Press Release

October 2008

Fish and Game Looking for Information on Wasted Buck

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is looking for any information regarding a large white-tailed buck that was found shot with only the head removed.

Clearwater Region officers responded to a call from an individual who found the headless white tailed buck left to rot in a canola field along the German Settlement Road near Gifford. The deer was probably shot on October 25 or 26.

"Judging by the size of the carcass, the deer likely sported a large set of antlers," said Dave Beaver, senior conservation officer.

Anyone with information on this incident is encouraged to call the Lewiston Fish and Game office at 208-799-5010 or the Citizens Against Poaching hotline 1-800-632-5999. The line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Callers may remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.

F & G Seeks Information on Three Dead Moose

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is seeking information about the recent poaching and wasting of three moose in the Panhandle Region.

Officials say all three moose appear to have been shot on or around October 17, and all three were left to waste. The first moose, a large, adult cow, was shot at least twice. The cow was left to waste just off of the Searchlight Road in the Marie Creek area, in Game Management Unit 3.

The other two moose were young bulls, shot and left lying in the brush about 20 feet from one another. These two bulls were found on the ridge between Wolf Lodge Saddle and Skitwish, also in Game Management Unit 3.

"As citizens of Idaho we have an obligation to not tolerate this type of behavior and waste of our wildlife resources and natural heritage," District Conservation Officer Mark Rhodes said.

Many people attempt to draw a moose permit for years in order to lawfully harvest a moose.

"The unlawful killing of a moose is simply stealing the resource from those who want to hunt them lawfully, or want to enjoy them in the wild," Rhodes said.

Idaho conservation officers cover patrol districts that average more than 1,000 square miles per officer. With such large areas to patrol, Fish and Game officers rely on reports from concerned residents to solve wildlife crime.

Rhodes asked that anyone with information on these cases, or any other wildlife violations is asked to call Idaho Fish and Game at 208-769-1414, contact a conservation officer, any Idaho Fish and Game office, their local sheriff's office or the Idaho State Police, or call the Citizens Against Poaching Hotline at 1-800-632-5999, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Callers may remain anonymous, and they may be eligible for a cash reward for information leading to a citation.

Fish and Game Looking for Information on Poachers

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is looking for two poachers who killed two bull elk near Idaho City.

Fish and Game conservation officers received reports that two males in their 20s shot a five-point and a six-point bull elk out of season on Bear Run Road below Pilot Peak. The elk were shot on October 26 or 27, and they apparently were left to spoil on the mountain after the antlers were removed.

The bull elk season opens November 1 in the Boise River zone. The two men, one with red hair and the other with brown hair, apparently were camped in the Ten Mile Campground east of Idaho City.

Officers are looking for any additional information. Anyone with information on this incident may call the Nampa Fish and Game office at 208-465-8465 or call the Citizens Against Poaching hotline 1-800-632-5999. The line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Callers may remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.

Steelhead May be Stocked in the Boise River

Forget the traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner this year; fresh, smoked steelhead might be on the menu after the big fish are released into the Boise River in November.

If the steelhead return to the Oxbow Hatchery as forecast, Idaho Fish and Game managers anticipate that 300 or more could be available for stocking in the Boise River, from Glenwood Bridge to Barber Park as early as Thursday, November 6.

Trapping at Oxbow is scheduled to begin Monday, October 27. Updated information on the strength of the hatchery return and the likelihood of fish being planted in the Boise River will be available later in the week from Fish and Game.

If this year's hatchery steelhead run remains strong, Fish and Game anticipates stocking another 300 or more fish on November 13 and possibly again on November 20.

Besides a 2008 fishing license, anglers hoping to tangle with one of the 4- to 10-pound hatchery steelhead need a $12.75 steelhead permit. Barbless hooks are not required for Boise River steelhead angling.

All steelhead stocked in the Boise River will lack an adipose fin (the small fin normally found immediately behind the dorsal fin). Boise River anglers catching a rainbow trout longer than 20 inches that lacks an adipose fin should consider the fish a steelhead. Any steelhead caught by an angler not holding a steelhead permit must immediately be returned to the water. Steelhead limits on the Boise River are three fish per day, nine in possession, and 20 for the fall season.

