website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov.
Deer hunters in the Clearwater Region will find two changes. The first is an increase of 150 permits for the Big Game Management Unit 11AX controlled antlerless hunt. This hunt is an extra controlled hunt for antlerless deer of either species, whitetail or mule deer. The justification for this change is to address chronic depredation problems on agricultural crops by mule deer. The number of antlerless mule deer involved in these depredations appears to be increasing.
The second change involves the clarification of a hunt boundary for the Unit 15X hunt, which is also an extra controlled hunt for antlerless white-tailed deer in portions of Units 15 and 16. This hunt is also designed to address depredations by antlerless whitetails on private property in the western portion of these two hunt units. A wording change in the boundary description now directs hunters to the western portions of these units and away from a block of private property around Elk City where no depredations exist.