by Gary Hompland, Regional Conservation Officer
Question: "Now that the waterfowl and upland bird seasons are closed, what's left for an avid hunter and angler to do?"
Answer: There are still numerous hunting and fishing oriented opportunities open to the avid hunting and angler. I first would remind everyone to make sure they first purchase their 2008 hunting, fishing, or combination hunting/fishing license.
For the angler, the Magic Valley supports some excellent ice fishing opportunities. Salmon Falls and Magic Reservoirs offer excellent opportunities for trout and yellow perch. In addition, trout fishing through the ice at Dierkes Lake is a stones throw from Twin Falls. For anglers that don't normally eat their catch, fresh caught yellow perch through the ice just seem to "taste better." As temperatures fluctuate anglers must use caution around the edges of the reservoirs since they are filling with water. It is likely anglers could encounter some water over the ice around the edges of the reservoirs.
For the avid hunter there are still several hunting seasons open. Small game hunters will enjoy the cat-and-mouse style of stalking cottontail rabbits. In winter, cottontails tend to be close to escape cover such as rock piles or heavy brush. When hunting in areas where pygmy rabbits exist, hunters must be sure of their target since pygmy rabbits are protected. Rabbit hunting is an excellent opportunity to experience the outdoors with a young hunter, and it brings back many memorable childhood hunting experiences with my dad.