The fish are A-run hatchery steelhead, returning to the Idaho Power Co.-owned and funded Oxbow Hatchery fish trap below Hells Canyon Dam on the Snake River.

Many of the returning steelhead will be used as broodstock for the ongoing steelhead hatchery program at Oxbow Hatchery as part of Idaho Power's mitigation.

Fish and Game Seeks Help Solving Elk Poaching

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is seeking information about the shooting and wasting of a bull elk found near Crane Point north of Potlatch.

Officers say the elk had been shot on or about October 14. The elk had been field dressed, the antlers removed and the carcass dumped in a forested location. A newer black Ford pickup with black canopy was observed at the dump site.

"What a complete violation of the law and ethics," said Senior Conservation Officer Mike Dafoe of Potlatch. "We need the citizens' help in solving this crime."

Anyone observing suspicious activity in this area or with information about this crime is encouraged to contact Dafoe at 208-669-1024, Lewiston Fish and Game at 208-799-5010, the Citizens Against Poaching hotline at 1-800-632-5999, or any law enforcement authority.

Callers may remain anonymous, and they may be eligible for cash rewards if the information leads to a citation or a warrant.

Fish and Game Announces New Revenue Proposal

Idaho Fish and Game is seeking a proposed revenue increase, and details are available online.

If approved by the Legislature, the proposal would increase revenues by almost $7 million annually. Most of the increased revenue would go to maintain current programs. About 20 percent would go to improving access on wildlife management areas, building new community family fishing ponds and increasing hatchery capacity.

Fish and Game revenues have not kept up with public expectations and demands of the hunters and anglers. For example, fuel costs have gone up 58 percent and state mandated employee costs have gone up 17 percent since the last fee increase four years ago.

Idaho Fish and Game is asking for a revenue increase that recognizes some hunting and fishing opportunities are worth more than others. As such, the proposed "differential fee increase" would raise tag fees for antlered elk and deer and for salmon and steelhead while keeping prices lower for general licenses and permits.

The cost of a resident combination hunting-fishing license would go up about $3.50.

For details about the proposal visit the Fish and Game Web site at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/about/. To view a short video go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Joh19X8BYXM.

Grizzly Bears in Idaho on F&G Website

When Lewis and Clark passed through Idaho in the early 1800s, an estimated 50,000 grizzly bears roamed the country between the Pacific Ocean and the Great Plains.

Since then grizzlies have been eliminated from 98 percent of their historic range, which stretched from the Arctic to central Mexico and from California to Minnesota, by the 1920s and 1930s in the lower 48 states.

In 1975, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the big bruins as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act.

In March 2007, grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem were removed from the endangered species list. Since delisting, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission has assumed authority for managing grizzly bears within the Idaho portion of the Yellowstone ecosystem. They are under federal protection elsewhere in the state.

To learn more about grizzly bears in Idaho, go to the new grizzly bear page on the Idaho Fish and Game Website: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/wildlife/grizzlies/.

Today, only a few small corners of grizzly country remain, supporting about 1,200 to 1,400 wild grizzly bears. Six grizzly bear populations are recognized in portions of Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Washington. Three of these populations contain fewer than 35 individuals.

The Yellowstone population, inhabiting parts of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, is estimated to comprise more than 600 individuals.

Grizzly bears are protected by state and federal law and cannot be killed except under certain circumstances outlined in the law.

F&G Seeks Information on Poached Moose

Idaho Department of Fish and Game officers are seeking information about a bull moose that was shot and left to rot in Bates Canyon, just off the Fall Creek Road in Swan Valley.

Conservation officers were alerted by a confidential informant who reported the animal and its location to the Citizens Against Poaching hotline. The informant said the male moose had been shot and left at the head of Bates Canyon, which is about a mile above the area known as Cow Camp on the Fall Creek Road in Unit 66.

The CAP call came in on October 11. But upon investigation, officers determined the animal had been dead more than a week and a half. A controlled antlered moose hunt with 15 permits in that area started on August 30 and runs through November 23.

The bull moose had been shot in the neck, and conservation officers collected other evidence at the scene. Fish and Game is looking for additional information to help solve the case. Because it was a trophy animal, the case could carry felony charges.

Anyone with information may call the CAP Hotline at 1-800- 632-5999. Callers may remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.

Fish and Game Commission to Meet in Lewiston

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will meet November 5 and 6 at the Clearwater regional office in Lewiston.

The meeting starts with a commission tour of the Potlatch River from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, November 5. A public hearing will start at 7 p.m. that evening in the Clearwater regional office, at 3316 16th St., Lewiston.

Regular commission business gets under way at 8 a.m. Thursday, November 6.

Commissioners are expected to adopt a hunter orange policy that essentially reflects current practice. And they will hear a presentation on a proposed revenue increase.

After lunch, commissioners will hear reports on wolf monitoring techniques and wolf management and research. They also will hear a report on nonresident deer and elk tag and outfitter set-aside quotas.

Commissioners also will consider a white sturgeon management plan.

Later in the day, commissioners will elect a chairman and vice chairman and set a meeting calendar for next year. They also will appoint a commission representative to Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

Note: Times on the agenda are approximate and subject to change.

Hunter Education Program Passes on Values

By Fred Dixon, volunteer hunter education instructor

Four years ago, I found myself sitting in a hunter education classroom with my 10-year-old daughter.

Like many parents, I couldn't help but think of the time commitment issues this course was going to cause for my daughter, myself and the rest of my household. Like many families, our weekly schedule is filled with work duties, children's after school activities and homework. This two-week course was going to push all of us to the max, and to be honest, I wasn't really looking forward to it. But, it's a state requirement, and I really wanted to experience hunting with my daughter.

As we headed out the door for her first session, I could tell she was very nervous, and so was I. This was a big step for my little girl. Would other girls be attending the course? Would her friends pick on her for wanting to hunt? Would she feel intimidated or overwhelmed? With all of these thoughts running through my head, I decided to take the course with her. After all, hunting with my daughter was going to be as much of a joy for me as it was (hopefully) going to be for her, and I wanted to show her my support.

The course began with me having a bit of an attitude. I grew up on a cattle ranch and have hunted since I was a young boy. What could these instructors possibly teach my daughter that I couldn't, or haven't taught her myself?

Several instructors helped teach the course; all of them had unique insights into the sport of hunting. As the course continued, it was very apparent that each instructor shared a love for his sport and wanted to share that love with each student.

Ask Fish and Game: Fishing in Steelhead Water

Q. Can I fish in steelhead water if I'm not fishing for steelhead?

A. Yes, and you don't need a permit. But any steelhead caught must be released unharmed immediately, and you could be cited if you're fishing with steelhead gear. A steelhead is a rainbow trout more than 20 inches long in steelhead waters.

F & G Seeks Information on Three Dead Moose

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is seeking information about the recent poaching and wasting of three moose in the Panhandle Region.

Officials say all three moose appear to have been shot on or around October 17, and all three were left to waste. The first moose, a large, adult cow, was shot at least twice. The cow was found just off of the Searchlight Road in the Marie Creek area, in Game Management Unit 3.

The other two moose were young bulls, shot and left lying in the brush about 20 feet from one another. These two bulls were found on the ridge between Wolf Lodge Saddle and Skitwish, also in Game Management Unit 3.

"As citizens of Idaho we have an obligation to not tolerate this type of behavior and waste of our wildlife resources and natural heritage," District Conservation Officer Mark Rhodes said.

Many people attempt to draw a moose permit for years in order to lawfully harvest a moose.

"The unlawful killing of a moose is simply stealing the resource from those who want to hunt them lawfully, or want to enjoy them in the wild," Rhodes said.

Idaho conservation officers cover patrol districts that average more than 1,000 square miles per officer. With such large areas to patrol, Fish and Game officers rely on reports from concerned residents to solve wildlife crime.

Rhodes asked that anyone with information on these cases, or any other wildlife violations is asked to call Idaho Fish and Game at 208-769-1414, contact a conservation officer, any Idaho Fish and Game office, their local sheriff's office or the Idaho State Police, or call the Citizens Against Poaching Hotline at 1-800-632-5999, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Callers may remain anonymous, and they may be eligible for a cash reward for information leading to a citation.